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danique de bies

alexandra sykioti

jasper bunschoten

richard lundquist

nov - dec 2019





creating an offline presence for the organisation that supports bottom-up urban development in amstel 3

Transformcity created an online platform that supports bottom-up urban development, allowing all the stakeholders in the Amstel 3 neighbourhood to participate in the changes being made. However, the organisation was facing a lack of use of their platform. Our challenge was to open up the network and involve all stakeholders more in the area development.

How can we support bottom-up urban development in the Amstel 3 area through the Transformcity platform in terms of participation, visibility and lifespan?


Amstel III is a rapidly changing neighbourhood in the south-east of Amsterdam. Currently, it is divided in two contrasting areas. One side is inhabited by low-income residents; while the other is dedicated to offices that employ some of the highest earners in the country. The two sides don’t interact with one another.

The municipality aims to erase the border dividing the area and turn the neighbourhood into one big multi-use district. We found Transformcity could promote this more as well, to create a connected area.

To really understand the neighbourhood and its users, we spent as much time as possible in Amstel III. Being in the neighbourhood and talking to locals helped us understand the tension between the two sides of the area.


We discovered that many people feel feel left out of the changes being made in the area. In addition, many residents told us that Transformcity’s presence in the neighbourhood wasn’t strong or visible enough. They saw it as an organisation hidden in a high tower that only has contact with big building owners.

After gaining these insights, we dedicated the rest of our time to creating a visible and accessible ‘entrance’ into the Transformcity network for stakeholders so that they could learn about development and become part of the change.

In our concept, we took the ‘treasures’ from the depths of the online world onto the streets in a collection of walking routes, which would be called Treasure Hunts. 

Treasure Hunts are walking routes throughout the neighbourhood consisting of special sidewalk tiles. Each of the tiles contains information about neighbourhood projects happening in its direct environment.


Once people are inspired and want to participate in a project, they can use the QR-code on the tile to go to the online platform and become a maker of their neighbourhood.

This project was part of the Master Digital Design (2019) of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with ZO!City / Transformcity. 

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