The municipality of Alkmaar regularly collaborates with universities and colleges for knowledge exchange. The Alkmaar Canal programme has started a joint track together with students from the Urban Governance Master programme of Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (ESSB) and the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), both part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Various topics and themes were selected in consultation with the students and their lecturers, such as ‘Internationally Comparable Projects, ‘Smart City’ and ‘Healthy Urban Living’.
At the beginning of this year, the students took part in a meeting with the municipality of Alkmaar. After a general introduction by the coordinating alderman of the Alkmaar Canal, Paul Verbruggen, three experts part of the Alkmaar Canal programme expanded on the key chosen topics mentioned above. Bernadette Janssen of Advisory Bureau BVR discussed the development image of the Alkmaar Canal and provided a comparison with similar development undertakings in other cities. This was followed by an explanation of Erik Kuin of bureau GOpartners on the topic of Smart City and how this concept can support in reaching the goals of the Alkmaar Canal programme. Finally, the importance of a healthy city was illustrated by Ad de Bont of bureau Urhahn.
After these expert presentations, the students had a brainstorming session. As a follow-up to this inspiring afternoon, students are currently investigating the significance of the three key topics (Internationally Comparable Projects, ‘Smart City’ and ‘Healthy Urban Living’) for the development of the Alkmaar Canal programme.
The next step is to organize a closing meeting at the end of March, in which students will present the findings of their studies to those involved in the Alkmaar Canal programme, in a set-up that enables mutual learning by both students and the municipality.