Innovation Lab

ArenA test bed for events in times of corona

ArenA test bed for events in times of corona
The Municipality of Amsterdam has selected the Johan Cruijff ArenA as a testing location for the coronavirus. Smart technology is being used to conduct research into how larger groups of people can gather at busy locations and public events. The municipality has set up test beds in and around event locations as part of a public-private partnership with TNO, the Johan Cruijff ArenA, the Rijksmuseum and theatre and musical producer Stage Entertainment.

The test beds are testing specific solutions that could allow more and more visitors to safely visit and enjoy museums, theatres and (for the time being) small-scale events. The aim is to use existing and new technologies to speed up the go-ahead for larger events. This will help to accelerate the economic recovery in the city, also in the sports and cultural sector.

Research is also being carried out into how smart applications and technology can be combined with data to further relax restrictions within society. Mayor Femke Halsema: “We are a densely populated city, which normally has many visitors, but are not the only busy city in the Netherlands. It is good that people are working together to see how we can help residents, businesses and visitors to stay 1.5 metres apart and have greater freedom.”

For example, the partners are seeing if new innovations can help to determine the best arrival and departure times for visitors. They are also trying to optimise walking routes so people are given smart access to locations.

Other examined solutions include:

  • Intelligent access: accessing a location based on a time slot;
  • Apps that offer visitors and civilians real time information about how busy areas are expected to be and how they can find alternative routes and locations;
  • Simulations to determine the best arrival and departure times for visitors;
  • Smart logistics, whereby walking routes are optimised in order to minimise contact between visitors;
  • Nudging, whereby sounds, light or colours are used to guide visitors, like we have been doing for years (and even more so now) in Amsterdam's water taxis.

Experiences and results will be shared with the national representatives of involved sectors. This means proven solutions can also be implemented at national level in the future.

Although priority has been given to the safety of visitors and citizens, and to combating the COVID19 virus, people's privacy will, of course, be safeguarded in accordance with legal requirements when this technology is used.

The initiative is a follow-up to a partnership between the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Johan Cruijff ArenA and various innovation partners like TNO, whereby a Living Lab was realised in Amsterdam Zuidoost over the past few years. The acquired knowledge is now being used within the new testing set-up. To maximise impact, the city and its partners are calling on other organisations, including start-ups, to share their solutions and innovations.

De Johan Cruijff ArenA is altijd in beweging

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