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Smart City Profile: Delft smart city

Delft_5The Delft Smart City project, commissioned by Delft city council, including contributions from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and TNO, explores the city through a research by design process, putting at the center issues regarding energy neutrality, climate-resilience and socio-economic development.

According to this report, the project had a dual role. First, to investigate a possible approach referring to long-term challenges, and second to develop a better understanding of them. In order to do so, a system analysis was followed trying to assess any possible challenges and offer solutions, by combining human-centered and other kind of resources.

In the case of Delft’ s Smart City approach, three main pillars were defined including systems, resources and people. All these components were interconnected to each other through an integrated strategy, which targeted on bringing together parties and government. The dynamic complexity of the system is illustrated in the following figure, presented in the report.


In essence, the long-term challenges a city faces are generally the same as those faced by parties higher up the scale. Many challenges are brought to society’ s attention by central government, then discussed with commercial and civic partners before measures are adopted.

In the case of Delft, research by desing was the main method for investogating and developing scenarios regarding Smart City context. Within this context, a set   of 7 main steps was followed: (1) introduction to theme; (2) development in the region; (3) spatial analysis of systems; (4) overview 1: goals > effort; (5) overview 2: infrastructure > technology > partners; (6) summary and conclusions; (7) specifics for each location.

The main goals that were developed for the Delft Smart City, cover aspects of:

  • Energy Neutral: until 2050 no carbon emissions from fossil fuels within Delft’ s municipal boundaries.
  • Climate Proof: until 2050 a city that can cope with the consequences of climate change, which include flooding, drought and heat.
  • Knowledge: until 2030 enough jobs at all levels, thanks to a strong knowledge economy.


The locations chosen by this research by desing project were Nieuw Delft, Schieoevers Zuid and Buitenhof.

Find the full report here.