Rotterdam eNews - Oct. 2017

Visualizing the future

Almost one year of hard work is behind us. After the strong enthusiasm of the beginning we realised that our plans were more challenging than expected. Although we are speaking of proven technologies, the interaction between them and the search for good business cases was a hard job. Serious barriers on the smart thermal grid had to be broken up between partners. The result is that the Smart thermal grid will be re-allocated to our energy partner Eneco. Several months of negotiating were necessary to solve all financial and organisational challenges but we can now really start to build our smart district in the Heart of South. Citizens can already see the big progress in the swimming pool: it is huge and very impressive.

A few years of calculating, developing and building lay ahead of us. But we are enthusiastic. And happy to see the enthusiam also growing in the citizens from the information they have received from the city and the developing company. To involve the citizens even more in the project we will very soon build an information booth in the nearby shopping mall. There we will inform people about the developments in the Heart of South and the benefits for them: a completely new and renovated city district in which they will be surrounded by the latest state of the art of smart solutions, with cheap electricity and transport for all….and in the information shop: coffee for free. Let’s keep on working, it’s worth it!

André Houtepen, RUGGEDISED project manager, City of Rotterdam

PROJECT TIMING: Month 12 / 60


Re-allocating the developing tasks of the smart thermal grid to our energy partner assured a solid foundation for our project.


The big challenge is to explain all to the citizens of Heart of South. They are our most important partners in the project.


In July of this year we have delivered our first proof of concept regarding the development of the digital city of Rotterdam. The aim of the PoC was to prove that it is technically feasible to create a generic 3D city platform, that can handle different sources of data and is able to create a (open) standardized data format that can be used in all kinds of applications.

We have done this by picking 3 different datasets (real time and non-real time) by the source and bring them to the data services hub. There they are converted in 2 open data standards (WFS and sensorThings API) and offered for use in applications. These datasets are visualised in our 3D city model. This development ‘under the hood of the car’ seems not so spectacular, but technically it is a real challenge to disclose data in a generic way. Dy doing this we have also learned some really important and interesting lessons regarding data ownership, data availability, technical barriers, the use of open data standards and the innovative process of co-creation. This platform will also be the bases to visualize the data, created within Ruggedised Rotterdam, such as the Energy Manager, smart waste, smart parking, smart lighting etc. The aim is to connect all these datasources in a generic way by using open standards. In other words: no specific solutions for solely the Ruggedised project but a broad approach for the whole of the city of Rotterdam.

The following link shows you the results of the first proof of concept (best seen in Chrome):

The following links to some videos will also give you an impression of what the 3D city platform (Digital City Rotterdam) might be and how it can be used.

More information: Roland van der Heijden (; +316 22844924)

Product manager Digital City Rotterdam & 3D city operations model Ruggedised


This solution consists of a thermal distribution grid, geothermal heat and cold storage and sustainable energy generation by waste water, surface water and a pavement heat-cold collector. The goal is to connect large buildings in the area to this low temperature grid with an overarching energy-management system on area scale. Partners involved are: Ballast-Heijmans, Eneco and City of Rotterdam. Fortunately there is now, with a lot of effort from all partners involved, a joint solution for the gap in the business case. The build-up of the grid in stages as was foreseen earlier, is now proven to be the only way forward. This gives us time to explore the chances of connecting also other buildings to the grid like a hotel and a big cinema. This November it will be clear if this two new buildings will be realised. These buildings will replace the planned connection of the swimming pool and arts center.


The 23 municipalities of the Metropolitan region have decided in May that RET will remain the main bus operator in Rotterdam after December 2019. The new concession period will last until 2034. RET has put forward an ambitious but feasible plan to fase out all its diesel buses for zero emission buses before 2030. The first 55 e-buses are expected to run in 2020, the next 50 in 2022, then 50 more in 2025 and the final 110 e-buses are expected in 2030. RET will also invest in 110 hybrid buses in 2019 to ensure stability during the transition period while improving environmental performance of the rest of the fleet. Additionally, RET has started a pilot this September with two hydrogen fuelled busses. RET is working in the RUGGEDISED project to demonstrate software to efficiently schedule all these different kinds of buses.