The Amsterdam ArenA is the largest stadium in the Netherlands and is home to AFC Ajax, four times winners of the European Champions' Cup/Champions' League and the most successful club in the country. The stadium is also used for concerts and other commercial events like Sensation, the indoor electronic dance music event which originated in the stadium in 2001 and has now spread world-wide.
The man responsible for the smooth operation of this impressive facility is Henk van Raan, a Board Member of Amsterdam ArenA and a specialist in facility and project management. He has a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering and previously worked for the City of Amsterdam as Facility Manager at the 'Stopera', City Hall and Opera House.
Innovation Center logoAt Amsterdam ArenA he is responsible for a variety of aspects such as real estate development, grass management, new technology systems, sustainability and the Amsterdam ArenA Innovation Center.
Explaining the concept behind the Innovation Center he said, "This is a joint venture with a group of strategic partners to develop and implement new innovations for our stadium and the local surrounding area. We are living in a new era of ecological changes impacting the way cities are evolving. The ArenA stadium is part of a fast growing urban area, providing an inspiring living laboratory for 'Smart City' innovation.Innovation Center 279
"Broadly speaking, a Smart City is a developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and high quality life by excelling in key areas such as economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government. A Smart City uses information and communications technologies (ICT) to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to improve contact between citizens and government.
"Like almost every stadium in the world, the ArenA is closely connected to the heart of a vibrant city and is hosting large crowds around matches and events; therefore it can become a 'Living Lab' enabling rapid development, testing and demonstration of smart applications and solutions in areas such as communications, crowd management, accessibility and commercial retailing.
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