Living Lab

Using the ArenA as a laboratory to present opportunities for innovative, sustainable solutions.

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Driven by the ambition to turn the largest stadium in the Netherlands into a showroom for sustainable innovations, the Amsterdam ArenA introduced the Living Lab: a testing ground for state-of-the-art solutions in the field of sustainability.

Stadium seats manufactured from sugarcane, electric scooters for staff and PET cups – the ArenA offers its stakeholders every opportunity to test and evaluate the feasibility, applicability and possibilities for upscaling new technologies. Some projects turned out to be unprofitable, while others were successfully implemented when the trial phase was completed.

The ArenA wants the Living Lab to be a tech incubator that gives novel concepts a chance to prove their worth in practice. The idea is to give innovative start-ups and established reputable companies the opportunity to grow and flourish. This will benefit entrepreneurs and the ArenA, and other stadiums around the globe.

Full of energy:

‘Green’ light for grass

Grass is clearly a top priority for the ArenA. Our turf needs to be in perfect condition. But there is more to perfect turf health than meets the eye. Due to the stadium’s roof structure, the turf doesn’t get enough sunlight. Special lamps simulate natural sunlight to help the grass grow. Naturally, we want to keep the power consumption of these lamps down to a minimum. This is why we are researching energy-efficient alternatives that stimulate turf growth at the same time.

Customer journey: vlot en veilig van en naar het stadion

Quick and safe transport to the stadium

Everyone who has ever visited a dance festival, a football match or a jazz concert knows that the fun starts the moment you buy your tickets and travel to the stadium. And afterwards, a safe trip home adds to the good experience. That’s why the ArenA is committed to delivering a comprehensive and sustainable customer journey.

‘Wherever possible, we want to have a good impact on the visitor experience,’ declares Marco Gerrese of the ArenA. ‘One way we achieve this is to inform our visitors about, say, the dress code for a Toppers concert, the best travel options and the latest updates on events. As far as we’re concerned, the customer journey covers a far wider timeframe than the official duration of the event.’

Positive impact wherever possible

By establishing contact with visitors at an early stage, the ArenA aims to influence their choice of travel mode. Gerrese explains, ‘Naturally, we encourage visitors to take public transport or guided bus tours if possible. That’s better for the environment and stops unnecessary traffic congestion around the ArenA, but even if people do decide to take the car, we want to guide them quickly to the nearest available parking space. Our aim is to make life easier for people.’

Personal advice

The Mobility Portal plays an important role. Gerrese says, ‘On admission tickets and in social media, we draw attention to the options the portal gives you to get to the stadium fast and preferably in a sustainable way. We also try to persuade visitors to prepare well for the trip. We offer personal advice by giving relevant information. If we know that someone is planning to take the train, it would be useless to give them motorway traffic updates or suggest alternate routes.’

All mod cons provided

Even inside the stadium, the ArenA is committed to delivering a comprehensive customer journey. ‘We recently expanded our telecom facilities and are currently installing a WiFi network in the stadium that lets football fans watch instant replays on their mobile devices, for instance.’

Setting off without a care in the world

At the moment, these efforts focus mainly on events in the ArenA. ‘But of course, it would be great if we could join forces with other event venues and companies in the area to give handy information to visitors and employees. Guiding crowds through the area quickly and safely before and after events can be quite a challenge. Behind the scenes, we do our utmost to provide an exceptional customer experience.’

Heading for an innovative ArenAPoort area

Heading for an innovative ArenAPoort area

The ArenAPoort area is most suited to serve as a testing ground for innovation. Take, for example the pilot project on up-to-date travel information, tailored to the needs of individual travellers. Visitors to the ArenA, who are travelling to an event by road will be able to access in-car information with an app that is currently under development.

A component of Practical Pilot Amsterdam, this pilot focuses on improving the use of the road network and reducing congestion. It was prepared in 2013 on the instructions of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Two consortiums are testing and evaluating their own solutions to an efficient road network in the Amsterdam region, for both special event traffic and commuter traffic. ‘The consortiums will give motorists travel recommendations on apps,’ says Marco Gerrese. ‘Compared to other systems, the added value of this app is that it not only helps people avoid tailbacks, it also guides them to a parking space reserved especially for them.’

Countering fragmentation

The pilot was launched at the end of 2014. Anticipating the launch, Amsterdam ArenA launched its own monitoring pilot: the Mobility Room. Read more about this in the section on the environment.

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