Smart Cities & Data Analytics
The 'Smart Cities & Data Analytics' programme is an ambitious long-term scientific programme where fundamental and applied research is undertaken into the nature, functioning, form and statistical profile of modern cities and urban agglomerations. The research team comprises a full-time PI (Karima Kourtit), a full-time scientific coordinator (Peter Nijkamp), and several associated members (partly from CAROU, partly from all over the world) who join the core team at the Open University in Heerlen.

The 'Smart Cities & Data Analytics' programme presents a very ambitious package of activities, including an international book project on What is the City? (completion 2021) one of the highlights. Further work on 'the good city', on 'urban climate adaptation', on Smart HILLS initiatives/projects, and on morphometrics will be the next step.

To generate and disseminate innovative knowledge in the field of intelligent and sustainable cities / regions - in the form of a Triple Helix model - through three interlinked approaches.

An important activity is the development of the Smart HILLS (Heerlen Intelligent Limburg Leadership in Sustainability) initiative: a 'shared' 'work' platform for the realization of an ambitious, knowledge- and data-based sustainable development programs for South Limburg. By standing shoulder to shoulder from a Smart HILLS perspective, significant added value can be generated in the field of climate-positive initiatives, promising industrial innovations, new opportunities for the health and care sector (including ageing), green tourism, transnational and cross-border partnerships, and increasing international visibility of the region (e.g. in the form of workshops). 

A new educational program ‘Interactive Smart Education Program’ will address both master students and PhD students (both domestic and international) as well as urban professionals, industries and city leaders (again domestic and international). The educational plans also serve the knowledge needs of various clients, and will not only offer an advanced curriculum on ‘cities4people’ to master and PhD students, but also tailor-made courses to urban professionals, industries and city leaders.