Dutch entrepreneur and founder of ZO!City and TransformCity®
Saskia Beer is a Dutch entrepreneur and founder of ZO!City (formerly known as Glamourmanifest) and TransformCity®. She was trained as an architect and worked for renowned Dutch and Japanese offices. In 2010 she decided to thoroughly redefine her role by unsolicitedly initiating local projects for making the city more attractive, inclusive and resilient. In 2011 Glamourmanifest unsolicitedly adopted Amstel3, a 250 ha office district in Amsterdam with a 30% vacancy rate. After the municipality had to withdraw from their top-down redevelopment plans, Glamourmanifest built a multi-stakeholder network and support base around the area transformation. The size and impact of the project evolved incrementally and led to fundamental new insights on how to organize urban development processes in existing urban areas. All these insights, learnings and best practices were processed into Transformcity: a new collaborative urban development workflow for cities, supported by a unique and fully interactive online platform. Since May 2016 Transformcity was soft launched, tested and improved in Amstel3. It won the second prize (civic engagement) in Le Monde International Smart Cities Innovation Awards 2016 and the 2016 Call for Solutions of the World Smart City Expo in Barcelona. Also it is a best practice in the Citizen City Action Cluster of European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC). In 2017 Transformcity won Amsterdam’s Startup in Residence program and the municipality officially became launching customer, starting in two of their largest transformation districts and helping the platform to further develop. Transformcity already received interest form more than 50 cities worldwide and is now preparing to scale globally. As a leading urban pioneer, Saskia gives regular talks to both students and professionals, attends various urban award juries and is actively involved in the international discourse about new strategies and technologies for urban planning.