How to make thorough political choices while keeping a Healthy Urban Living city?

The world is changing at a fast pace. Cities are cluttering and the role of the village is shifting. Technologization and digitalization play a major role in the streamlining of these changes. We use new technologies to enable healthy urban living. We use smart watches to track our habits. For every bad habit there’s an app that promises us that we can change. Companies store your data so they can give you exactly what you want, when you want it. Anything to make the world a better place.



If we want to keep our cities and villages liveable, choices have to be made regarding the influences of technology. Thorough political choices regarding new public values like privacy, autonomy, but also human dignity and balance of power.



In our workshop we shed a light on the two sides of healthy urban living. On the one hand we show the opportunities to improve our ways of living. On the other hand we ask the ethical questions regarding, for example, privacy and power relationships. We use the UtrechtRegion as case study to start a conversation with the municipality and companies about the new ethical and political dilemmas. We hold this conversation using the book ‘First Aid for Ethical Dilemmas’, which we developed in collaboration with Economic Board Utrecht, the municipality of Amersfoort and Ekelmans & Meijer Lawyers. The first copies of the book “Smart & Leefbaar – Belangen borgen in de digitaliserende gemeente” (Smart & Livable – Protecting public values in the digitizing city) will be presented to the Dutch ambassador Matthijs van Bonzel and delegation leader John Jorritsma by Yvonne Kemmerling (president of the Future City Foundation) later today.

Last but not least, we let existing examples of healthy urban living tell their story, while reflecting on those using the seven political values for the technologizing society – as taken from the book.



  • 10:00 – Welcome and introduction to Healthy Urban Living – What does it mean? How is Utrecht involved? Why Healthy Urban Living is important – By Marielle van der Zanden (CIO at City of Utrecht and Thomas Kruse (Strategist at City of Utrecht)
  • 10:15 – Introduction to the ‘First Aid for Ethical Dilemmas’ – What dilemma’s? How does the first aid work? – By Anita Nijboer (Partner and Lawyer at Ekelmans Meijer Lawyers & Jan-Willem Wesselink (Director at the Future City Foundation )
  • 10:30 – Pitches by Witteveen + Bos, Sweco, Civity, RIVM, The Urban Future and Health Hub
  • 11:00 – Collective reflection on the pitches – using the ethical and political values as presented – By Heerd Jan Hoogeveen (Director at Start Up Utrecht)
How to make thorough political choices while keeping a Healthy Urban Living city?
Creativity room

Marielle van der Zanden
+31 302863612
Thomas Kruse
+31 302861315
Anita Nijboer
Jan-Willem Wesselink
+31 33 8700 100
Heerd Jan Hoogeveen