MSc thesis subject: Crowded waters: Agent-based modelling to explore crowdedness on the channels of Amsterdam

Amsterdam has become increasingly popular as a tourist destination. Visitor numbers increased sharply with an increase of 24% in 6 years. This resulted in 19 million visitors in 2017 – 2 million more than last year. This strong increase contributes to the crowdedness in Amsterdam and challenges the city’s liveability.

Among the many tourist attractions, a boat tour through the beautiful channels of the city is among the most popular. However, with increasing visitors numbers, both the channels as well as the docs are getting crowded.

Within the City Simulator Lab project from the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (the AMS-Institute), researchers from both Wageningen University and Delft University collaborate to develop tools to explore the complex dynamics of modern cities. One of the approaches used is agent-based modelling. Agent-Based Model (ABM) is a modeling concept that enables spatial modelers to describe (spatial) processes from the bottom-up.
We aim to develop an ABM capable to explore scenarios aiming to improve the crowdedness on the water and on the docs.


  • To develop an agent-based model of crowdedness on the water and docs in collaboration with AMS researchers and the municipality of Amsterdam
  • To identify which factors influence the crowdedness on the channels and docs of Amsterdam
  • Develop and explore the impact of possible interventions aiming to relieve current crowdedness in the ABM


  • Enthusiasm for and if possible experience with agent-based modelling
  • Willingness to commit to learning agent-based modelling platform

Theme(s): Modelling & visualisation, Human – space interaction