Circular City
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Moving from a linear to a circular economy means minimising the waste and pollution by reducing, recycling and reusing. The City of Amsterdam aims to redesign twenty product- or material chains. The implementation of material reuse strategies has the potential to create a value of €85 million per year within the construction sector and €150 million per year with more efficient organic residual streams. Amsterdam set up an innovation program on the circular economy; www.amsterdamsmartcity.com/circularamsterdam. By converting waste into electricity, urban heating and construction materials, the Amsterdam Electricity Company generates 900 kWh per 1000 kg of waste. 75% of the sewage system is separated for waste and rain water and the silt which remains after treating waste water is converted into natural gas. Share your innovative concepts and ideas on circular economy here.

Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

What do you envision for the city of the future?

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Cities occupy just 3% of the earth’s land surface, but are home to more than half of the world’s population. When we envision cities of the future, interconnectedness with nature, communities, and resources is at the heart of it all. Our team put together a cities vision taking us on a vivid journey to a city in 2050. Lush, green, healthy, sustainable, and livable.

We hope that tangible, and positive image of what cities could look like in the future can bring different groups together, to build the right conditions and drive the actions to achieve it. Our vision is one of many such images, and we would love to hear from you about what you like, dislike, and what your city of the future looks like. In particular, we'd like to move away from a techno-futurist ideal.

Cities of tomorrow will emerge from the cities of today. Just as important as the conversations about what we would like to change, are the conversations about what we would like to keep! What would you keep, from your current city, for decades to come? Take a look and let us know what you think!

Beth Njeri's picture #CircularCity
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

10 Accessibility, software, digital infrastructure, and data. The quest for ethics

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The 10th episode in the series Better cities: The contribution of digital technology deals with the impact of ethical principles on four pillars of digitization: accessibility, software, infrastructure and data.

In the previous episode, I discussed design principles - guidelines and values - for digital technology. The report of the Rathenau Instituut Opwaarderen - Borgen van publieke waarden in de digitale samenleving concludes that government, industry, and society are still insufficiently using these principles. Below, I will consider their impact on four pillars of digitization: accessibility, software, infrastructure, and data. The next episodes will be focused on their impact on frequently used technologies.

Accessibility

Accessibility refers to the availability of high-speed Internet for everyone. This goes beyond just technical access. It also means that a municipality ensures that digital content is understandable and that citizens can use the options offered. Finally, everyone should have a working computer.

Free and safe Internet for all residents is a valuable amenity, including Wi-Fi in public areas. Leaving the latter to private providers such as the LinkNYC advertising kiosks in New York, which are popping up in other cities as well, is a bad thing. Companies such as Sidewalk Labs tempt municipalities by installing these kiosks for free. They are equipped with sensors that collect a huge amount of data from every device that connects to the Wi-Fi network: Not only the location and the operating system, but also the MAC address. With the help of analytical techniques, the route taken can be reconstructed. Combined with other public data from Facebook or Google, they provide insight into personal interests, sexual orientation, race, and political opinion of visitors.

The huge internet that connects everything and everyone also raises specters, which have to do with privacy-related uncertainty and forms of abuse, which appeared to include hacking of equipment that regulates your heartbeat.

That is why there is a wide search for alternatives. Worldwide, P2P neighborhood initiatives occur for a private network. Many of these are part of The Things Network. Instead of Wi-Fi, this network uses a protocol called LoRaWAN. Robust end-to-end encryption means that users don't have to worry about secure wireless hotspots, mobile data plans, or faltering Wi-Fi connectivity. The Things Network manages thousands of gateways and provides coverage to millions of people and a suite of open tools that enable citizens and entrepreneurs to build IoT applications at a low cost, with maximum security and that are easy to scale.

Software

Computer programs provide diverse applications, ranging from word processing to management systems. Looking for solutions that best fit the guidelines and ethical principles mentioned in the former episode, we quickly arrive at open-source software, as opposed to proprietary products from commercial providers. Not that the latter are objectionable in advance or that they are always more expensive. The most important thing to pay attention to is interchangeability (interoperability) with products from other providers to prevent you cannot get rid of them (lock in).

Open-source software offers advantages over proprietary solutions, especially if municipalities encourage city-wide use. Barcelona is leading the way in this regard. The city aims to fully self-manage its ICT services and radically improve digital public services, including privacy by design. This results in data sovereignty and in the use of free software, open data formats, open standards, interoperability and reusable applications and services.

Anyone looking for open-source software cannot ignore the Fiwarecommunity, which is similar in organization to Linux and consists of companies, start-ups and freelance developers and originated from an initiative of the EU. Fiware is providing open and sustainable software around public, royalty-free and implementation-driven standards.

Infrastructure

Computers are no longer the largest group of components of the digital infrastructure. Their number has been surpassed by so-called ubiquitous sensor networks (USN), such as smart meters, CCTV, microphones, and sensors. Sensor networks have the most diverse tasks, they monitor the environment (air quality, traffic density, unwanted visitors) and they are in machines, trains, and cars and even in people to transmit information about the functioning of vital components. Mike Matson calculated that by 2050 a city of 2 million inhabitants will have as many as a billion sensors, all connected by millions of kilometers of fiber optic cable or via Wi-Fi with data centers, carrier hotels (nodes where private networks converge) to eventually the Internet.

This hierarchically organized cross-linking is at odds with the guidelines and ethical principles formulated in the previous post. Internet criminals are given free rein and data breaches can spread like wildfires, like denial of service (DoS). In addition, the energy consumption is enormous, apart from blockchain. Edge computing is a viable alternative. The processing of the data is done locally and only results are uploaded on demand. This applies to sensors, mobile phones and possibly automated cars as well. A good example is the Array of Things Initiative. Ultimately, this will include 500 sensors, which will be installed in consultation with the population in Chicago. Their data is stored in each sensor apart and can be consulted online, if necessary, always involving several sensors and part of the data. Federated data systems are comparable. Data is stored in a decentralized way, but authorized users can use all data thanks to user interfaces.

Data

There is a growing realization that when it comes to data, not only quantity, but also quality counts. I will highlight some aspects.

Access to data
Personal data should only be available with permission from the owner. To protect this data, the EU project Decode proposes that owners can manage their data via blockchain technology. Many cities now have privacy guidelines, but only a few conduct privacy impact assessments as part of its data policy (p.18).

Quality
There is growing evidence that much of the data used in artificial intelligence as “learning sets” is flawed. This had already become painfully clear from facial recognition data in which minority groups are disproportionately represented. New research shows that this is also true in the field of healthcare. This involves data cascades, a sum of successive errors, the consequences of which only become clear after some time. Data turned out to be irrelevant, incomplete, incomparable, and even manipulated.

Data commons
Those for whom high-quality data is of great importance will pay extra attention to its collection. In. this case, initiating a data common is a godsend. Commons are shared resources managed by empowered communities based on mutually agreed and enforced rules. An example is the Data and Knowledge Hub for Healthy Urban Living (p.152), in which governments, companies, environmental groups and residents collect data for the development of a healthy living environment, using a federated data system. These groups are not only interested in the data, but also in the impact of its application.

Open date
Many cities apply the 'open by default' principle and make most of the data public, although the user-friendliness and efficiency sometimes leave something to be desired. Various data management systems are available as an open-source portal. One of the most prominent ones is CKAN, administered by the Open Knowledge Foundation. It contains tools for managing, publishing, finding, using, and sharing data collections. It offers an extensive search function and allows the possibility to view data in the form of maps, graphs, and tables. There is an active community of users who continue to develop the system and adapt it locally.

To make the data accessible, some cities also offer training courses and workshops. Barcelona's Open Data Challenge is an initiative for secondary school students that introduces them to the city's vast dat collection.

Safety
As the size of the collected data, the amount of entry points and the connectivity on the Internet increase, the security risks also become more severe. Decentralization, through edge computing and federated storage with blockchain technology, certainly contribute to security. But there is still a long way to go. Only half of the cities has a senior policy officer in this area. Techniques for authentication, encryption and signing that together form the basis for attribute-based identity are applied only incidentally. This involves determining identity based on several characteristics of a user, such as function and location. Something completely different is Me and my shadow, a project that teaches Internet users to minimize their own trail and thus their visibility to Internet criminality.

There is still a world to win before the guidelines and ethical principles mentioned in the previous episode are sufficiently met. I emphasize again not to over-accentuate concepts such as 'big data', 'data-oriented policy' and the size of data sets. Instead, it is advisable to re-examine the foundations of scientific research. First and foremost is knowledge of the domain (1), resulting in research questions (2), followed by the choice of an appropriate research method (3), defining the type of data to be collected (4), the collection of these data (5), and finally their statistical processing to find evidence for substantiated hypothetical connections (6). The discussion of machine learning in the next episode will reveal that automatic processing of large data sets is mainly about discovering statistical connections, and that can have dire consequences.

Follow the link below to find one of the previous episodes or see which episodes are next, and this one for the Dutch version.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
RESILIO Amsterdam, posted

RESILIO and its business case.

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It’s all about the money: A Smart RESILIO Blue-Green Roof might sound a little pricey. But is money all what counts? Are these roofs affordable? In this third part of the RESILIO blue-green roofs movie sequence we explain to you the overall value and benefits for the society and how to approach these in a financial matter. Maybe we have to broaden our view on how we assign value to an object and use these outcomes as a solution for financing. Daniel van den Buuse, PhD and Hans de Moel tell us all.

RESILIO Amsterdam's picture #CircularCity
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Digital technology and the urban sustainability agenda. A frame

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The eighth episode in the series Better cities - The contribution of digital technology provides a frame to seamlessly integrate the contribution of (digital) technology into urban policy. The Dutch versions of this and already published posts are here.

From the very first publication on smart cities (1992) to the present day, the solution of urban problems has been mentioned as a motive for the application of (digital) technology. However, this relationship is anything but obvious. Think of the discriminatory effect of the use of artificial intelligence by the police in the US – to which I will come back later – and of the misery it has caused in the allowance affair (toelagenaffaire) in the Netherlands.

The choice and application of (digital) technology is therefore part of a careful and democratic process, in which priorities are set and resources are weighed up. See also the article by Jan-Willem Wesselink and Hans DekkerSmart city enhances quality of life and puts citizen first (p.15). Below, I propose a frame for such a process, on which I will built in the next five posts.

My proposal is an iterative process in which three clusters of activities can be distinguished:
• Developing a vision of the city
• The development and choice of objectives
• The instrumentation of the objectives

Vision of the city

The starting point for a democratic urban policy is a broadly supported vision of the city and its development. Citizens and other stakeholders must be able to identify with this vision and their voice must have been heard. The vision of the city is the result of a multitude of opposing or abrasive insights, wishes and interests. Balancing the power differences between parties involved is a precondition for making the city more just, inclusive, and democratic and the residents happier.

The concept of a donut economy is the best framework I know of for developing a vision of such a city. It has been elaborated by British economist Kate Raworth in a report entitled A Safe and Just Space for Humanity. The report takes the simultaneous application of social and environmental sustainability as principles for policy.

If you look at a doughnut, you see a small circle in the middle and a larger circle on the outside. The small circle represents 12 principles of social sustainability (basic needs). These principles are in line with the UN's development goals. The larger circle represents 9 principles of the earth’ long-term self-sustaining capacity. A table with both types of principles can be viewed here. Human activities in cities must not overshoot its ecological ceiling, thus harming the self-sustainable capacity of that entity. At the same time, these activities must not shortfall the social foundation of that city, harming its long-term well-being. Between both circles, a safe and just space for humanity - now and in the future - is created. These principles relate to both the city itself and its impact on the rest of the world. Based on these principles, the city can determine in which areas it falls short; think of housing, gender equality and it overshoots the ecological ceiling, for instance, in case of greenhouse gas emissions.

Amsterdam went through this process, together with Kate Raworth. During interactive sessions, a city donut has been created. Citizens from seven different neighborhoods, civil servants and politicians took part in this. The Amsterdam city donut is worth exploring closely.

The urban donut provides a broad vision of urban development, in particular because of the reference to both social and ecological principles and its global footprint. The first version is certainly no final version. It is obvious how Amsterdam has struggled with the description of the impact of the international dimension.

The formulation of desired objectives

Politicians and citizens will mention the most important bottlenecks within their city, even without the city donut. For Amsterdam these are themes like the waste problem, the climate transition, reduction of car use, affordable housing, and inclusion. The Amsterdam donut invites to look at these problems from multiple perspectives: A wide range of social implications, the ecological impact, and the international dimension. This lays the foundation for the formulation of objectives.

Five steps can be distinguished in the formulation of objectives:
• Determine where the most important bottlenecks are located for each of the selected themes, partly based on the city donut (problem analysis), for example insufficient greenery in the neighborhoods.
• Collect data on the existing situation about these bottlenecks. For example, the fact that working-class neighborhoods have four times fewer trees per hectare than middle-class neighborhoods.
• Make provisional choices about the desired improvement of these bottlenecks. For example, doubling the number of trees in five years.
• Formulate the way in which the gap between existing and desired situation can be bridged. For example, replacing parking spaces with trees or facade vegetation.
• Formulate (provisional) objectives.

This process also takes place together with stakeholders. More than 100 people were involved in the development of the circular economy plans in Amsterdam, mainly representatives of the municipalities, companies, and knowledge institutions.

Prioritizing objectives and their instrumentation

Given the provisional objectives, the search can begin for available and desirable resources, varying from information, legal measures, reorganization to (digital) techniques. The expected effectiveness, desired coherence, acceptability, and costs must be considered. With this knowledge, the goals can be formulated definitively and prioritized. It is also desirable to distinguish a short-term and long-term perspective to enable the development of innovative solutions.

The inventory, selection and ethical assessment of resources and the related fine-tuning of the objectives is best done in the first instance by teams representing different disciplines, including expertise in the field of digital technology, followed of course by democratic sanctioning.

My preference is to transfer the instrumentation process to an 'Urban Development and Innovation Department', modeled on the Majors Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) in Boston. Changing teams can be put together from this office, which is strongly branched out with the other departments. In this way, the coherence between the individual goals and action points and the input of scientific research can be safeguarded. According to Ben Green, the author of the book The smart enough city and who has worked in MONUM for years, it has been shown time and again that the effect of technological innovation is enhanced when it is combined with other forms of innovation, such as social innovation.

From vision to action points: Overview

Below I give an overview of the most important building blocks for arriving at a vision and developing action points based on this vision:

1. The process from vision to action points is both linear and iterative. Distinguishing between the phases of vision development, formulating objectives and instrumentation is useful, but these phases influence each other mutually and eventually form a networked process.

2. Urban problems are always complicated, full of internal contradictions and complex. There are therefore seldom single solutions.

3. The mayor (and therefore not a separate alderman) is primarily responsible for coherence within the policy agenda, including the use of (digital) technology. This preferably translates into the structure of the municipal organization, for example an 'Urban Development and Innovation Department'.

4. Formulating a vision, objectives and their instrumentation is part of a democratic process. Both elected representatives and stakeholders play an important role in this.

5. Because of their complexity and coherence, the content of the policy agenda usually transcends the direct interests of the stakeholders, but they must experience that their problems are being addressed too.

6. Ultimately, each city chooses a series of related actions to arrive at an effective, efficient, and supported solution to its problems. The choice of these actions, especially when it comes to (digital) techniques, can always be explained as a function of the addressing problems.

7. The use of technology fits seamlessly into the urban agenda, instead of (re)framing problems to match tempting technologies.

8. Implementation is at least as important as grand plans, but without a vision, concrete plans lose their legitimacy and support.

9. In the search for support for solutions and the implementation of plans, there is collaboration with stakeholders, and they can be given the authority and resources to tackle problems and experiment themselves (‘right to challenge’).

10. In many urban problems, addressing the harmful effects of previously used technologies (varying from greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution to diseases of affluence) is a necessary starting point.

Back to digital technology

(Digital) technology is here to stay and it is developing at a rapid pace. Sometimes you wish it would slow down. It is very regrettable that not democratically elected governments, but Big Tech is the driving force behind the development of technology and that its development is therefore primarily motivated by commercial interests. This calls for resistance against Big Tech's monopoly and for reticence towards their products. By contrast, companies working on technological developments that support a sustainable urban agenda deserve all the support.

In my e-book Cities of the Future. Humane as a choice. Smart where that helps, I performed the exercise described in this post based on current knowledge about urban policy and urban developments. This has led to the identification of 13 themes and 75 action points, where possible with references to potentially useful technology. You can download the e-book here.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #CircularCity
Mateusz Jarosiewicz, Founder at Smart Cities Polska, posted

New Cities

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We are building a new city in a national metaverse connected with a smart city and the Internet of People. Are you interested in such projects? We are looking for cooperation within the international community of builders of our Metaverse new and brand new Smart Cities.

NEOS Cities and Country

The New System consists of modern municipalities, cities and the Polish state managed from the bottom up by the nation, where decisions are made on the basis of reliable and credible information, and thanks to Blockchain technology, everything is transparent and open to the public.
NEOS Country Towns and Villages services include:

  1. Setting up companies in DAO blockchain
  2. A city with services for users
  3. IVoting or voting over the Internet
  4. Simulation of city development scenarios
  5. City management like a game
  6. Export of tried and tested solutions

Details: http://smartcitiespolska.org/en/new-operating-system-for-smart-cities/ http://smartcitiespolska.org/en/new-warsaw-19-district-of-the-future-2025-2050/

Mateusz Jarosiewicz's picture #Citizens&Living
C Lemckert, communication consultant , posted

Bouw op Slachthuisterrein: alles wordt opnieuw gebruikt

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Haarlem werkt aan een duurzame stad. Aan de bouw en renovatie
van gebouwen worden dus duurzame eisen gesteld. Op het terrein van het
voormalige Slachthuis komt een nieuwe wijk waarvoor alles wordt
gerecycled!

Op het Slachthuisterrein komt een aantrekkelijk en duurzaam
nieuw stukje stad. Alles wordt hergebruikt, van asfalt en koelceldelen
tot stenen en hout. Ontwikkelcombinatie BPD – De Nijs B.V. kreeg de
opdracht van de gemeente. Projectmanager Theresa Manoch van BPD vertelt
over de duurzame bouwaspecten.

Bouw op Slachthuisterrein

Goedemorgen

Theresa: “Net als de gemeente vinden we het belangrijk dat het nieuwe
terrein een plek vóór en dóór de buurt is. Door leuke dingen te
organiseren zoals concerten en koffiemomenten, leren mensen de plek
kennen. We horen van buurtbewoners dat ze dit waarderen.” BPD won eind
2018 de aanbesteding met het concept ‘Goedemorgen’. Hierin wordt
rekening gehouden met ruimte om elkaar ontmoeten. Ook is er een
mobiliteitsplan (minder plek auto’s maar meer laadpalen), worden
monumenten hersteld en het terrein aan de buurt teruggegeven.

Gerecycled asfalt

Tijdens de bouw wordt aan de buurt en duurzaamheid gedacht. Zo is een
heitechniek met holle draaipalen gebruikt dat voor minder geluid zorgt.
Op het bouwterrein ligt asfalt van 97% gerecycled materiaal omdat zware
bouwauto’s op asfalt minder lawaai maken dan op bouwplaten. Ook wordt
er elektrisch gesloopt, met minder geluid en CO2-uitstoot.

‘Alles wat er is, houden’

“De basisgedachte is dat we zoveel mogelijk van de gebouwen in tact
laten. Bij alles wat er tijdens het renoveren uit de panden wordt
gehaald, stellen we de vraag ‘wat kunnen we ermee doen’? Zo is het
weggehaalde beton gebruikt voor de fundering van de wegen. En als
hergebruik op het terrein niet lukt, kijken we waar het wel naar toe
kan. Zo zijn oude koelceldelen naar Kenia gegaan en daar weer opgebouwd
bij een rozenkweker. Dat klinkt misschien niet duurzaam maar als ze
nieuw zouden worden aangeschaft, gaan ze ook vanuit Europa met een schip
naar Afrika.”

Water en regentonnen

Op het terrein komt een waterberging met een waterspeelplein. Dit
zijn tegelijkertijd ook plekken waar een teveel aan regenwater wordt
opgevangen. Hemel- en rioolwater wordt gescheiden, zodat regenwater in
de grond kan verdwijnen. Het dak van het Slachthuis wordt voor een deel
vergroend om regenwater vast te houden. Ook krijgen alle nieuwbouwhuizen
een regenton om regenwater te gebruiken om bijvoorbeeld planten water
te geven.

Warmte uit zomer, gebruiken in de winter

Theresa: “Op het terrein komt een warmtekoudebron. Met deze techniek
wordt ’s zomers overtollige warmte in het grondwater opgeslagen voor
gebruik in de winter. Er komen drie bronnen met een centraal systeem
waarmee we de bestaande bouw verduurzamen. En het mooie is dat ook
huizen om het terrein heen kunnen worden aangesloten op dit systeem!”

Muziek, poppodium en theehuis

Op het Slachthuisterrein staan straks ruim 160 nieuwbouwwoningen en
in de oude, monumentale gebouwen zullen voorzieningen voor
buurtbewoners, bezoekers en ondernemers zijn. Er komt een muziekschool,
poppodium, theehuis, restaurant en bedrijfsruimten voor startende
ondernemers. Het wordt een bijzondere ontmoetingsplek met een rijk
Haarlems verleden!

Naar verwachting wordt eind 2023 het Slachthuisterrein opgeleverd. Meer informatie op Slachthuisterrein Haarlem.

#CircularCity
RESILIO Amsterdam, posted

Participation in RESILIO

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This is the second part of a 5-piece movie on RESILIO blue-green roofs. We meet an expert on participation from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences ánd a resident from a social housing association de Alliantie complex on which a RESILIO Smart Blue-Green Roof just has been realized. We asked ourselves during the whole lifespan of RESILIO: How can we make smart sustainable solutions a hot and urgent topic for our citizens?
#participatie #socialhousing #heatstress #verduurzaming #resilientcommunities #residentengagement #indischebuurt

RESILIO Amsterdam's picture #Citizens&Living
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Meet the members of Amsterdam Smart City! Dirk Dekker: ‘There’s a connection between all of the individual elements that make a city what it is’

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Dirk Dekker is the co-founder and CEO of Being, a real estate developer that develops sustainable environments with the context of these environments in mind.

“Being part of something bigger: that’s our tagline. The work we do is not about us as a company but about the bigger picture. We are part of something bigger and want to positively influence the real estate market in the Netherlands. We also want to prove that you can do something good for society and make a profit.

We’re not content to simply discover a location to build on; there has to be a need for us to add a positive impact too. For us, this means adopting a holistic approach to projects based on four impact pillars: personal impact, public impact, ecological impact and economic impact. We research each site’s history and talk to various people: an environmental psychologist or city biologist, for example. We interview stakeholders: future users and local residents and organisations. As you might expect, we put together a business case as well.

As I see it, the different perspectives don’t result in concessions but in the creation of more value, which isn’t always possible to express in euros. One good example of this is YOTEL, a hotel we developed in the up-and-coming Buiksloterham urban district in Amsterdam. Interviews showed that neighbours wanted to see more public green spaces and accessible hospitality. We listened and made sure both were included in our design. The hotel has integrated into the neighbourhood well, from both a social and sustainable point of view. We also ‘greened’ the rear façade of The Pavilion office building in the Zuidas business district, because it faces a graveyard. It’s important for people, planet and profit to be in balance.”

Biophilic design
“I’m inspired by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) philosophy on architecture too. BIG does research to design well in extreme conditions—in the dessert or on the moon, for example. By carefully considering the context, it becomes possible to design something that complements the environment in question. Add nature into the equation and you have what is referred to in the industry as ‘biophilic design’. Mother Nature’s research department has far more experience than all the rest of us put together, so there’s a huge amount for us to learn from.

My ideal city is one with views that extend beyond the four years of a political term of office. It’s a place where residents are involved in decision-making, which is very achievable given the amazing digital resources at our disposal today in 2021. For example, I live in Amsterdam-West, where residents have been asked to vote on the € 300,000 our urban district has to spend on green and social initiatives suggested by citizens. That’s how you create a city together.”

Networks
“Green needs to be added not just next to buildings but on and in them too. And not just in stiff flowerbeds or like a green wallpaper of sorts; a far more natural approach is vital. Trees and plants communicate with and learn from each other via underground nature networks. Our job is to make sure this is possible in urbanised environments. The Fantastic Fungi Netflix documentary is a really useful programme to watch on this subject.

There’s a connection between all of the individual elements that make a city what it is. I would like to see politicians and the business sector immersing themselves in these networks far more and also looking very closely at everything happening on platforms like Amsterdam Smart City. Networks like this are essential for the future of our city and for connective growth.”

If you’d like to get in touch with Dirk, you can find him on this platform.

This interview is part of the series 'Meet the Members of Amsterdam Smart City'. In the next weeks we will introduce more members of this community to you. Would you like to show up in the series? Drop us a message!

Interview and article by Mirjam Streefkerk

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #Citizens&Living
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

The interconnected city: Imagining our urban lives in 2050

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Our cities are evolving. Fast. How can we ensure they are sustainable, liveable, and healthy?

Metabolic has developed a nature-inclusive, community-centered, and circular city's vision.

This vision of the "ideal" city is only one of many. What's your favorite? Please share the story, vision, book, podcast, or image that best represents the city you hope to live in, one day.

Beth Njeri's picture #CircularCity
RESILIO Amsterdam, posted

The smart technique between blue-green roofs.

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Today we will launch our brand new five-part movie series of RESILIO!
This serie will dive into the different approaches & researches within the project and the partners with their specific expertises. In the first one Kasper Spaan from water company Waternet and Friso Klapwijk MetroPolder Company explain you how smart micro watermanagement can be of paramount importance to a complete city. It’s not just a drop in the ocean... check it out here:

RESILIO Amsterdam's picture #Energy
Scipio Kok, Advisor at City of Amsterdam: Ingenieursbureau Amsterdam, posted

Available for download now: Mayor’s Manual Book Edition

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What advice would you give to mayors of cities worldwide?  In the first season of the Mayor's Manual Podcast, Sacha Stolp (Director of Future-Proof Assets, City of Amsterdam) and Kenneth Heijns (Managing Director of AMS Institute) have embarked on a journey to discuss solutions for urban challanges together with over 50 frontrunners from different countries working for  governmental institutions, knowledge institutions and businesses. Each frontrunner was asked what advice they would give to Mayors and cities worldwide. The Mayor’s Manual Book Edition is a compilation of these advices accompanied by 6 Essays written by guest writers. The book is meant not only to inspire, but also to provide actionable recommendations for cities globally.

We invite you to read the first Mayor’s Manual Book and share
your insights with us!

Download the book for free on our website or by clicking here.

Currently, we are working on a Dutch edition so keep an eye on our site
for updates!

Find the Mayor’s Manual podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast and Google Podcast &  view our trailer or go to www.mayorsmanual.org

Scipio Kok's picture #Mobility
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Meet the members of Amsterdam Smart City! Ronald Smallenburg: ‘We need creativity for a new generation of infrastructure’

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Ronald Smallenburg is co-founder of Pontiflex, a start-up which designs modular bridges out of sustainable materials.

“My business partner Joris Vermeulen and I started Pontiflex a few years ago. A key motivator was the state of the Nescio Bridge for bicycles spanning the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal between the Amsterdam suburb of IJburg and the city itself. This €15 million bridge opened in 2006, but only a few years later, its steel started to rust. It served as an inspiration to start thinking about designing more sustainable bridges on a competitive budget.

Joris asked me to join him in searching for solutions. We discovered there is a huge market for bridges and other infrastructure. A major portion of the post-WW2, so-called ‘boomer infrastructure’ in the Netherlands is at the end of its lifetime—just as it is in most Western countries. It needs to be replaced, repaired or refurbished as well as expanded, especially given the growth in cycling seen everywhere in the Western world. At the same time, society requires more sustainability. We saw excellent business opportunities.”

Alternative materials
“At Pontiflex, we believe we all need to find alternatives to classic steel and concrete, the building sector’s key materials. Their production is one of the most polluting processes in terms of CO2 emissions. That’s why we started to look for sustainable alternatives to use in new construction. They include FSC-certified wood, a revolutionary bio-composite, recycled plastics and cementless concrete made from old asphalt and industrial waste. Over the years, we were granted a total of four subsidies to finance our search for the best sustainable materials to use in new bridge construction.

Our answer to modern-day challenges is to double sustainability. Our modular bridges combine easy-to-build-and-adapt bridges with circular materials. Every element of our bridges can be replaced or reused at any time, independent of each other. This means that we can quickly build a bridge, or disassemble and move it if necessary, or adapt to new conditions, including length and width.”

Conservatism
“Developing sustainable infrastructure is challenging given the conservatism in the sector. I believe that the public sector and the industry need vision and boldness. Vision for a sustainable infrastructure, boldness in daring to design and implement new constructions and materials, either as a public client or as an architect, engineer or contractor. Calculated risks are the key words here. Do your research and test thoroughly, but dare to be different and accept your losses or approve your gains.”

New generation of infrastructure
“We participate in GO!-NH, an innovation program of the province of Noord-Holland in the Netherlands. With programs such as these, we expand our network and learn from the experiences of other entrepreneurs. I’m still new to Amsterdam Smart City, but I’m open to new connections. I’m also happy to share my entrepreneurial experience in the field of sustainability.

The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, and the Netherlands in general, offers a lot of creativity. Here, there are many people with different backgrounds and ideas. The construction industry will benefit greatly if we tap into this diversity—not only because we need more technicians, but because we also need people who think differently. Women, migrants and refugees can provide the industry with new input and new creativity, which is crucial for a new generation of infrastructure.”

If you’d like to get in touch with Ronald, you can find himon this platform.

This interview is part of the series 'Meet the Members of Amsterdam Smart City'. In the next weeks we will introduce more members of this community to you. Would you like show up in the series? Drop us a message!

Interview and article by Mirjam Streefkerk

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Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR), posted

Future-proof your business using these circular strategies - English version

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Check out Dutch version: https://amsterdamsmartcity.com/updates/news/future-proof-your-business-using-these-circular-strategies

Foto: Recycled ArenA chair - designed by Studio Hamerhaai - André Ronchetti

Circular entrepreneurship, how is it done? Learn more using these strategies below.

Refurbished phones, shared cars, furniture on lease: Circular business models that prevent the waste of raw materials, embrace the reuse of valuable materials, and give existing products a second life are now proving themselves in daily practice. Not only is this good for people and the planet, but it also makes your company future-proof. In this article, we explain which circular strategies exist and the opportunities they bring to businesses.

Consumers are increasingly demanding sustainable products and services. Not a single 8 o'clock news broadcast goes by without a segment on sustainability. And young talent want to work for sustainable, circular companies that suit their young 'climate generation.' All of these scenarios are taking place while the Netherlands strives to reduce emissions and raw materials by more than 50% in 2030 and be fully climate-neutral and circular by 2050.

Circular entrepreneurship is becoming the norm. For entrepreneurs, this offers opportunities and challenges. But, for many, there is the question: How does one go about doing circular business?

Circular strategies
According to Inge Oskam, a lecturer on circular design and entrepreneurship at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA), the circular transition requires entrepreneurs to change their view of waste. That starts with examining what ‘waste’ means for your product or materials.

'In a circular economy, we want to prevent waste and pollution,' Oskam says. 'Primary raw materials are running out and 60% of CO2 emissions can be attributed to materials use. The scarcity of raw materials that arises also makes these materials very expensive, which puts a strain on the operating results.' Five common strategies lead to circular business models: Circular resources: apply bio-based or fully recyclable materials and use renewable energy.

  1. Circular resources: apply bio-based or fully recyclable materials and use renewable energy.
  2. Raw material recovery: recover and reuse usable raw materials from end-of-life products or by-products.
  3. Life-cycle extension: extend the functional life cycle of a product through repair, upgrades,and resale.
  4. Sharing platforms: enablea more intensive use of products through shared use/access or ownership.
  5. Product as a Service (PaaS): no product sales, but offer access to a product and retain ownership to achieve a closed loop.

The value of a residual material
Recognising the value of residual material is profitable. 'How we can reuse it for other products and purposes?' says Oskam. ‘At the HvA, for example, we work on repurposing business models, investigating how value can be retained or even increased. For example, we make designer chairs from old plastic ArenA chairs and new interior products from waste wood. Ahrend and Bugaboo do similar things with materials from their old office furniture and surplus spare parts from prams, respectively'.

This delivers ecological value since you do not need new raw materials. Like economic value, you bring a new, attractive product to the market. You can even appeal to a new target group with it. Oskam says, 'The new design chairs, made from old ArenA chairs, even had great emotional value for the new owners.' Sharing insight about the origin of the product can make the business case even more interesting.

Arjan Hassing, the circular innovation strategist at the Municipality of Amsterdam, is seeing more organisations applying their residual materials intelligently in new products. For example, Auping's circular mattresses are made of recyclable polyester and steel from old mattresses. They have recorded information and the origin of the materials in a Circularity Passport.

In addition to using circular materials, companies can design products with modularity in mind. 'That goes to the heart of the raw materials problem,' Hassing says. 'A good example is the Gerrard Street headphones, which offer a lifetime warranty. If something breaks, you don't have to throw away the headphones, rather, they will replace the broken part for free. Damaged parts are then repaired or reused. Consider the demountable construction of a building, such as the Circl building of ABN on the Zuidas, also known as ‘design for disassembly.’ As soon as the building loses its function, it can be used again in its entirety.'

Extending a product’s life cycle
In circular business models that revolve around extending the life cycle, the product is returned to a manufacturer or retailer after a certain number of years, and then it is reused. This might happen when a company buys products, such as office furniture, from the manufacturer, but with the agreement that there is a residual value, which is paid out by the manufacturer when the product is returned.

Some companies, known as 'gap exploiters, make this their entire business, says Oskam. 'Think of companies that take back discarded products from various manufacturers in order to offer them refurbished. You see this happening particularly with smartphones, laptops, and equipment, where you can tell in time when they are about to break down. I expect that in the future we will see companies that specialise in managing materials, that think about the life cycle of the material and the multiple applications within it. They will lease their materials, so to speak, to producers with whom they will enter into a partnership.'

Sharing platforms and PaaS: from ownership to use
Sharing platforms and PaaS are common circular strategies, Oskam says. ‘Think of Peerby and LENA, that respectively rent or lend items and clothing, from and through involved users (peer-to-peer marketplaces). Examples of PaaS are 'Light as a Service' from Philips, which sells the light, not the lamp; MUD Jeans, for leasing jeans and a repair service; and M-Use® from Mitsubishi, which charges for the use of lifts instead of traditional purchase and maintenance subscriptions.'

This article is an initiative of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences | City of Amsterdam | Amsterdam Economic Board | Amsterdam Smart City | Metabolic | Province of Noord Holland. Together we are working to accelerate the circular economy in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, sharing practical stories for and about entrepreneurs and businesses. We invite everybody to join the discussion on amsterdamsmartcity.com.

Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR)'s picture #CircularCity
Beth Njeri, Digital Communications Manager at Metabolic, posted

Shaping development in cities to combat climate change

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Ever wondered what life would look like in a sustainable, regenerative city?

With cities occupying only 3% of the global land surface but contributing to 70% of emissions, positive change can have a big impact. Metabolic CEO Eva Gladek reflected on how we can all become city makers. In light of COP26, it might be time to refocus on our cities.

Ready to take action? Find out how in the link below.

Beth Njeri's picture #CircularCity
Jasmyn Mazloum, Communicatie at Gemeente Almere, posted

Kijken voorbij de Floriade | Groen & Gezond Almere Podcast serie 3!

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Een groene en gezonde wereld begint in je eigen stad. Nergens in Nederland bouwen ondernemers en bewoners van zo dichtbij mee als in Almere. Verhalen van deze bewogen Almeerders hoor je in de podcast ‘Groen en Gezond Almere’.

Het is alweer tijd voor het derde seizoen, waarin Floriade Expo 2022 centraal staat, want die staat voor de deur! Het gebied rondom het Weerwater staat in de steigers, de groene loper wordt door de stad uitgerold. Maar wat houdt de Floriade nou precies in? En nog belangrijker: Wat blijft er allemaal over ná het evenement? De podcast wordt gepresenteerd door Kookboekenschrijfster, TV-kok en vooral betrokken Almeerder Nadia Zerouali. Nadia bespreekt de fysieke impact van de Floriade Expo op onze stad en spreekt met gebiedsontwikkelaars, energieleveranciers, bruggenbouwers en landschapsarchitecten.

Luister de eerste afleveringen van de podcast via Spotify, Soundcloud & Apple Podcast

Groen en Gezond Almere is het programma van de gemeente Almere waar jij mee kan bouwen aan de groene stad van de toekomst. Een groene en gezonde stad bouw je namelijk niet alleen, maar samen. Het platform laat lokale Almeerse initiatieven en projecten zien die de stad verduurzamen en klaarmaken voor de toekomst. Een inspirerend palet aan stadsmakers!

Jasmyn Mazloum's picture #Citizens&Living
Isabeau van der Kraan, Communicatie , posted

The application deadline is almost here! Join Startup in Residence Amsterdam now

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On 4 October 2021, Startup in Residence published 12 new challenges on the themes of sustainability & circularity. The City of Amsterdam is looking for the best entrepreneurs (start-ups, scale-ups, innovative SMEs, and social entrepreneurs) with creative and innovative solutions for the city’s issues. The application deadline is almost here! Finish your application before 24 November 23:59 (CET).

The challenges

Solutions are sought for the following challenges

1. Preventing the build-up of waste around Amsterdam’s temporary canal wall supports

2. Circular joint filling material

3. Smart sustainability monitor in the contract phase of procurement

4. On demand and flexible collection of waste and materials in the centre of Amsterdam

5. Industrial Energy Transition with Hydrogen & CO2

6. Smart options for using dredged sediments from Amsterdam

7. A virtual public transport experience

8. Circular material trade in the Port of Amsterdam

9. On-demand power deployment solutions in the Port of Amsterdam

10. Sustainable use of exhibition design elements

11. Transport of artworks on loan

12. Wildcard

What's in it for me?

Join the 7th edition of Startup in Residence Sustainability & Circularity and get:

- an intensive six-month training programme;

- support from an experienced mentor;

- access to the entire network of the City of Amsterdam;

- opportunity to test and validate your product or service with and within the City of Amsterdam;

- the City of Amsterdam as your potential launching customer.

Don’t wait, apply now! www.startupinresidence.amsterdam

Isabeau van der Kraan's picture #Energy
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Meet the members of Amsterdam Smart City! Boaz Bar-Adon: ‘Learn children about the circular economy’

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Boaz Bar-Adon is the founder of Ecodam, a startup that wants to create a place where children can actively learn about sustainability and the circular economy.

“Our big dream is a physical place where children can come to get acquainted with all aspects of sustainability—a kind of science museum, but with more focus on the concept of circularity and the role young people can play in the new economy.
It’s almost a cliche, but our children are the future. If we make them realise that we need to use resources in a different way, they will take that with them for the rest of their adult lives — no matter what profession they enter later. As a museum and exhibition designer, I see there is too little awareness among clients, designers and builders about the scarcity of materials. That should really change for future generations.''

''Recently, my associate, Pieter de Stefano, and I decided that we want to start making an impact as soon as possible. We designed a plastic-themed mobile pop-up lab. We recently gave our first successful workshop, and we plan to do it more often. In our school workshops, we give a brief explanation about circularity and the impact we have on the environment. But the most important part is when the children work on the concept of circularity. Together, we invent solutions and build prototypes. We let the children think about the problem and then let them come up with solutions themselves.”

Unstoppable
“Once it got going, the group we gave the workshop to was unstoppable. A few girls designed an entire landscape from old waste, which was a prototype of an environment where children do not throw away their old toys but collect them. Another group built a submarine to remove plastic from the sea, inspired by the Dutch nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup. The workshop ended with children creating, with specialised machines, new products from plastic waste. In the future, Ecodam could be a place where schools and universities test or show new materials or techniques. Local authorities that want to promote new policies around waste or the circular economy can also work with us. In Ecodam, they can see how children react to their policies. Maybe they will come up with new ideas.''

Permanent space
''We would like a permanent space so we can work with large machines: a shredder, for example, that cuts plastic parts into small pieces or a machine that melts them and can then press the liquid plastic into a mould. Children can create new building materials with these machines, making technology something very tangible and rewarding.

I'd love to hear of any tips people may have for a permanent space. We are a social enterprise, still investigating which business model works best for us. We will probably be partly supported by subsidies, but we are also looking for fresh ideas for smart new financing methods. How can social value be translated into financial value? Our final goal is being able to facilitate as many visitors as possible and provide them with a meaningful and high-quality experience.”

If you’d like to get in touch with Boaz, you can find him on this platform.
This interview is part of the series 'Meet the Members of Amsterdam Smart City'. In the next weeks we will introduce more members of this community to you. Would you like show up in the series? Drop us a message!
Interview and article by Mirjam Streefkerk

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #CircularCity
Caroline Beelen, Community Manager GO!-NH at GO!-NH, posted

Inschrijving voor versnellingsprogramma GO!-NH geopend!

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Ben jij een MKB-er, start-up of scale-up die wil bijdragen aan een schone, duurzame en gezonde wereld? Dan weet je als geen ander hoe lastig het soms kan zijn om je idee of product aan de man te brengen. En je bent niet de enige! Provincie Noord-Holland heeft speciaal voor ondernemers zoals jij het GO!-NH versnellingsprogramma ontwikkeld om je te helpen bij het op de markt brengen en opschalen van jouw innovatieve, duurzame product of dienst. Ons doel is om jou te helpen impact te maken op de maatschappij!

GO!-NH biedt drie verschillende trajecten die aansluiten bij de fase en omvang waarin je bedrijf zich bevindt: het Accelerator traject voor MKB bedrijven en start-ups met een idee maar nog geen of beperkte markt, het Growth traject voor bedrijven die in de volgende fase willen groeien, en het Scale traject voor  grotere MKB bedrijven en scale-ups die al flinke omzet hebben maar nieuwe markten aan willen boren.

In het voorjaar starten de Accelerator en het Growth traject. Je kunt je vanaf nu aanmelden voor de selectie! Surf voor meer informatie naar de website van GO!-NH: https://go-nh.nl/meer-informatie/

Caroline Beelen's picture #SmartCityAcademy
Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR), posted

Future-proof your business using these circular strategies - NL versie

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Circulair ondernemen, hoe doe je dat? Leer er meer over aan de hand van onderstaande strategieën.

Check out English version:
https://amsterdamsmartcity.com/updates/news/future-proof-your-business-using-these-circular-strategies-english-version

Foto: Recycled ArenA chair - designed by Studio Hamerhaai - André Ronchetti

Refurbished telefoons, deelauto’s, leasemeubels. Een aanwas van circulaire businessmodellen die verspilling van grondstoffen tegengaan, hergebruik van waardevolle materialen omarmen en bestaande producten een tweede leven geven, bewijst zichzelf inmiddels in de dagelijkse praktijk. En dat is niet alleen goed voor mens en planeet, het maakt je bedrijf ook toekomstbestendig. Kijk alleen al naar de afhankelijkheid van grondstoffen en aanvoerroutes die momenteel door Corona enorm in prijs gestegen zijn. In dit artikel leggen we uit wat voor circulaire strategieën er zijn en welke kansen die met zich meebrengen voor bedrijven.

Jonge talenten die een baan zoeken bij fossiele bedrijven, dat lijkt niet meer van deze tijd. Zij kiezen eerder voor duurzame, circulaire bedrijven, die passen bij hun jonge ‘klimaatgeneratie’. Nederland streeft immers naar meer dan 50 procent minder uitstoot en gebruik van grondstoffen in 2030, en volledig klimaatneutraal en circulair in 2050. Bovendien eist de consument steeds vaker duurzame producten of diensten en gaat er geen Acht-uur-journaal voorbij zonder een item over duurzaamheid. Circulair ondernemen lijkt de norm te worden. Voor ondernemers biedt dit kansen én uitdagingen. Maar circulair ondernemen, hoe doe je dat eigenlijk?

Circulaire strategieën

Volgens Inge Oskam, lector circulair ontwerpen en ondernemen aan de Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) vraagt de circulaire transitie van ondernemers een omslag in de visie op afval. Het begint bij het onderzoeken wat dat betekent voor jouw product of materialen, verklaart Inge Oskam. ‘In een circulaire economie willen we verspilling en vervuiling tegengaan. Primaire grondstoffen raken op en 60% van de CO2-emissies is toe te schrijven aan materiaalgebruik. De schaarste aan grondstoffen die er ontstaat, zorgt er bovendien voor dat deze materialen erg
duur worden; dat drukt op de bedrijfsresultaten.’ Vijf veelgebruikte strategieën die leiden tot circulaire businessmodellen zijn:

  1. Circulaire bronnen: toepassen van biogebaseerde of volledig recyclebare materialen en gebruik van hernieuwbare energie.
  2. Grondstofherwinning: bruikbare grondstoffen van afgedankte producten of nevenstromen  herwinnen en opnieuw inzetten.
  3. Levensduurverlenging: de functionele levenscyclus van een product verlengen door  herstel, upgrading en herverkoop.
  4. Deelplatformen: een intensiever gebruik van producten mogelijk maken door gedeeld gebruik/toegang of eigendom.
  5. Product as a Service (PaaS): geen productverkoop, maar toegang tot een product aanbieden en de eigendom behouden, om een gesloten kringloop te realiseren

De waarde van een restmateriaal

Het is rendabel om te denken vanuit de waarde van een restmateriaal; ‘hoe we dat opnieuw kunnen inzetten voor andere producten en doeleinden’, vertelt Oskam. ‘Bij de HvA werken we onder andere aan repurpose-businessmodellen: we onderzoeken hoe waarde behouden kan blijven of zelfs vergroot kan worden. Bijvoorbeeld door van oude plastic ArenA-stoeltjes designstoelen te maken en van afvalhout nieuwe interieurproducten. Ahrend en Bugaboo doen vergelijkbare dingen met materialen van respectievelijk hun oude kantoormeubels en overtollige reserveonderdelen van kinderwagens.’

Dat levert duidelijk ecologische waarde op: je hebt geen nieuwe grondstoffen nodig. Net als economische waarde: je brengt een nieuw, aantrekkelijk product op de markt. Waar je zelfs een nieuwe doelgroep mee kunt aanspreken. Oskam: ‘Bij de nieuwe designstoelen, gemaakt van oude ArenA-stoeltjes, was zelfs sprake van een grote emotionele waarde voor de nieuwe eigenaren. Vertel iets over de herkomst van het product, dat maakt de businesscase nog interessanter.’

Arjan Hassing, circulaire innovatiestrateeg bij Gemeente Amsterdam ziet meer organisaties hun restmaterialen slim toepassen in nieuwe producten. Hij geeft als voorbeeld de circulaire matrassen van Auping, die gemaakt zijn van recyclebaar polyester en staal van oude matrassen. Alle informatie en de herkomst van de materialen hebben zij vastgelegd in een Circularity passport.

Hassing voegt eraan toe dat bedrijven behalve circulaire materialen ook modulariteit en demonabiliteit kunnen toepassen in het ontwerp van hun producten. ‘Dat pakt de kern van het grondstoffenprobleem aan. Een mooi voorbeeld is de Gerrard Street-koptelefoon, die life-time garantie aanbiedt. Gaat er iets stuk? Dan hoef je de koptelefoon niet weg te gooien, maar vervangen zij gratis het onderdeel. Beschadigde onderdelen worden vervolgens gerepareerd of hergebruikt. Denk ook aan het demontabel bouwen van een gebouw, zoals het Circl-pand van ABN op de Zuidas, ook wel design for disassembly genoemd. Op het moment dat het gebouw zijn functie verliest, kan het in zijn geheel opnieuw ingezet worden.’

Levensduur verlengen

Bij de circulaire businessmodellen waarbij het draait om het verlengen van de levenscyclus wordt het product na een aantal jaren teruggenomen om vervolgens opnieuw in te zetten. Dit kan bijvoorbeeld doordat een bedrijf producten als kantoormeubilair wel koopt van de producent, maar met de afspraak dat er een restwaarde is, die bij teruggave wordt uitbetaald door de producent.

Er zijn ook bedrijven die hier volledig hun business van maken, ook wel ‘gap exploiters’ genoemd, zegt Oskam. ‘Denk aan bedrijven die afgedankte producten terugnemen van allerlei fabrikanten om deze gerefurbished weer aan te bieden. Dat zie je vooral gebeuren bij smartphones laptops en installaties, waarbij je op tijd kan zien wanneer het stuk gaat. Ik verwacht dat we in de toekomst bedrijven krijgen die zich specialiseren in het beheren van materialen, die nadenken over de levenscyclus van het materiaal en de meerdere toepassingen hier binnen. Zij leasen als het ware hun materialen aan producenten waar ze een samenwerkingsverband mee aangaan.’

Deelplatformen en PaaS: van bezit naar gebruik

Veelvoorkomende circulaire strategieën zijn deelplatformen en PaaS, stelt Oskam. ‘Denk bij deelplatformen aan Peerby en Lena, die respectievelijk spullen en kleding verhuren of uitlenen, van en via betrokken gebruikers (peer-to-peer-marktplaatsen). Voorbeelden van PaaS zijn ‘Light as a Service’ van Philips, dat het licht verkoopt, niet de lamp; MUD Jeans, voor het leasen van spijkerbroeken en reparatieservice; en M-Use® van Mitsubishi, die voor het gebruik van liften afrekent in plaats van traditionele aanschaf en onderhoudsabonnementen.’

‘Rijd je een rondje door de stad, dan vallen de elektrische deelscooters van Felyx en Check je steeds vaker op’, voegt Hassing toe. Alsook de deelauto’s van GreenWheels, Snappcar, Share Now en Fetch. ‘Beide circulaire businessmodellen springen succesvol in op de ecologische shift van bezit naar gebruik waarbij het eigendom van het product meestal bij de producent blijft. Die producent heeft op dat moment voordeel bij het verlengen en maximaliseren van de functionele levenscyclus van zijn product.

Dat betekent dat je minder productiekosten kan hebben. Je gaat zo efficiënt mogelijk om met materialen en je maakt enkel producten van hoge kwaliteit. Als die daardoor twee keer zo lang meegaan, heb je ook twee keer minder producten en dus materiaal nodig. Doe je dat op een slimme manier, dan levert dat een flinke kostenbesparing op. Bovendien heb je minder kosten aan marketing en reclame om nieuwe klanten binnen te halen of juist vast te houden. Van reparatieservice bij geleasde producten tot abonnementen: servicebedrijven bestaan bij de gratie van klantenbinding, aldus Hassing.

Digitale identiteit als randvoorwaarde

Kijken we naar materiaalstromen voor hergebruik, dan dienen bedrijven hun grondstoffen en materialen eerst goed te digitaliseren, voordat andere partijen er wat mee kunnen, zegt Hassing. ‘Welke materialen zijn herbruikbaar, wat is de hoeveelheid, de samenstelling en kwaliteit? Een digitale identiteit voor materialen is essentieel. Net als producten ontwerpen op een manier dat ze makkelijk demontabel zijn. Dit maakt het mogelijk om tot zo’n digitaal paspoort te komen, wat samenwerking binnen en buiten de keten makkelijker maakt.’

En ook op digitaal gebied zijn weer ‘gap exploiters’ te vinden. Het bedrijf Circularise maakt met slimme technologie een digitale kopie van alle vervaardigingsstappen van de aanvoerketen van een product. Madaster heeft een materialenpaspoort ontwikkeld, waarmee tot op schroefniveau duidelijk wordt welke materialen zich in een gebouw bevinden. En Access Materials Exchange werkt aan een onlinematchingsplatform, dat middels digitale paspoorten, met alle nodige informatie van reststromen, nieuwe hoogwaardige hergebruikopties aanbiedt. Hiermee kun je enerzijds de milieuimpact van grondstoffen in beeld brengen en vergelijken, anderzijds grondstoffen, materialen en reststromen makkelijker opnieuw inzetten.

Circulair businessmodel kiezen

Dan rest nog de vraag: welk circulair businessmodel werkt voor jouw onderneming? Helaas is er niet één generieke oplossing of strategie, verklaart Oskam. ‘Welk model je ook kiest, je moet eerst nadenken over welke materialen je kan vermijden of verminderen, hoe je anders zou kunnen ontwerpen en welke materialen je kan gebruiken die recyclebaar zijn. Past dat binnen een landelijk systeem en zijn er gemeenschappelijke afspraken in de keten te maken, of is het iets wat je zelf moet organiseren?’

Het is een complexe keuze, beaamt ook Hassing. ‘De circulaire transitie is pas sinds een jaar of vijf echt gestart en bevindt zich nog in de beginfase, waarin veel geëxperimenteerd en ontdekt wordt. De mooie initiatieven die we nu zien, zijn de oplossingen die in de toekomst een antwoord moeten bieden op die uitdagingen en maken je bedrijf echt toekomstbestendig. We zullen moeten innoveren als nooit tevoren.’ Want wat ga je doen als de primaire grondstoffen straks echt op zijn?

Deze artikelenreeks is een initiatief van Hogeschool van Amsterdam | Gemeente Amsterdam | Amsterdam Economic Board | Amsterdam Smart City | Metabolic en Provincie Noord Holland. Samen willen zij de circulaire economie in de Metropoolregio Amsterdam versnellen met praktische verhalen voor en door ondernemers en bedrijven. We nodigen iedereen uit mee te doen met de discussie op www.amsterdamsmartcity.com

Communication Alliance for a Circular Region (CACR)'s picture #CircularCity