Stay in the know on all smart updates of your favorite topics.
We invite you to contribute to the conference "Reinventing the City 2024 - Blueprints for messy cities?"
Deadline to submissions: November 1, 2023
Notification of acceptance: December 1, 2023
The AMS Scientific Conference (AMS Conference) explores and discusses how cities can transform themselves to become more livable, resilient and sustainable while offering economic stability. In the second edition of “Reinventing the City” (23-25 April 2024), the overarching theme will be <em>"</em>Blueprints for messy cities? Navigating the interplay of order and complexity'. In three captivating days, we will explore 'The good, the bad, and the ugly' (day 1), 'Amazing discoveries' (day 2) and 'We are the city' (day 3).
Call for abstracts
The AMS Conference seeks to engage scientists, policymakers, students, industry partners, and everyone working with and on cities from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. We therefore invite you to submit your scientific paper abstract, idea for a workshop or special session with us. Submissions should be dedicated to exploring the theme ‘Blueprints for messy cities?’. We especially invite young, urban rebels to raise their voice, as they are the inhabitants of our future cities.
Our scientific committee responsible for the content of the conference program will assess all submissions and select a final program of contributions. Notification of acceptance will follow before 1 December 2023.
mobility | circularity | energy transition | climate adaptation | urban food systems | digitization | diversity | inclusion | living labs | transdisciplinary research
SUBMISSIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
| SCIENTIFIC PAPER ABSTRACTS |
We invite academics, industry partners, and professionals from all ages engaged in the related fields of urban design, governance, architecture, data science, engineering and/or sociology to submit an abstract for a conference presentation of your scientific paper (250-450 words).
| WORKSHOPS |
If you have a workshop proposal, please outline its purpose, the specific knowledge, techniques, or practices it covers, its objectives and learning outcomes, teaching strategies and resources, target audience, and any prerequisites, including the required level of experience (250-450 words).
| SPECIAL SESSIONS |
Next to scientific papers and workshops, we encourage you to submit different types of special sessions. These special sessions can include interactive forums, excursions, or practical demonstrations, depending on the subject and objectives. When submitting your proposal for a special session, we ask you to clearly highlight the session's objectives, expected collaborators (if applicable), the intended audience, and the type of session. Please also indicate whether you prefer an online or in-person format. Please note that you will be responsible for the content and organization of the session (250-450 words).
Click here to visit the event page and find more information on details about the Scientific Conference.
Met een spetterende kick-off door Justin Edwards, Director of Learning Programmes van Microsoft, zijn 200 studenten van hogeschool Windesheim Flevoland vandaag in teams gestart met het in Minecraft bouwen van het nog te realiseren stadsdeel Pampus. Bijzonder omdat Almere als tweede stad na London start met een Minecraft challenge voor de realisatie van een nieuwbouwopgave. Het winnende studententeam van Windesheim mag haar concept van 7 – 9 november presenteren in het Holland paviljoen tijdens de Smartcity Expo World Congres in Barcelona.
De komende anderhalf jaar biedt Almere honderden jongeren tussen de 8 en 21 jaar op deze unieke manier de kans om zelf op de stoel van de architect te zitten en zo mee te denken over grote maatschappelijke vraagstukken. Basisschoolleerlingen en studenten bouwen op hun eigen niveau aan een virtueel Almere Pampus. Dit als plek waar zij in de toekomst zelf willen wonen. Dit stadsdeel bouwen ze met een speciale versie van Minecraft Education Edition.
Wethouder Maaike Veeningen van Almere (Economische ontwikkeling, hoger onderwijs): ‘we dagen leerlingen tot 21 jaar uit om met oplossingen te komen voor vraagstukken op het gebied van duurzaam, energiezuinig en inclusief bouwen. Op deze manier leren zij bijvoorbeeld over het gebruik van Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) en robotisering bij het ontwikkelen van een nieuw stadsdeel. Zo betrekken we onze toekomstige inwoners bij het bouwen aan de ideale stad van de toekomst.’
Het toekomstige Almere Pampus wordt in het zuidwesten van Almere gebouwd, met meer dan 30.000 woningen en 16.000 arbeidsplaatsen. Projectdirecteur Almere Pampus en senior stedenbouwkundige bij de gemeente Almere Paola Huijding over de Minecraft Challenge: “Deze leerlingen zijn misschien de toekomstige bewoners van Pampus. Hiermee bouwen we aan woon- en werkplekken omringd door water en groen. Het is daarom zo mooi dat juist de toekomstige generatie nu meedenkt over hun leefomgeving.”
De speciale editie van Minecraft die de studenteams gebruiken is ontwikkeld door Iamprogrez. Het gebruik ervan moet op een speelse en laagdrempelige manier bijdragen aan een digitaal vaardige samenleving. Scholieren krijgen zo inzicht in de banen van de toekomst. Ook kunnen zij in een buddysysteem ouderen meenemen in hun digitale kennis en vaardigheden.
Fleur van Beem, Executive Director bij VodafoneZiggo: “Het vooruithelpen van twee miljoen mensen in de samenleving willen wij bereiken door initiatieven als Online Masters, een online lesprogramma voor scholen over de digitale wereld. De Minecraft Challenge sluit hierop naadloos aan en het is natuurlijk fantastisch om dankzij gamification jongeren digitaalvaardig te krijgen.”
Bouwen aan innovatieve concepten
De leerlingen kunnen alleen of in teams werken aan de challenge en krijgen hiervoor een digital skills-certificaat. Na de ontwerpfase, kunnen zij hun toekomstige visie op Pampus uploaden op de website van de Green Innovation Hub (GIH). Een groep experts kiest de winnaar. Danny Frietman, Projectdirecteur van de GIH: “De winnende uitkomsten van de Minecraft Challenge vormen de basis voor ons om start-ups en scale-ups uit te dagen om de concepten van de scholieren daadwerkelijk in de praktijk te brengen.”
“Hoe ziet het er dan uit”
Kijk HIER naar de video aankondiging van de eerder gehouden Minecraft-challenge in Londen. Daarin zie je duidelijk hoe de challenge werkt en welke mogelijkheden Minecraft hiervoor biedt.
Fotografie Daan Klunder, Almere City Marketing
On Thursday, September 7, Amsterdam Smart City hosted a knowledge exchange for a delegation of leaders and CEOs from Denmark’s construction sector. The exchange was part of a study program organized by the Construction Section of the Confederation of Danish Industry in partnership with the Danish Embassy in The Hague, to help transfer Dutch best practices for circular construction to Denmark.
The exchange provided an opportunity for Dutch and Danish colleagues to learn from each other’s experiences on how to transition the construction sector to a more sustainable state. This is imperative since the construction sector is responsible for approximately 10% of CO₂ emissions, and a third of all waste streams in both countries. At the same time, both countries have high ambitions for transitioning to sustainability: the Netherlands aims to transition to a fully circular economy by 2050, while Denmark aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030.
After an introduction to the Amsterdam Smart City program, Merlijn Blok from Metabolic shared the experience of Amsterdam in transitioning to a circular built environment. Merlijn highlighted several projects and best practices including:
- De Ceuvel: In 2012, Metabolic teamed up with a group of architects to develop a former polluted shipyard into a “clean technology playground” by repurposing discarded house boats into workspaces for creative entrepreneurs. The project fused sustainability, technology, and art, firmly planting the seed for more creative and circular area developments in Amsterdam North and beyond.
- Schoonschip: Building on the experience and lessons from De Ceuvel, Metabolic got involved in a community-driven project that aimed to build a sustainable floating community. Driven entirely by future residents, Schoonschip was built with a high ambition of circularity, with special attention paid to biobased materials which are key to reducing the environmental footprint of construction projects.
- Roadmap Circular Land Tendering: Scaling up isolated circular construction projects requires dedicated instruments to stimulate, measure and mandate circularity in the built environment, for instance through procurement. The Roadmap Circular Land Tendering is one of city of Amsterdam’s main instruments embedding the principles of circular construction in tender procedures. With it, the city of Amsterdam wants to contribute to the development of a national standard for circular building.
Central to the discussion was the question of how to move beyond ambitions towards making concrete and measurable progress on circularity in the built environment. On this topic, it was inspiring to learn from the Danish experience. The delegates shared that the Danish government has developed a “National Strategy for Sustainable Construction” which limits the CO₂ emissions permitted in construction projects, with new requirements being phased into the building code in 2023. The regulations apply to new buildings of more than 1,000 m2 and set a limit of 12kg CO₂-eq/m2/year based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) over 50 years. This limit is expected to be tightened in the upcoming years, thereby forcing the construction sector to incrementally decarbonize over the next decade. Such mandates are foreseen but not yet implemented in the Netherlands, providing an opportunity to learn from Denmark’s trailblazing approach. However, the Danish colleagues already shared some words of caution if Netherlands should adopt a similar approach: since the Danish regulation limits CO₂ impact per square meter, the regulation does little to incentivize construction of smaller dwellings which is one of the most important, though often overlooked measures in reducing the impact of the construction sector. As Danish colleagues explained, the overarching trend in Denmark is towards construction of larger dwellings, which is fundamentally at odds with the country’s sustainability goals. Other mechanisms are therefore needed to mandate more compact development.
The exchange provided valuable insights and cross-pollination of approaches between Danish and Dutch colleagues on a topic central to the transition to the circular economy. As leaders in the sustainability transition, the Netherlands and Denmark have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to showcase the way to circular construction and to help scale this approach internationally.
<em>Are you working on innovative and transferable policies which can accelerate the transition to circular construction and sustainable built environment? Or do you have a circular project or challenge you would like to share with the Amsterdam Smart City network? Share your reflections and experiences in the comments below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss possibilities for collaboration.</em>
Ben je een ondernemer met een duurzaam product of dienst en wil je écht impact maken? Kom dan naar het matchmaking evenement voor het unieke aanbestedingstraject Scale Up Toekomstbestendige kunstgrasvelden van de Gemeente Amsterdam en Haarlem. Elke ondernemer, die bij kan dragen aan innovatieve en duurzame toepassingen op en onder kunstgrasvelden, is welkom!
Datum: dinsdag 10 oktober 2023
Tijd: 13.30 – 18.00
Locatie: Johan Cruijff ArenA
Meld je hier alvast aan als deelnemer van het evenement. Het definitieve programma volgt.
Tijdens dit evenement:
- Maak je kennis met het project Scale Up Toekomstbestendige kunstgrasvelden;
- Kom je erachter hoe ook jouw bedrijf hieraan kan bijdragen;
- Ontmoet je andere ondernemers met dezelfde visie;
- Word je geïnspireerd en uitgedaagd om out-of-the-box te denken;
- Vind je de perfecte match om later mee te doen aan de aanbesteding.
Voor dit evenement zoeken we expliciet bedrijven uit diverse branches, die samen willen werken om het sportveld van de toekomst te ontwikkelen. Kijk hier voor meer informatie over dit project.
Disclaimer: Het is niet verplicht om deel te nemen aan het matchmaking event om mee te kunnen doen met de aanbesteding.
Met vriendelijke groet,
Team Scale Up Toekomstbestendige kunstgrasvelden
This article is the introduction to the series 25 building blocks for better streets, neighbourhoods and cities, which you can read every Tuesday and Friday starting next week. The link below refers to an overview of all upcoming posts.
It often strikes me how much people agree about the quality of the living environment. Many, especially younger ones, prefer a house built in the '30s. Older neighbourhoods almost always score higher than modern ones, due to the alleged lack of atmosphere, sociability, and intimacy in the latter. Urban planners, architects and politicians would like to change this, and they are doing so. Slowly.
In urban planning a breeze of fresh air comes in.
How cities in Europe currently look stems largely from the ideas of Le Corbusier through his role in the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM). The Dutch architect and urban planner Cornelis van Eesteren was also a prominent representative. The influence of the Congress is visible in the spacious post-war residential areas with their long rows of single-family houses and medium-rise buildings. The underlying idea was to design a functional city in which living, working, shopping and recreation all have their own separated places.
Slowly, the voice of a new generation of urban planners in which Jane Jacobs and Jan Gehl (pictures above) play a prominent role became louder. They detest post-war urban expansion and advocate mixing urban functions. 70 years after the publication of her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Planetizen magazine predicated urban activist Jane Jacobs as the most influential urban planner ever, even though she never studied this field. Jan Gehl, who did, follows in second place. By the way, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, is in 7th place; not because of what she studied but of what she put into practice.
Many others, including representatives of New Urbanism, play an important role in further developing the ideas of Jacobs and Gehl. For instance, they put back on the agenda the return to the 15-minute city. ‘New urbanists’ also top the list: Andres Duany, the author of Suburban Nation at four and Jeff Speck, who authored Walkable City, at ten.
The concept of high-quality living environment
Many contemporary ideas about urban development come together in the concept of high-quality living environment. A compact definition of this concept is improving human well-being in a condensing city. I have collected and clustered references to characteristics of high-quality living environments in many recent publications into 25 building blocks. Each block deals with one aspect of the quality of the living environment, or in other words the creation of better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. Consider this a tribute to the mission of the Amsterdam Smart City community, of which I was a curator for several years.
I hope you get inspired and support the use of these building blocks.
Green Innovation Hub Contest 2023! "Pitch voor Impact"
In Flevoland en Almere worden de komende jaren 130.000 nieuwe woningen gebouwd. De grootste bouwopgave van Nederland! Heb jij een innovatief product of dienst waarmee jij kunt bijdragen aan duurzame en inclusieve leefomgeving. En impact kunt maken op deze regio én de rest van Nederland. Doe dan mee met de Green Innovation Hub Contest 2023 en win de Golden Award.
🏆 Een trip naar Smart City Expo 2023 in Barcelona, coaching door expert, gratis office space, ondersteuning bij businesscases en modellen door partners, V.I.P.-tickets voor Ziggo Dome concert naar keuze en nog veel meer prijzen.
Hoe werkt het?
1️⃣ Doe mee en maak impact met jouw product of dienst.
2️⃣ Meld je uiterlijk woensdag 21 juni vóór 23.59 uur via de onderstaande link.
3️⃣ Op donderdag 22 juni maakt de jury bekend welke start-ups
en scale-ups mogen pitchen.
4️⃣ Mag je pitchen, dan nemen wij contact met je op zodat jij
jouw pitch goed kunt voorbereiden.
5️⃣ Woensdag 5 juli is de Green Innovation Hub Contest Day
waarbij je mag pitchen!
Wil jij deelnemen aan de contest of ben je geïnteresseerd om naar de pitches te kijken? Meld je dan nu aan via de onderstaande link.
The Netherlands has a housing problem: Too many people, and not enough homes. The country plans to build 100,000 new homes each year through 2030.
But can the country build this much without exceeding our planetary boundaries?
In partnership with Copper8, NIBE, and Alba Concepts, Metabolic has proposed six strategies. When combined, these could reduce total CO2 emissions from construction by up to 33% and the use of raw materials by 40%.
Do you want to learn more? Find all the details in their newest research, which was presented last week in Amsterdam!
Op 21 maart zijn we als City Net Zero feestelijk gelanceerd op de Knowledge Mile in Amsterdam. Lees hier een impressie terug over de dag en kom graag met ons in contact voor samenwerking!
Lees hier over de kick-off
Today an article in the NRC about nature in the city. Last week, I published a new e-book (in Dutch) about this topic. Interested? Download it for free.
Interested in hearing more about Smart Building Maintenance? Feel welcome to join the public defense of the PhD thesis “Crafting Intrapreneurial Stewardship – An institutional perspective on client-led innovation in smart building maintenance“ by Koos Johannes, PhD student in the department of Construction Management. The defense will take place on the 16th of January at 10:30 AM at the Waaier building at the campus of the University of Twente.
About the the PhD thesis
Available research suggests that construction clients, as building owner-occupier, are struggling to implement smart maintenance. This thesis assumes that these reported problems are due to a failure to fully understand the institutional complexities of smart maintenance commissioning in organizational networks. Hence, the aim of this thesis was to improve our understanding of these complexities and to develop theoretical and practical knowledge on the professionalization of construction clients in commissioning smart maintenance through stewardship. Stewardship theory portrays managers and employees as collectivists, pro-organizational and trustworthy, and can be used for designing collaborations based on intrinsic motivation and trust.
The defense will take place on the 16th of January at 10.30 AM at the Waaier building at the campus of the University of Twente.
A summary of the thesis can be read here.
If you want to receive a copy of the thesis, please send a message to: email@example.com
The presentation and defense will be in English; a Dutch summary is available.
Address: Hallenweg 25, 7522 NH, Enschede (see map for parking on the Campus; with public transport the Campus can be reached from train stations Hengelo or Enschede).
Amsterdam Smart City congratulates Haarlem with this prestigious award of the European Commission.
And the winner of the Rising Innovative City 2022 is: the city of HAARLEM in the Netherlands. Congrats on this great achievement to make Haarlem and the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region an even more liveable place for the people who live, work and play.
Let this award be a further stimulation of great things to happen to improve the quality of life of citizens and make Haarlem a digital and social inclusive society. #EICSummit22
Amsterdam Smart City hopes to welcome you (back) as a valued partner in our ecosystem!
Join our speed date and engage with 3 great speakers at the first in-person Smart Energy Community meetup on October 11th!
Topics Smart Energy Community October 11:
Home Energy Management Systems in practice
Now that we are installing more and more heat pumps and EV chargers in homes, there is more and more need for energy management. How does this work? How to deal with cyber security and what role do protocols play? ElaadNL developed its own showcase house where this is put into practice. Arjan Wargers of Flexiblepower Alliance Network & ElaadNL discusses the lessons learned.
Power pitch ATEPS: Energy and storage
ATEPS develops, builds and supplies systems based on batteries that store energy. Jos Theuns (ATEPS) explains how they make storage of sustainable energy accessible, safe and attractive through smarter management of electrical energy. Due to the modular construction of ATEPS systems, they are suitable for both small and larger customers.
Power pitch withthegrid: Teleport
How do you connect PV, wind, battery, EV chargers and heat pumps without losing your mind in all protocols and without cloud lock-in? Paul Mignot (Withthegrid) discusses their new innovation Teleport. This gives customers maximum insights and control over their assets in minutes.
Speed dating, networking & visit demonstration house
In the second half, connecting with other professionals is central. During these speed dating sessions, you will get to know fellow innovators, share project ideas and explore opportunities for collaboration. There will be ample opportunity for discussion after the meeting. At the same time, you can take a tour of ElaadNL's new demonstration home for smart energy services, where various smart devices are optimised for home energy management.
The primary reason to renovate buildings is to improve indoor climate quality and reduce environmental impact. This can be extremely effective, as 75% of buildings' CO2 emissions are released during the use phase. However, using non-renewable materials during renovation can be entirely counter-productive.
Check out this article to learn about bio-based materials in the renovation, and the obstacles to bio-based innovation.
Summer is my favourite season in Amsterdam! There are so many things to do, it’s sometimes hard to choose where to go. To make your lives a bit easier, I curated a list of smart city exhibitions, activities and experiences from our partners and community. Zigzag across the city and experience the future of the energy systems, water management and food in urban areas. Enjoy!
1. Energy Junkies exhibition at Nemo The Studio
Our dependence on fossil fuels and the effects of our energy consumption on climate change are the focus of NEMO’s new exhibition for adults: Energy Junkies. NEMO invites you to explore the decisions that will determine our future. How would you transform our energy addiction into a healthy habit? Create your own carbon diet, choose the right medicines from the climate pharmacy and dream about a world where we are cured of our energy addiction. Visit Energy Junkies at NEMO’s Studio, the off-site location for adults on the Marineterrein in Amsterdam.
Energy Junkies is open from Wednesday – Sunday, from 12:00 – 17:30 until July 2023. Costs are € 7,50
2. Interactive installation Senses of Amsterdam at OBA Slotermeer
The municipality of Amsterdam is using more and more new technologies to make the city more liveable and safe. But what do these sensors actually measure? And what happens with the data they collect? What does this mean for the people of Amsterdam? The installation Senses of Amsterdam informs visitors about how sensors make Amsterdam a smarter city, what measurements are taken and how data is collected. The interactive installation by the Responsible Sensing Lab is currently exhibited at the public library (OBA) in Slotermeer.
Visit the interactive installation Senses of Amsterdam daily until 25 September 2022.
3. Study excursion about trends and innovations in Amsterdam’s cycling infrastructure
Yes, the Dutch and their bikes are inseparable! And Amsterdam is often cited as the cycling capital of the world. Are you interested in how Amsterdam is innovating in the areas of cycling and urban mobility? Join the study excursion organised by the Urban Cycling Institute and Bicycle User Experience (BUX). The two-hour excursion (by bicycle, of course!) brings you to key locations exemplifying Amsterdam’s innovative approach to cycling infrastructure and policy. You will meet internationally-oriented cycling experts and become part of a larger network of the Urban Cycling Institute and Bicycle User Experience (BUX).
The study excursions take place on Saturdays, August 13, 20 and 27 from 16:00 – 18:00. Costs are € 50,00 per person.
4. Exhibition Fluid Matter in the Architecture Centre of Amsterdam (ARCAM)
The Amsterdam water system regulates water levels and quality in one of Europe’s most densely populated areas. Due to the urban growth and climate change, the system will be increasingly strained in the future. This means that different design choices have to be made, but this situation also offers opportunities for new ways of dealing with water. What choices do we have? How can we design with the water? In the interactive exhibition Fluid Matter, you will discover this complex water system through scale models of four urban districts of Amsterdam: Houthavens/Haven-Stad, North/Schoonschip, City Centre/Kattenburg and IJburg/IJmeer.
Visit the Exhibition Fluid Matter from Tuesday – Sunday (13:00-17:00) until November 2022. Costs are € 4,00.
5. Johan Cruijff ArenA Innovation Tour
Take a tour into the world of innovations at the Johan Cruijff ArenA! With thousands of visitors during large events, the home of Ajax becomes a small smart city. Already recognized as one of the most sustainable stadiums in the world, the Johan Cruijff ArenA is also one of Amsterdam’s premier living labs for energy, mobility, security, and visitor experience innovations. The Johan Cruijff ArenA offers private tours showcasing innovative approaches and solutions for the stadium of tomorrow, ideal for team building events and (inter)national delegation visits.
The Johan Cruijff ArenA’s Innovation Tours last ~45minutes and can be booked by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Innovation Tour” in the subject line. Costs are €24,38 excl. VAT per person, with minimum of 20 persons per group.
6. Floriade Expo 2022, Almere
Once every ten years, all the horticultural greats gather during the Floriade. Experts from all over the world come together to present green solutions that make our cities more enjoyable, beautiful and sustainable. With the theme of ‘Growing Green Cities’, more than 400 national and international participants showcase their latest green innovations, solutions and applications. From state-of-the-art solar roof tiles to amazing vertical façade gardens and from the best ways to grow tomatoes to the latest pruning techniques. You can see, taste and experience it all at Floriade in Almere.
The Floriade ) is open daily until 9 October 2022 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit their website. Costs are € 29,00.
7. Exhibition Makers of Noord by Waag
From large goods to small workshops, makers have always been an important part of Amsterdam Noord. Scattered throughout the district you will find individual makers and collectives, craftsmen and creative entrepreneurs. Their future in the city is under pressure, partly due to gentrification. On the other hand, the city heavily depends on these makers to cope with the energy transition and the enormous demand for housing. The good news is that many makers are still located in Amsterdam, and in particular in Noord. Who are these makers of Noord, what do they make, and how does this contribute to the city, the neighbourhood, and our lives? Get to know different makers from Noord and listen to their inspiring stories about re-use, sustainability and traditional craftsmanship.
The Makers of Noord exhibition can be visited in Museum Amsterdam Noord from Thursday – Sunday from 13:00 – 17:00 until August 27. Costs are €4,00.
Looking for more inspiring smart city events and experiences in and around Amsterdam? You can find them on the events and experiences pages on our platform! So do you have other tips for inspiring smart city activities not to be missed this summer? Share them with the community in the comments!
The first Circularity Gap Report for the Built Environment in The Netherlands has launched!
The Netherlands has set an ambitious goal: a circular building sector by 2050. However, the built environment in the Netherlands is a massive motor for downcycling. Only 8% of the total material consumption comes from secondary materials.
This report by Metabolic, C-creators, Goldschmeding Foundation and Circle Economy shows new insights and specific actions for businesses, policymakers, urban planners and labour unions to accelerate circularity in the sector.
Get the overview from the summary in Dutch or download the full report in English below.
Reused materials are an important element of circular construction. The more re-used components and recycled materials we use, the fewer virgin materials we need, and the lower our environmental impact. To do so effectively, the supply of reused components and recycled materials should influence the building’s design.
Learn more in the article below.
In the 19th episode of the Better cities - the contribution of digital technology-series, I address the question of how digital technology can help in the long road to a circular society.
The contribution of digital technology becomes most visible when viewed in conjunction with other policy instruments and actions. That is why in this episode Amsterdam is in the spotlight; this city has been pursuing a consistent circular policy from 2015 onwards.
Why is a circular economy necessary?
European countries together need an average of 2.9 copies of planet Earth to meet the needs for raw materials. But even one Earth has finite resources, and it is therefore obvious that more and more countries aim to be circular by 2050. The circular processing ladder contains a range of options with the lowest step recovery of energy from materials unsuitable for re-use and furthermore recycling, repurposing, remanufacturing, renovation, repair, reuse, reduction, reconsideration to rejection.
A circular economy is an economic and industrial system that eliminates waste and takes the reusability of products and raw materials and the regenerative capacity of natural resources as a starting point, minimizes value destruction in the total system and pursues value creation in every link of the system. In this context, the term cradle-to-cradle design is often referred to. This is done in terms of material flows and the preservation of values, so that in the long term there is no longer any need for an influx of virgin materials. Maersk has developed a cradle-to-cradle passport, a first for the shipping industry, consisting of a database of all ship components, including all the steel, for recycling, reuse and remanufacturing of new ships or their parts.
The Digital Sustainability-memorandum is considering digitization as an enabler on the way to a circular economy. A fourfold distinction is made in this regard: (1) the coordination of supply and demand of materials, (2) facilitating maintenance and repairs, (3) improving the production process, and (4) supporting partners in chain cooperation. Examples of all these options are discussed below.
Amsterdam and the realization of circular principles
Amsterdam's ambition is to use 50% less virgin raw materials by 2030 compared to the current situation. This goal is also very important for achieving its climate targets: 63% of the CO2 emissions for which the city is responsible come from products and materials that are produced abroad. The municipal government can only partly influence this steam. That is why the policy focuses on three areas where the city has most influence, namely food and organic residual flows, consumption and the built environment.
Amsterdam published its first policy plan Amsterdam Circular: Vision and roadmap for the city and regionin 2015. The emphasis was on organic waste and the built environment. It included 75 action points and its approach was positively evaluated in 2018 and a new report was published. It was decided to continue with the same emphasis with the addition of food and consumption. The addition of consumption was obvious, because Amsterdam had been making a strong case for the sharing economy for some time.
Shortly after the publication of the new report, Kate Raworth’s donut-principles made their entrance. Remarkably, none of the previous reports contain a reference to her work on the donut economics. In May 2019, the first fruit of the collaboration with Kate Raworth appeared, building on the report from the previous year. The collaboration resulted in a new report Building blocks for the new Amsterdam Circular 2020-2025 strategy, involving many stakeholders from the sectors, food and organic residual flows, consumption, and construction. It resulted in 17 building blocks, named 'development directions'.
This report was based on the original 2012 publication on the donut economy. However, there turned out to be one pitfall. The original donut model was designed for global-level applications, which, according to Kate Raworth, cannot be directly traced to the urban level. The social implications of behavior in one city not only affect this city itself, but also the rest of the world. The same applies to the ecological aspects.
As a next step Kate Raworth invited representatives from Amsterdam, Philadelphia and Portland to join a task force and discover what a city-level donut model looks like. In each of these cities, dozens of officials and citizens participated in an interactive process. The result was a new model that uses four lenses to view urban activities: The first and second resemble the original lenses but applied at the city level, for example, the impact of local industry on local nature. The third is how activities in a certain city had a negative social impact on the rest of the world, think for example of clothing, produced under poor conditions. The fourth is the impact of local actions on nature worldwide.
These activities resulted in a new publication, The city donut for Amsterdam. It is an instrument for change that can be applied more broadly than to circular policy. In this publication, the new donut model is mainly used as a conceptual model. Instead of exact calculations, snapshots are collected as illustrations.
While city representatives were busy developing the urban donut model, the work towards the circular city continued unabated, resulting in the publication of the final circular strategy for the period 2020 – 2025 and the action plan for the period 2020 – 2021 at almost the same time. In terms of content, these plans are in line with the publication of the building blocks-report from 2019, including the application of the 'old' donut model from 2012.
In the following, I use both the strategy and the action plan to show the role of digital tools. At the end, I come back to the future role of the city donut.
Digital techniques in the circular strategy of Amsterdam 2020 – 2025
I align with the three value chains: food and organic residual flows, consumption and the built environment that are central to the strategy. Three ambitions are formulated for each of these three, further detailed in several action directions, each containing several projects, most with measurable results to attain in 2021. In addition, a couple of projects are described, that bare related to types of companies, institutions and the port. Finally, there are overarching projects, in which I will again pay attention to digitization, also because the role of the city donut will become visible here.
Below I briefly describe the three value chains, name the three ambitions for each, and give references to digital tools that will play a role within each of the three value chains.
Value chain food and organic residual flows
The municipality wants to combat food waste and reuse organic residual flows as much as possible. The role of regionally produced (plant-based) food will be strengthened in line with the Amsterdam food strategy. In realizing its objectives, the municipality participates in an extensive European project, Rumore.
The three ambitions are: (V1) Short food chains provide a robust, sustainable sensory system, (V2) Healthy and sustainable food for Amsterdammers and (V3) Food and organic residual flows.
Examples of digital tools
• GROWx vertical farm is a farm that aims to achieve maximum returns by applying artificial intelligence to the indoor cultivation of food crops, among other things.
• Restore is a measurement system and simulation model for Amsterdam and surrounding municipalities and companies that provides insight into the financial, ecological, and social effects of various forms of composting and bio-fermentation, including the use of biomass.
• The InstockMarket platform will map (surplus) food flows and - if possible - predict them so that the catering industry can anticipate this when purchasing. The data from this project will be linked to the circular economy data platform
• The Platform www.Vanamsterdamsevloer.nl makes all local food initiatives (including food events) visible and residents of Amsterdam can share news about food and urban agriculture.
Value chain consumer goods
The emphasis is on consumer goods that contribute substantially to the depletion of rare raw materials, their production is polluting and often takes place under poor working conditions. In addition, the impact on climate change is significant. The emphasis is on electronics, textiles, and furniture because repair is also possible in each of these cases.
Furthermore, a lot of profit can be made by good collection and reuse through sharing and exchange.
Here too, a multi-year research project funded by the European Commission is important. The Reflow project maps data on flows of materials and develops processes and technology to support their implementation.
The ambitions are :(C1) The municipality is setting a good example and will consume less; (C2) Together we make the most of what we have and (C3) Amsterdam makes the most of discarded products.
Examples of digital tools
• The municipality will develop digital tools within the (purchasing) systems that support civil officers in circular procurement.
• The West-district supports www.warewesten.nl. This website brings together the sustainable fashion addresses of Amsterdam-West.
• Using artificial intelligence, among other things, it is being investigated how the lifespan of various goods can be extended so that they do not end up with bulky waste. This can be used, for example, on the municipal website to offer the option of first offering goods for sale or for giving via existing online platforms before they are registered as bulky waste.
• Indirectly, it is worth noting that the municipality wants to make the use of ICT more sustainable by purchasing less equipment (for example through 'hardware as a service'), extending the lifespan of equipment and reducing its energy consumption.
Value chain built environment
This value chain was also chosen because the municipality has an important voice in what and where is built and in the development of the public space. The municipality itself is also a major user of buildings.
In terms of the built environment, circular construction can be achieved through large-scale reuse of construction waste. By ensuring that buildings can be used for more purposes, their demolition can be slowed down. Sustainable materials can also be used in the design of public spaces – from roads and bridges to playgrounds. In addition, consideration could be given to the climate-adaptive design of the city, resulting in cleaner air and dealing with increasing heat and rainfall.
The ambitions are: (G1): We do circular development together; (G2) The municipality sets a good example and uses circular criteria; (G3) We deal circularly with the existing city.
Examples of digital tools
• Introduction of large-scale application of material passports to have the most complete information possible on material use in all phases of the life cycle of buildings. This is linked to national plans, among other things by providing all materials with an OR code.
• Research into the possibilities of a (national) online materials marketplace. Such a marketplace will influence (local) material hubs, such as the Amstel III construction hub and the creation of circular business cases.
• Providing insight into the supply (demolition, renovation) and demand (new construction, renovation) of circular building materials and thus of circular material flows.
• Creating a digital twin of the public space and the subsurface to be able to furnish and maintain it functionally and circularly.
• Research in digital production due to the rapid development of digital production techniques and their applications, such as robots and 3D printing.
• Research into making the construction, equipment and water and energy consumption of data centers more sustainable.
• Research into which data about residents and users of buildings can be made public and which data should remain private.
The municipality could further simplify the process of permit applications by digitizing everything, enabling applicants to upload the necessary municipal data and construction drawings and calculating the BREAAM score. This applies to both new and renovated buildings.
Overarching theme: Data platform and monitor circular economy
On the road to a circular economy, a lot of data will become available and just as much data is needed to help citizens, companies, and institutions to make sustainable choices and to determine whether the goal of 100% circularity by 2050 is within reach. That is why a data platform and monitor is being developed. This numerically maps all material, recycle, residual and waste flows that enter, leave, and go around the city. This also makes it possible to calculate the impact on CO2 emissions. The data from the material passports and the materials marketplace are also integrated herein, if possible. The monitor also includes social aspects such as health, education, and equality. Relevant data will be open and accessible, so that it can be used for the development of new innovations and applications by the municipality and third parties, also to connect with other urban transitions.
The monitor connects to the four lenses of the city donut of Amsterdam and will collect the data that is currently missing to provide full quantitative insight. This also concerns the environmental impact of all materials that Amsterdam imports for its own consumption. Where the city donut is currently only a partially quantified, the monitor will continuously provide insight into whether the municipality is staying within the ecological preconditions or where it falls short with regard to the minimum social requirements.
Amsterdam's circular strategy and the resulting action agenda is ambitious and will inspire many other cities. Because many projects are small- and medium scaled, it is not yet possible to assess to what extent the strategy and action agenda help to achieve the targets (50% circularity in 2030 and 100% in 2050). Commitment to the development of the monitor is therefore crucial and the municipality will also have to keep an open eye on the parallel actions that citizens, the business community, the port and other institutions must take to achieve their share. After all, becoming circular encompasses much more than food and organic waste, consumption, and construction.
To document the process of the City of Amsterdam's adaptation of circular policy and the contribution of Kate Raworth, I have put together a brief dossier. This includes references to (copies of) all relevant reports and an indication of their content. This file can be downloaded by following the link below.:
Drie jaar lang werkten 9 partners aan het RESILIO project. Amsterdam is nu ruim 10.000m2 aan innovatieve, groene, waterbergende daken rijker!
Op 21 maart tijdens een WeMakeTheCityGreen event van Pakhuis de Zwijger presenteert RESILIO de onderzoeksresultaten. Daarna volgt een workshop waarin alle stappen van ambitie tot aanleg van blauw-groen in kaart worden gebracht. Welke hobbels en kansen kwamen we tegen tijdens de aanleg en realisatie? Reserveer hier voor de presentatie en hier voor de workshop.
In December, the Metabolic Cities team created a series of 3 articles on what future cities can become based on interconnections with nature, communities and resources.
If you haven’t already, take a look and tell us what you think.
An inclusive nature city allows species to thrive: https://www.metabolic.nl/news/interconnected-city-nature/
Interconnected communities, vital for healthy cities: https://www.metabolic.nl/news/interconnected-city-community/
Reconnecting to resources brings operations within planetary boundaries: https://www.metabolic.nl/news/interconnected-city-resources/
One of the key priorities of the European Commission is to support the twin transition to a green and digital economy. One way the Commission is shaping this transition is by co-creating transition pathways for more resilient, green and digital industrial ecosystems, across different sectors.
Within the scope of the Intelligent Cities Challenge, Amsterdam Region contributed to a stakeholder consultation session on 9 February 2022. Mirko van Vliet, Amsterdam Economic Board Strategic Advisor shared the region’s experience using future scenarios as a tool for assessing developments in inherently unpredictable and complex systems. In this approach, scenarios are not forecasts but alternative images of how the future can unfold. The approach can be used to stimulate discussion and action around key opportunities, threats, driving forces and no regret measures to achieve a desired vision.
Beyond visions, achieving the digital and green transition requires concrete initiatives. Mirko shared the example of LEAP, a coalition of the willing that aims to speed up the transition to a sustainable digital infrastructure by deploying and accelerating existing and new technologies. One of the topics explored within LEAP is the possibility of shifting away from hyper-scale, monolithic data-centers to more flexible, distributed and disaggregated infrastructures. LEAP exemplifies Amsterdam Economic Board's approach to building a robust ecosystem through multi-stakeholder collaboration in order to transition the data-center and digital infrastructure value chains.
Would you like to help shape the transition pathways for more resilient, greener and digital industrial ecosystems? The Commission is inviting all interested stakeholders to co-create transition pathways for three sectors / ecosystems:
- Proximity & social economy ecosystem, consultation closes February 28
- Construction ecosystem, consultation closes February 28
- Mobility ecosystem, consultation closes March 31
Based on the results of these consultations, the Commission will organise further meetings with stakeholders to finalise the various pathways in 2022.
For more information visit: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/consultations_en
Stay up to date
Get notified about new updates, opportunities or events that match your interests.