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How do we develop sustainable and nature-inclusive cities? Starting from this question, earth-scientist and artist Esmee Geerken created the course 'Urban Ecology: building as being' for the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture. Young architecture professionals examined crossovers between ecology and architecture, and ways to apply this by building in interaction with the environment.
Within a case study at the Amsterdam Science Park, they designed building proposals in which complexity, biodiversity, ecology and self-organization are central. Their ideas show us possibilities on how we can make urban areas more inclusive, sustainable and diverse.
On Saturday January 15 from 15:00 to 16:30 hrs, they will present their designs. Register now to attend the presentations online.
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.”
“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.”
“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
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.
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
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.”
“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.”
“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
I am currently conducting research on climate adaptation strategies in London and Amsterdam for the university of Amsterdam. I am approaching this topic from a social justice lens, i.e. understanding how the city is incorporating social justice in its climate adaptation strategies and policies.
I am currently looking for community organisations that are involved in projects that are directly or indirectly involved with tackling the urban heat island effect. This could be projects that seek to increase green spaces, improve how homes perform during heatwaves or even raise awareness on these issues in their community.
Any help is appreciated!
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.
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.
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!
The 9th of November, the Amsterdam Science & Innovation Award finale of 2021 will take place. Join us online and be a witness to exciting new ideas that will create a positive impact on society! Nine finalists will pitch their ideas and compete for three Innovation Awards in the categories Environment & Climate, Health and Society and € 10.000 to bring their idea a step closer to application. Also, three researchers will be honored with an Impact Award for their significant impact on society: Halleh Ghorashi (VU Amsterdam), Hergen Spits (Amsterdam UMC) and Jeroen Kluck Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA).
When: Tuesday 9 November 2021
Time: 15:00 - 17:00
In the city center of Amsterdam, residents, companies and knowledge institutions are joining forces for a sustainable city center. We aim to preserve the cultural-historical heritage as well as prepare it for the future. This challenging area for sustainability asks for smart solutions. Upscaling is necessary in order to create historic and sustainable city’s of the future.
Scaling sustainable impact
In this workshop we look at what is necessary for (heritage) experts and property owners to be able to advise about sustainability faster and easier while still securing a high quality standard. We show that even with custom energy advises it is possible to have a scalable approach. In this workshop, the brand new advisory tool for sustainable historic buildings is launched. Tom Huizer will give a demonstration of the tool on behalf of De Groene Grachten and share the results of the first 100 recommendations made using this tooling in the Green Light District.
The workshop takes place on Thursday 25 November. Sign up for Workshop 3 on the registration form to attend.
Green Light Festival
This workshop is part of the Green Light Festival. Two years ago we renamed the Red Light District to the 'Green Light District'. Together with residents, companies, knowledge institutions and partners, we are transforming the city center of Amsterdam into a sustainable and future-proof heart of the city. Discover how we can make a sustainable impact together during the Green Light Festival. What have we achieved together in recent years? And what will the next 10 years look like? In interactive workshops, walk&talks, events and symposia you get to know the area in a whole new way.
Green Light District
Green Light District is a collaboration between De Groene Grachten, NV Zeedijk, Municipality of Amsterdam, De Gezonde Stad, Rooftop Revolution, TU Delft and EIT Climate-KIC.
We work together with these partners and our community of residents and other frontrunners in the city. The project is part of the ‘Nieuw Amsterdams Klimaat’ and together we map out a smart route to a future-proof city.
Check out the Green Light District website!
Building the largest interactive LEGO model of the future city ever!
Imagine a model of the city; however, instead of a literal representation, this is a sculpture that holds ideas and dreams from citizens, policymakers, entrepreneurs and visitors about what the city might be like after we solve major transitional challenges (e.g. sustainability, energy, equality, smart).
What would it feel like to be in this city? What do people wish this future city to become?
A model of the city that contains the ideas that a diverse group of people have about how the city might emerge from major transitional change like climate adaptation, sustainability, equality, smart. Imagine the city from what might be and what opportunity change offers.
A room-sized model built with LEGO in a public space and with interactivity (e.g. app / QR link / AR) to share the stories that this model contains.
Lego is an powerful way to evoke and capture stories about how people think about something. Through a series of workshops, people from all parts of the city will be invited to share how they think about the future of the city and capture their stories in a collective model. An interactive installation opens up those stories to passers-by and other participants.
finance, organisational, tech
call to action
Get in touch if you want to contribute to the realisation of the largest LEGO city vision model ever!
On November 18, we are organizing a LIVE event at C-Bèta about Circular Building in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.
The theme around this dynamic event is 'Future or Tradition?'.
We offer various stages to innovative thinkers and doers, tantalizing circular demonstrations and a lot of interaction!
We will, for example, look at old materials with a new perspective and we offer a insight the program of Regional Program Circle City.
When: Thursday, November 18th
Time: 13.30 walk-in, start program 14 - 18.00, including drinks
2132 MN Hoofddorp
We helpen NSI met verduurzaming én beter comfort. Na een succesvolle pilot met ons Smart Building Platform (we bespaarden 19,2% aan warmte en het comfort verbeterde!) rollen we de software nu verder uit naar 26 gebouwen. Daar zal de slimme sturing ruim 20% op warmte en 3% op elektriciteit besparen. Lees op onze website hoe we dat doen.
On Thursday, November 4, 2021 you are most welcome to join the webinar about TRANSFORM-CE in English. The project team will then tell you what it is looking for and provide examples of business support opportunities.
Opportunity for your business?
Interreg NW Europe funded project, TRANSFORM-CE, launches the first in its informative webinar series on turning single-use plastic waste into valuable new products. It will introduce two innovative technologies, additive manufacturing and intrusion-extrusion moulding, which are facilitating the transformation of this common waste stream into the feedstock for countless applications, from roof tiles and decking to architectural models and 3D printed components. This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses, manufacturers and government authorities interested in learning more about TRANSFORM-CE and the potential benefits of transitioning to a circular economy business model. The project partners also welcome designers, creatives and members of the public who are interested in exploring the potential of single use plastic waste.
New technologies for a circular economy of plastic?
TRANSFORM-CE is currently running two pilots to turn single-use plastic waste into raw plastic feedstock: an AM R&D centre in Greater Manchester (United Kingdom) and an IEM plastic factory in Almere (The Netherlands). A third AM facility, a prototyping centre, will open early 2022 in Belgium. Work has already begun, using the feedstock to manufacture products like outdoor furniture, building materials and even houses. Once the technology is scaled up, TRANSFORM-CE’s partners will have the potential to develop circular economy business models and stimulate new secondary material markets across North West Europe and beyond. Waste plastic can be re-purposed and revalued.
Who will speak?
• Rhiannon Hunt: Circular Economy Project Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
• Bram Peters: Owner of the Green Plastic Factory Almere and Save Plastics, the Netherlands.
• Malou van der Vegt: Researcher and Lecturer in the Circular Economy at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands.
• Evert-Jan Velzing: Scientist and Lecturer at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands.
David Greenfield will be the facilitator of the webinar. He is managing director and founder of SOcial, ENvironmental & EConomic Solutions (SOENECS) Ltd.
What will be preliminary programme?
14:00 Opening address and introduction to TRANSFORM-CE
14:05 Transforming single-use plastic waste into filament for additive manufacturing
14:15 Creating new products from single-use plastic waste using intrusion-extrusion
14:25 The business case for adopting circular economy solutions
14:45 Be a part of TRANSFORM-CE; opportunities for businesses
Is een nieuwbouw biobased woning duurder dan traditioneel? Hoe maak je bespaarde CO2 en stikstof financieel? Wat voor afschrijvingstermijnen neem je voor een losmaakbaar casco? Hoe kijken financiers naar risico's en voordelen van biobased woningen?
Dit zijn actuele én urgente vraagstukken voor de MRA.
Wie heeft -een deel- van de antwoorden?
Dank vast voor je medewerking!
Op donderdag 7 oktober is het tijd voor de Dag van de Duurzaamheid. In Pakhuis de Zwijger kun je terecht voor een avondvullend programma met talks, screenings, workshops en de uitreiking van de Trouw Duurzame 100. We gaan in gesprek over thema’s als duurzaam bouwen, inclusieve klimaatcoalities, nieuwe afspraken en de COP. We sluiten de avond af met de feestelijke bekendmaking van de meest duurzame initiatieven uit het land.
Praat, doe, denk, vier en leer jij mee deze dag? Schrijf je dan in voor een van de programma’s. Dit kan makkelijk en gratis via de onderstaande link.
If we can find a way to reuse building materials for new construction effectively, the energy, labor, and transportation costs of producing new materials can be saved, and so can the associated emissions.
Check out this article by Metabolic, where they dive into a promising potential solution: materials passports.
Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) is the international leading event for cities held in Barcelona since 2011. The mission is to empower cities and collectivize urban innovation across the globe. Through promoting social innovation, establishing partnerships and identifying business opportunities, the event is dedicated to creating a better future for cities and their citizens.
The Netherlands will join the Expo with a trade mission. Dutch companies working in the smart city field are welcome to join a business event with The Nordics, get a role in the program on the Expo, contribute to matchmaking events and join a big amount of other side events!
Be quick and sign up for this trade mission before the 7th of October!
Not a company, but planning to go to Barcelona for knowledge exchange, inspiration and networking? Let us know! There will be programs for non-companies as well!
More information about the Smart City Expo: https://www.smartcityexpo.com/the-event/
More information about the Dutch trade mission to the Smart City Expo: https://www.rvo.nl/actueel/evenementen/smart-city-missie-naar-smart-city-expo-world-congress-barcelona
I am looking for inspiration on nature-based solutions in Amsterdam. I have a full day in Amsterdam the 6 th of October 2021, and I would love to visit locations having implemented nature-based solutions in impressive ways. I am curious about how Amsterdam has worked with urban biodiversity and how Amsterdam has implemented large-scale nature-based solutions, e.g. green corridors or other kinds of 'wild nature' in the city, for the benefit of people and other species :)
I hope you can help me with advices on where to go and whom to talk with?
My research project: Biocities of the future
The ambition is to develop initiatives that can help urban stakeholders integrate nature-based ideas and design strategies in urban development. The project includes prototyping a dialogue tool and testing if it could supplement the international certification tool DGNB Urban Districts.
I study how nature-based ideas integrate in urban development of today, and I identify some of the main drivers, paradoxes, consequences, and challenges, related to these integrations. The project focus is urban development inspired by nature’s ability to regenerate, through e.g., biomimicry and regenerative and biophilic design thinking.
My research is based on a cooperation between three Danish organisations:
City & Port - develop large scale urban areas in Copenhagen, DK
The Royal Danish Academy - Architecture, Design, Conservation
Bloxhub Science Forum - a nordic innovation hub for sustainable urbanization
You can read more about the research project using the website link
UPALMERE!, PRICE en Innofest slaan de handen ineen voor een nieuwe editie van Innofest Test Teevee. Drie start en/of scale-ups die zich bezighouden met circulariteit in de bouw en/of ICT & Tech kunnen zich nu aanmelden voor de volgende editie.
Bij Innofest Test Teevee gaan ondernemers onder leiding van de innovatie-experts in gesprek met een online testpanel. De panelleden kunnen op verschillende onderdelen van de innovatie feedback leveren: van het verhaal achter je product tot de smaak en de verpakking. Zo halen ondernemers in korte tijd veel waardevolle data op, die zij kunnen gebruiken om hun product verder te ontwikkelen.
Om deel te kunnen nemen aan deze editie van Test Teevee, dien je aan de volgende voorwaarden te voldoen:
- Je prototype is innovatief
- Je innovatie is circulair en richt zich op een van de volgende sectoren: bouw en/of ict/tech
- Je onderneming heeft de ambitie om te groeien en veel impact te maken
- Je hebt nu (scale-ups) of in de toekomst (start-ups) een business case
- Je haalt duidelijke meerwaarde uit het testen met Innofest Test Teevee
- Je onderneming is gevestigd in de gemeente Almere of gaat dit in de toekomst doen
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