Data Dilemma's: Measuring the Circular Economy

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The city of Amsterdam is developing the Monitor Circular Economy; a tool that gives strategic insights in the materials that are being used in the city and how we use them.

One of the key motivations behind the push to a circular economy is that material consumption - what we buy, build & throw away - has significant social and environmental impact abroad. And since the city has adopted the Doughnut Economics framework, these impacts need to be quantified and addressed.

Getting an overview of material flows

Measuring the circular economy is a crucial first step. We want an overview of material flows in the city and we want detailed data on how circular these flows are. So top-down and bottom-up, but each come with their own challenges:

• Detailed knowledge at a product level is difficult to obtain in a scalable way since
products are complex, there are no reporting standards or requirements, and there are many products.
• Aggregated material flow statistics are only available at a national level, not at a regional or city level.

City of Amsterdam teamed up with CBS

To tackle the top-down challenge, the city of Amsterdam teamed up with the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). By combining trade statistics and transport data in a novel way, it was possible to create datasets that show regional material flows and they’re ready to give you some preliminary results.

These results cover material flows, but do not yet include information about how ‘circular’ certain goods or sectors are. We’re looking forward to discussing different ways to include this bottom-up information in the data during this session. Though slated for development later this year, the city of Amsterdam is also eager to share some ideas and approaches on gaining insight into the ecological impact and social impact of material consumption worldwide.

Together with a panel of experts, we will discuss these challenges and share learnings and insights. As per usual, the experts will not be the only ones participating: you can too. Join this Data Dilemma’s session and feel free to participate actively in the chat. That way we’ll have a nice interactive conversation between all parties.

Join this session of Data Dilemmas on June 3rd from 16:00 till 17:30

Sign up for the Data Dillema:
Measuring the Circular Economy - How to get the full picture.

Program:Online event
Date: 3rd of June 2021
Language: English

15.50 – Digital walk-in
16.00 –16.05: Introduction by Amsterdam Smart City & Datalab
16.05 – 16.10:Introduction to challenge
16.10 –16.45: Presentations + Q&A
16.45 –17.15: Plenary discussion and wrap-up

Speakers:

  1. Jorren Bosga (city of Amsterdam); Netherlands
  2. Nina Lander Svendsen & David McKinnon (Plan Miljø); Denmark
  3. Luc Alaerts, Julie Marin & Karel van Acker (KU Leuven); Belgium

About the Data Dilemmas series
Projects like the Circular Economy Monitor show us that possibilities of using data and new technologies to address big transitional challenges are endless. We use the data to make cities safer, cleaner and more accessible. But do we really need the data in all cases? What happens to all the data that is collected? Which choices did people make and why? Which dilemmas can be encountered? These questions are important for everyone; for governments, knowledge institutions, residents and companies. Amsterdam Smart City likes to explore with you which decisions are needed for responsible use of data. Data Dilemmas is a collaboration between Amsterdam Smart City and the City of Amsterdam’s Datalab.


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