Metabolic and University of Amsterdam (UvA) launch 'Circular Cities' Summer School

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Applications are now open for an exciting new addition to UvA’s annual summer educational programming. ‘The Circular City: Towards a Sustainable Urban Ecosystem’ is a three week intensive course that will be jointly run by UvA and Metabolic, and takes place in Amsterdam in July 2018.

Amsterdam is at the heart of the transition to the circular economy. Through the work of organizations based in the city, the commitment of the local and national governments and a number of on the ground programs and innovations, the city is helping to reveal the opportunities of the circular economy and practical ways to get there.

Closely associated with this movement has been Metabolic. As well as our broader work establishing sustainable urban and regional economies across the Netherlands, we’ve been working with Amsterdam specifically on circular tendering for the built environment, as well as creating circular neighbourhoods and buildings. The new summer school program with UvA builds on Metabolic’s experiences, in the city where these ideas are most actively taking root.

In ‘The Circular City’ course, students will learn how to connect urban material, water, and energy flows to build a truly sustainable city. Due to their environmental impact, cities play a crucial role in the transition towards sustainable societies. Despite the fact that they occupy only 3% of the global terrestrial surface, cities house more than half of the world’s population, consume 7% of its natural resources, and are directly and indirectly responsible for 60 to 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Mendel Giezen of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam is Academic Director of the program. He said: “The interdisciplinary and hands-on course we’ve set up with Metabolic unravels the complexity behind truly sustainable urban development. We use Amsterdam as a case study for analysis and action and while immersed within this innovative city, students will learn about several aspects of urban resilience from ecological, economic, and cultural perspectives. We’re looking forward to welcoming a broad range of international students to this fast growing and increasingly important area of study.”

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is a leading international research university, with five faculties and over 30,000 students. The Summer Programmes Office at the Graduate School of Social Science specifically welcomes students from 49 countries in 17 courses ranging from cycling infrastructure to migration to conflict resolution. ‘The Circular City’ is open to Masters students in select disciplines, and also welcomes applications from senior undergraduate students, as well as professionals already working on these topics in their home cities. Given the nature of the course, a number of scholarships are also open to students joining.

Nadine Galle and Gerard Roemers, Consultants at Metabolic, are Co-academic Directors for the program. Nadine said: “Cities demand our focus if we are to accelerate the necessary transition to circular and sustainable systems, both locally and globally. We are really excited to be partnering with the UvA in offering what promises to be a truly inspirational, as well a practical learning experience. Students will move from analysis, to design and planning, and finally to implementation, completing a final project that brings all their new knowledge together to leverage the potential of cities.”

For Metabolic, the summer school builds on our existing range of educational programming, which includes a new suite of Masterclasses. These short courses have been designed to provide organizations with essential knowledge and skills to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. In addition to a Masterclass in circular cities, classes also include exploring the global food system, and the new economy, in addition to how powerful communications can lead to sustainability shifts.

For more information on ‘The Circular City’ and for application and admission details, go to the UvA Summer School website:


Kate Black's picture
Kate Black

Hi Vincent, yes that's correct.