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In Amsterdam, a city committed to becoming healthier and more sustainable for its citizens and visitors, we have witnessed a greater sense of togetherness, connectivity and a collective transition towards the sustainable city. This is one of the findings in the latest Monitor report, De Monitor 2020, published by De Gezonde Stad.
In the last year, the global pandemic has challenged our daily routines, our mental and physical well being, our freedom of movement and the ways we interact with our local environment. Every year De Gezonde Stad (The Healthy City) collects the latest facts and figures on Amsterdam’s:
• Green spaces
• Air quality
• Energy use
• Waste production
• Food consumption
These five pillars help its citizens understand how close (or far) we are to a healthy and sustainable Amsterdam. Reflecting on these pillars in the Monitor report, we also learn about the initiatives, achievements and developments blooming across the city, and feel inspired to take action.
So how green, healthy and sustainable were we really in 2020? What was the influence of Covid on the five pillars and what can we do to help Amsterdam’s transition towards sustainability? Using the findings from De Monitor 2020, this blog posts some highlights. And to make it easy, we'll also add these findings in Dutch.
In this episode Annick van Rinsum interviews Egbert Fransen: the founder and director of Pakhuis de Zwijger. He set up an unique regional, national and international podium which focuses on bringing people together who want to realise programs that contribute to a more sustainable, fair and future proof society.
Egbert Fransen: “It becomes more interesting if you bring people from different domains and different backgrounds together. My belief is very strong: creation and innovation take place in those places where you have heterogeneous groups of people. It is precisely not being equal, not thinking the same, that brings along innovation."
In these 56 minutes they share stories on:
• His entrepreneurial heart and motives
• The history and development of Pakhuis de Zwijger
• The recent rebranding and his plans for the upcoming 15th anniversary
Wednesday was the official end of the Avondklok curfew in the Netherlands. Since 22 January 2021 the royal Dutch government issued a 9pm curfew to combat the third wave of the corona virus. The AD.nl reports that over these last 3 months, the dutch police have issued more than 95,000 fines for violating curfews.
Out of curiosity, I looked at the DrukteMeter 3 month Avondklok period to see if the Marineterrein community actually adhered to the national curfew.
The data says: yes, we did!
The table in the picture above illustrates that there are little to no people on the Marineterrein between the hours of 9 and 6am. Each night, activity on the Marineterrein stops, or flatlines just before 9pm (and 10pm as of 01 April). These insights tell us that we were all home in time and avoided curfew penalties and fines.
The Marineterrein DrukteMeter (or busyness-meter) anonymously counts the number of people in and around the innovation campus in order to keep the Marineterrein livable - especially during the Corona pandemic. This summer we’ll be using the DrukteMeter to visualize the safe and responsible transition into the New Norm and measuring the post pandemic “PULSE” of Amsterdam most popular destinations.
In earlier episodes of Designing Cities for All, we have seen that design is everywhere and everything around us is designed. We have also seen that there are flaws in these designs, because what we tend to do in this world is design for the middle and forget about the margins. Wouldn’t we create and build stronger structures for everyone, when we design for the people who are actually living with the failures of our designed products, spaces, and systems?
Join us on June 1st for Celebrating Cycling Cities, a two-hour event during which representatives from European cities and EU institutions will discuss best practices for how to shape more cycle-friendly urban mobility systems.
Confirmed speakers are:
- Frans Timmermans (EU)
- Matthew Baldwin (Mission Manager of “100 Climate-Neutral Cities by 2030”)
- Stientje van Veldhoven (Dutch State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management)
- CIVITAS Handshake project
When: Tuesday June 1st.
What time: 15:00-17:00
Where: online, via a live broadcast from Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam.
Register for the event and learn all about Europe's best cycle-friendly cities.
Do you want to learn more already? Listen to this podcast. How is Paris reshaping its iconic streets and getting rid of cars? That is the subject of this interview with the deputy mayor of Paris, Christophe Najdovski.
Last months, I wrote short essays about controversial aspects of the energy transition: geo-engineering (CCS included), biomass, geothermal energy, hydrogen and nuclear power (in Dutch). With these articles I tried to clarify my thoughts and to share my conclusions with others. At the end of the fifth article, I arrived at a - provisional - conclusion in 11 short phrases. I wonder whether you agree....
With the lockdown, traffic in the Netherlands largely came to a halt. Electric vehicles were no exception. What are the consequences for the use of public charging infrastructure? And how has the charging behaviour of electric drivers changed? Rick Wolbertus, researcher of the Future Charging project at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (AUAS), about an initial analysis of the changed use of public charging points. 'Working from home not only makes a difference in traffic jams, it especially had a positive impact on peak loads on the electricity grid.'
Image: Ralph Hutter / Unsplash
After the lockdown on March 12 2020, there was a lot less driving. Of course, this also applies to electric vehicles. In the Netherlands, about 50% less car driving and that is also reflected in the number of kWh that is charged at public charging stations. It is striking that the use of fast chargers fell faster than the use of level 2 stations. Level 2 stations were used about half as much while the use of fast charging stations (in the city) became about 80% less. The reference date for these numbers is the 3rd of February (February 1st is a Saturday).
In the second figure, we compare shared cars with regular users. It is striking that shared cars keep pace with private use in the number of kWh charged. Although these cars are used by several people, there seems to be no additional fear of getting infected in shared cars.
The third figure also shows that slowly traffic levels are returning back to normal. In particular, the number of different users is slowly returning to the pre-corona level. At the end of May, there were only 20% fewer users than before the lockdown. For the total energy that is charged, so the number of kilometers driven, we see that this is falling slightly behind. Compared to mid-March, there is already 10% more loading at the end of April.
In terms of charging behavior, we also see a change, especially in the average time that a car is connected. For regular users, this average was around 10 hours, but in corona time it jumped to 15 hours, with some outliers on weekends. This was to be expected and is still relatively low compared to the decreased number of kilometers driven. In addition, the downward trend has started again. It is also positive that the connection time for shared cars is almost back to normal. It is clearly visible
It is also striking that the that time when EV drivers charge has changed since the lockdown. Especially the peak in the evenings has become a lot less. At the same time, more is charged especially during the day. So EV drivers go for (electric) rides to the super or hardware store, but commuter traffic has decreased a lot. In addition, all traffic is spread out during rush hours. Even after the lockdown eased after May 11, this trend is still visible. The trend towards more working from home therefore also has a significant (positive) impact on energy demand, especially during peak hours. Working from home therefore saves both traffic jams and peak loads on the electricity grid.
In conclusion, we see that electric transport is hit as hard by the corona crisis as transport in general. It is striking that fast chargers are used less than regular charging stations. Fast charging often shows in previous research in addition to regular charging, to cover longer distances in one day. The sharp fall in the need for fast charging can indicate a significantly reduced daily driving distance for many drivers such as taxis. Cars will stay connected to the charging station longer than before, but less than might be expected. The trend towards charging behavior before the corona crisis seems to have started again.
Over a year ago, national COVID-19 measures and a lockdown was introduced in the Netherlands. This “new normal” impacted our lives in many ways. Our data visualization took a deep dive into some facts and figures how the lockdown affected city life.
The following topics were reviewed:
- Cardboard and glass waste
- Happiness levels and concentration problems
- Car traffic
- Water usage
- CO2 emissions
Curious to see how the lockdown affected the above? Learn more >>
The City of Amsterdam aims to be a climate-neutral city by 2050 and to generate as much clean energy as possible on its territory. The Zuidoost district of Amsterdam wants to achieve this ambition as early as 2040.
The development of Amsterdam Zuidoost offers opportunities to combine sustainability with social improvement. For example by improving the living comfort of homes or by creating local employment. This ambition calls for innovative solutions to seize the opportunities for a social energy transition.
What does a smart and local energy system look like? How can we best shape this transition together? Who can play a role in this? In this program, we discuss the development of a scalable neighbourhood energy platform in the ArenAPoort area.
- Henk van Raan | Amsterdam ArenA
- Ruben Voerman | Gemeente Amsterdam
- Huub Hendriks | Alliander
- Stella Boes | TU Delft
- Else Veldman | AMS Institute
The livecast was in Dutch, but you can watch the recording with subtitles.
In recent months, the Province of Noord-Holland, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) in collaboration with Merel Stolker (Construction specialist, C-Creators) and Anne van Stijn (researcher, TU Delft) worked on a manual for housing corporations about circular renovation. With this manual, they want to embed circular impact in the renovation process - circularity is not the goal, but a means to achieve a sustainable built environment.
Handbook for circular renovation housing corporations
The handbook describes a process for circular renovation for housing corporations, explaining who should be involved in which step, which decisions are made and special points to pay attention to. This is illustrated by means of a number of inspiring examples.
The handbook also provides a clear definition of circular renovation: maintaining, renewing and reusing building (parts) without unnecessarily depleting natural resources, polluting the living environment and harming the ecosystem. This can be done on the basis of the well-known raw material principles - narrowing the loop, slowing the loop and closing the loop - which C-creators have translated into three building principles: minimize, utilize the available and use the reusable. Don't just look at the source of circular material, but also at the end of life.
The manual is intended as a starting document, an invitation for housing corporations and supply chain partners to get started themselves.
Strandeiland is the newest artificial island in the IJburg archipelago in the IJmeer, on the east side of Amsterdam. The island is currently being constructed. With 8,000 homes, Strandeiland is one of the largest future urban districts in Amsterdam.
Involving citizens in urban development processes
How can citizens gain more control and ownership in the development of urban areas? To make the process of shaping the development plans of Strandeiland more democratic, the DemoS project was launched in October 2018. DemoS – democratic Beach Island – is part of the Participation Plan for this area and has been running for two years.
The Strandeiland project leader, municipal innovation team (CTO), the local municipality (Stadsdeel), three IJburg residents, researchers, and students of MSc MADE participated in the living lab project DemoS from 2018 -2020.
The aim of the participation trajectory was threefold:
- To set up a novel way of collaboration between civil servants and citizens around the participation processes of the design and development of Strandeiland.
- To share the gained insights transparently to inspire other citizens and civil servants.
- To grow a community of potential future Strandeilanders.
The participation team was loosely established on the principles of a living lab with the innovative focus on making city-making processes more inclusive and democratic. This is the first time in Amsterdam that civil servants and citizens work together in this formal agreement whereby citizens are engaged in creating the participatory processes. Continue reading about the results >>
Program director Leonie van den Beuken joined the SmartCom Summit a few weeks ago to share her thoughts on Smart Societies. We give you a short recap on what came up and added a few interesting insights on the biggest challenges we face working from home and some possible solutions.
Due to the pandemic, we discovered that technology can lead to new opportunities. It also raised a lot of questions on ownership of data, privacy and autonomy. Technology needs not only to be trustworthy, but also to be perceived as trustworthy. Next to that it needs to me available and accessible. Let’s make sure that everyone can have access to hardware, wifi and understandable software. So every kid can join an online class and even older people are able to understand a mobility app.
“Climate change does not wait for us to decide who is in charge”
Used well, technology is an indispensable part of creating sustainable cities. Mobility and energy transitions need the use of data. That way we can create smart grids for example. But who is in charge of creating these smart sustainable societies? ‘A pack of leaders is in charge’, Leonie says. ‘I like to compare it to the Tour de France. In different stages of the race, different cyclists take the lead. All aiming to support the star: sustainable society. And again, trust between parties is the most important thing when working together.’
Covid has shown that with the support of technology we can meet anywhere online. But technology also comes with difficulties. The biggest challenges for the audience to work from home came out during a poll:
- 62% said ‘Not being around people’
- 24% said ‘Management’
- 100% said ‘Straining our Human Minds’
How can smart communication tools be of help within a company?
During the pandemic, employers manage 100 “offices” instead of one because everyone is working from home. There’s lots of technology available to monitor employees. Even though everyone agreed that trust is always better, camera’s and software to track activities on a device could stimulate and motivate.
Want to know more? Check out the talkshow.
Energy ambitions of the City of Amsterdam
The City of Amsterdam has the ambition to become climate neutral by 2050. To achieve this, major transformations of, among others, the current energy system are required.
To illustrate, the City wants to eliminate the use of natural gas by 2040, phase out fossil fuels by 2050, and have 80% of the electricity that households use to be generated by solar and wind energy in 2030. Regarding the latter, Amsterdam aims to install a total solar energy capacity of 550 megawatts (MW) by 2030. Taking into account modern solar panels of 330 watt-peak, this adds up to 1.67 million solar panels.
With these ambitions set, what is the 'true' implementation potential for solar panels in Amsterdam – in terms of space on the city's rooftops? Which neighborhoods, streets, or even houses have the highest yield? And how can this be calculated best? The PV Advent Calendar project, led by AMS institute and TU Delft, investigates the city's solar panel implementation potential.
True solar panel implementation potential up to 6.5x bigger
A tool – also referred to as the “multi-layer framework” – developed for the PV Calendar project measures the optimal allocation of solar panels for each roof section.
The tool calculates that a total of 3.250.000 solar panels can be installed on Amsterdam rooftops. That means in Amsterdam there’s room to potentially install 6.5 times as many photovoltaic (PV) systems than the 500,000 currently installed on the city’s roofs.
What would this look like in the city? To give you an impression, with the true potential of 3,25 million solar panels installed this comes down to approximately 6.5 solar panels per residential address (taking into account 527755 addresses in total). The tool calculates that 1/4 Amsterdam’s electricity consumption could be solar based... Click on the link to read the full article >>
Algorithms are becoming increasingly important. For example, they influence how electricity is distributed amongst car charging stations. But during peak hours, who is allowed to load first and at what speed? And how do you know - as a user - what is happening and if the choices made are fair? To find answers to these questions, the Transparent Charging Station project was started in 2017. A short documentary on this topic has premiered on March 18th 2021.
Documentary 'Transparant Charging Station'
In this short documentary, six experts talk about the origin, development and future of the Transparent Charging Station. The documentary was made possible by Knowledge and Innovation Center ElaadNL, Municipality of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, The Incredible Machine and TU Delft.
With: designer Marcel Schouwenaar, initiator Thijs Turèl, scientist Kars Alfrink, Smart Mobility expert Ruben Polderman, behavioral researcher Lotte Gardien and software engineer Ton Smets.
The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) has become an official partner of the European Commission's New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative, which aims to transform the European Commission's sustainability agenda into real solutions that contribute to a sustainable and inclusive society. This partnership is coordinated via the AUAS’s Centre of Expertise for Creative Innovation (CoECI), a collaboration between four Amsterdam-based higher education institutions that is headed by AUAS. By participating in this initiative, AUAS and CoECI will focus on helping to create a sustainable and inclusive society through creative innovations with a broad network of partners.
New European Bauhaus stems from the Horizon 2020-funded European Green Deal, the latter of which aims to accelerate Europe's recovery from the coronavirus crisis by turning green challenges into innovation opportunities. Within the Green Deal, AUAS is already working on various project proposals with international partners that aim to help create a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 via our collaborative applied research. These EU initiatives align well with our new 3D strategy at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, which prioritises sustainability as one of the three key domains for our institution in the years ahead, alongside diversity & inclusion, and digitalisation.
Beautiful, sustainable, together
Via the motto ‘beautiful, sustainable, together’, AUAS partners with New European Bauhaus New European Bauhaus (NEB) draws inspiration from Bauhaus movement 100 years ago and the belief that design can be a force for societal progress. To quote the project: “We want to create a design movement integrating three dimensions: sustainability (including circularity), quality of experience (including aesthetics) and inclusion (including affordability). Showing that creativity is in finding affordable, inclusive and attractive solutions for our climate challenges.”
The interdisciplinary nature of the initiative presents an excellent opportunity for the entire AUAS, and the creative sector in particular, to participate and help shape the future. CoECI supports this plan and, together with its network of partners both inside and outside the AUAS, will use its imagination and develop innovative concepts that contribute to the sustainable transition.
In the coming months, CoECI will join other partners in the Netherlands and Europe to discuss ideas for a sustainable future and how the creative sector can contribute to it. It will also review how faculties across the AUAS can collaborate on this great challenge from their own areas of expertise: from social questions and technical innovations to design perspectives.
CoECI brings together creative businesses, citizens, science and education in the Netherlands and Europe, to collectively create proposals and ideas for a sustainable Europe. The NEB initiative is now in the 'Design phase' and will kick off the 'Deliver phase' in September 2021. The AUAS hopes to be selected for this, which would see it set up and implement collaborative pilot projects. This will be followed by the 'Disseminate phase'. More information, including about the activities, will soon be available on the CoECI website (currently only available in Dutch).
Mareile Zuber, project developer at CoECI and responsible for the European partnership, is the contact person for questions/remarks/ideas and proposals regarding New European Bauhaus. You can reach her directly via email@example.com.
In addition to coordinating activities for New European Bauhaus, Mareile will focus on building bridges between CoECI/AUAS and other European consortia. This could include, for example, applications to European financing programmes such as Horizon Europe, Creative Europe and Digital Europe.
About the Centre of Expertise for Creative Innovation
The Centre of Expertise for Creative Innovation (CoECI) is the national knowledge and innovation network for the creative industry. CoECI uses art, media, technology and design to create a sustainable and inclusive urban society. These activities contribute to partnerships, both commercial and non-profit, between education and the professional field. In this way, CoECI connects research and talent with companies, social organisations and communities.
CoECI is a partnership coordinated by the Amsterdam Universities of Applied Sciences with three other institutions: the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (AHK) and Hogeschool Inholland (founding partners); as well as the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, which joined the collective in 2019. This collaboration was originally launched under the name Amsterdam Creative Industries Network (ACIN). CoECI covers the entire chain of artistic innovation: from experimental research to concrete interventions.
More information about New European Bauhaus is available via the website of the European Commission.
Many residential PV inverts offer some sort of Smart Energy insight, and many newer inverters offer remote control. Yet there are some great challenges that hinder optimal use of solar energy.
• Awareness on the existence of smart functionalities of inverters, and on possible benefits, is low.
• Even today, not all new installs are smart inverters. These inverters will remain operational for 10 – 15 years, or longer.
• The use of smart functionalities of inverters by the energy sector is still in its infancy.
These are some of important findings from our research, that are also relevant for other countries.
According to the FAN foundation, this is a missed opportunity. With the expected growth of residential PV systems in the future, and the upcoming replacement market for older systems, FAN calls on installers and suppliers to supply as many smart inverters as possible.
You can also download 2 other researches I carried out in the FAN Flexmonitor series: Smart EV chargers and Smart Heatpumps.
Interview met Marco Te Brömmelstroet, prof Urban Planning (UvA) en co-auteur boek 'Recht van de Snelste'. ‘Reistijdwinst is DE norm onder alle uitroeptekens qua mobiliteit, maar vragen amper naar de onderliggende aannames’.
(Herhaling vanuit #BNR podcaststudio: opnieuw relevant dit interview): https://bit.ly/Brömmelstroet
On April 15th the first onsite Innovation Hub was opened in Almere, part of Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.
As a partner of the hub, you will have the right ecosystem and business opportunities.
As a participant of the hub, you can rent seats in the hub, starting with 1 day a week.
Contact Manuela Krull-Mancinelli if you want to know more!
For the press release, see this link: Innovation Hub Almere
Last year, during the Month of the AAI in November, the Centre of Expertise Applied Artificial Intelligence (Hogeschool van Amsterdam) presented the Dutch Applied AI Award for the first time. This year we are back for a second edition. The award is part of the Computable Awards and is for suppliers of AI solutions, start-ups in the AI field and good examples of the implementation of AI.
This award is jointly organized with the Hogeschool van Amsterdam , Computable and podcast De Dataloog . You can nominate an individual or organisation, based on a project you think has stood out in the past 12 months.
This will be the 16th year in a row that Computable will present the Computable Awards in October 2021. These prizes are awarded to companies, projects and individuals who, according to Computable readers, have clearly distinguished themselves in the past year.
An independent jury of experts will select five nominees for each award from the nominated parties. The ranking by the jury and the number of votes from Computable readers each determine half of which nominee will receive the award in October. The number of times a party is nominated for a nomination does not play a role, but the quality of the substantiation and information about the project mentioned does.
About the Centre of Expertise Applied AI
The CoE Applied AI encompasses all of the HvA's AI research and education activities. This centre drives the development of applications of AI technology in a responsible and inclusive manner. AI technology and its implications for companies, organisations, governments and people can only be understood in context and through experimentation. Each faculty of the HvA has created a lab that brings research, education and practices together to solve short and middle term challenges in the application of AI.