Projects
for you

Sagar Bavarva, Founder & Chief Researcher , posted

Bees Digital Farm

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Ever since the 20th century most of the countries across the globe are still using the traditional way of farming and it’s still going on for the demand and supply of people. As we all know that by the year 2050, the 80 % estimation of the world population will have been living in urban areas which can lead the total population of the world to increase by 3 billion people. With this large amount of increase in population, scientists and researchers are quite worried about the farmland which will be required to generate such a huge demand for food supply to fulfill the necessity to survive. Noticing this fact in mind as what would be the future source of alternative solutions to solve such a type of problem a concept was proposed named “In-House Farming”.

Sagar Bavarva's picture #CircularCity
Vanessa Zhao, Founder , posted

Yellowbox

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Ever gone straight from work to Friday night drinks and had to carry your laptop to the bar? Perhaps you went from university to a sporting event and had to bring your heavy books? Yellowbox is a network of smart lockers you can hire on demand using your phone.

Located all over the city centre, the yellowbox app shows a live map of all yellowbox smart lockers near you. When you arrive at your locker you simply tap a button on your phone and the bluetooth smart locker pops open, and you can begin hiring your locker on demand.

Found in public spaces, beaches, leisure and aquatic centres, retail and entertainment venues, our goal is that if you are in the city centre, you are always within a 5 minute walk from your closest yellowbox.

Yellowbox smart lockers let visitors experience your venue hands-free while keeping their bags and jackets safe.

A Hands-free Customer Experience

Customers without physical burdens report a higher satisfaction rating

Drive Foot Traffic

Adding your property to the live Yellowbox map on the mobile app draws customers to your property

Increase Length of Stay

Peace of mind results in longer stays and increased spend

Brand your space as digital

Associate your development with being safe, relaxing, digital and innovative

  1. Full service - we provide full 24/7 in-app customer service so this will not add any extra workload to staff.
  2. Install anywhere - we have yellowboxes at the beach which is exposed to sun, wind and located outdoors. Because yellowboxes are battery powered, we do not need to consider power sockets when deciding on the installation location.
  3. Retrofit option - already have lockers at your location? Even better! We can easily retrofit your lockers and brand them as digital by replacing old locks with our yellowbox smart lock.
Vanessa Zhao's picture #DigitalCity
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Marineterrein Amsterdam Living Lab

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Like cities worldwide, Marineterrein Amsterdam faces major challenges. For example in mobility, circularity, and (ethical) digization. To come up with innovative solutions, there is a need for physical location, knowledge and collaboration. Marinetterein Amsterdam Living Lab (MALL) is a place where this happens.

The Marineterrein uses the terrain as experimental environment for its own development. The partners work together to stimulate collaboration between companies, scientists, students and government agencies. This creates (scalable) experiments that are tested on the grounds, and ultimately applied in urban environments.

MALL is a place to research, experiment and test in a real-life setting. To achieve this MALL partners bring together their expertise, network, and communities in the field of research, innovation, urban development and experimentation at this unique location in Amsterdam.

Everyone is welcome to test at the Marineterrein. Given the special location, high demands are made on parties who come to develop and test on the Marineterrein. In addition to thematic alignment with the themes of the parties, careful consideration is given to whether the applications are innovative, whether they ensure connection between people and knowledge and to opt for a clear focus within a relevant issue.

Current Experiments
CINDERELA | CINDERELA is a demonstration plant that transforms urine into nutrient-rich fertilizer. The plant consists of a refurbished shipping container – containing a laboratory and two urine-diverting toilets – and an adjacent greenhouse which also serves as a meeting space.
Roboat | autonomous floating vessels that create a more dynamic urban infrastructure, and provide new ways of transporting people and goods.
Space for Food | the European Space Agency (ESA) explores the potential and scalability of applying space technology for applications in urban contexts.
Smart Roof 2.0 | an innovative, lightweight, blue-green roof equipped with a Permavoid drainage layer that stores rainwater and provides plants with water during dry spells.
Curious to see what else is being tested? Click here for a full list!

Open Calls
Amsterdam Drone Lab | drone flight testing facility at the heart of the Amsterdam city centre.

Want to start testing in the heart of Amsterdam?
MALL provides a publicly accessible but privately governed site in the heart of Amsterdam. This ensures you to test and implement solutions in the public space under credible circumstances with less restrictions. From quay walls, to buildings and roofs. The infrastructure of the site has been set up in such a way that experiments can be easily set up.
Submit your experiment!

Collaboration
MALL is a collaboration between Marineterrein Amsterdam and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, with partners Amsterdam Smart City and NEMO Science Museum.

Cornelia Dinca's picture #Citizens&Living
Jacqueline Bij de Vaate, Marketing Manager Eurofiber NL at Eurofiber, posted

5G-Blueprint

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The 5G-Blueprint project is an international consortium of 28 parties. Together, these partners will be researching how real-time data exchange to and from vehicles, between terminals and vehicles, and between vehicles and distribution centers can contribute to increased efficiency in the supply chain, and help to resolve driver shortages by providing remote control of and support for vehicles and vessels. These developments are expected to improve accessibility of a key logistical corridor between the Netherlands and Belgium (Vlissingen – Ghent – Antwerp), as well as creating more jobs and strengthening the competitive position of the region. New 5G telecommunication technologies can be deployed as a useful resource in this area.

<https://eurofiber.com/press/eurofiber-partners-with-international-research-project-5g-blueprint/>

Jacqueline Bij de Vaate's picture #DigitalCity
Teska Drosten, Communicator at Waag, posted

Hollandse Luchten

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Via diverse pilots, burgermetingen en evenementen brengen we de leefomgeving van Noord-Holland in kaart en zetten we deze gezamenlijk om in actie. Door data samen te verzamelen, zullen we ook samen op zoek gaan naar oplossingen. Deze aanpak noemen we citizen sensing. Hollandse Luchten maakt gebruik van experimentele technologie en onderzoekt de waarde van nieuwe sensortechnologie voor inwoners van Noord-Holland.

Via diverse pilots, burgermetingen en evenementen brengen we de leefomgeving van Noord-Holland in kaart en zetten we deze gezamenlijk om in actie. Door data samen te verzamelen, zullen we ook samen op zoek gaan naar oplossingen. Deze aanpak noemen we citizen sensing. Hollandse Luchten maakt gebruik van experimentele technologie en onderzoekt de waarde van nieuwe sensortechnologie voor inwoners van Noord-Holland.

Pilots
De belangrijke doelstelling van de pilot opzet van Hollandse Luchten is het betrekken van burgers rondom data verzameling om zo op basis van nieuwe inzichten een leefbare en duurzame samenleving mogelijk te maken. Door open innovatiemethoden in te zetten in combinatie met het gebruik van betaalbare open hardware en nieuwe digitale mogelijkheden, worden burgers betrokken en ontwikkelen ze handelingsperspectief in het aanpakken van belangrijke maatschappelijke uitdagingen. Hollandse Luchten maakt hierbij gebruik van experimentele technologie en onderzoekt de waarde van nieuwe sensortechnologie voor inwoners van Noord-Holland.

Partners
In dit project onderzoeken we in opdracht van Provincie Noord-Holland hoe door middel van open source en betaalbare meetsensoren, burgers meer inzicht kunnen krijgen op de luchtkwaliteit in gebieden waar de leefkwaliteit onder druk staat. Hier werken meerdere partners aan mee o.a.: RIVM, Omgevingsdienst IJmond, Omgevingsdienst Noordzeekanaal, TATA Steel, Smart City Haarlem, Gemeente Zaanstad, Gemeente Haarlem, Buiksloterham Circulair, Brak! IJmuiden en Waag.

Citizen Sensing
Citizen sensing is een nieuwe manier om de leefomgeving in kaart te brengen. Een belangrijk onderdeel van deze leefomgeving is de luchtkwaliteit. Traditioneel gezien wordt luchtkwaliteit gemeten door officiële meetstations van partijen zoals het Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM) en de GGD. Deze meetstations geven nauwkeurige maar plaatsgebonden data. Luchtkwaliteit kan echter sterk verschillen per locatie en tijdstip. Omdat er relatief weinig meetstations zijn wordt de luchtkwaliteit op veel locaties of geschat via berekeningen en voorspellingen of niet gemeten waar dat wel belangrijk is. Hoe is de luchtkwaliteit van een basisschool of voetbalclub naast een drukke verkeersweg, bijvoorbeeld, of voor mensen die in de buurt van een fabriek wonen?

Citizen sensing probeert dit gat op te vullen met burgermetingen van luchtkwaliteit. Met goedkope en toegankelijke open-source sensoren kan de luchtkwaliteit door heel het land in kaart gebracht worden. Op deze manier kan citizen sensing lokale problematiek aankaarten en biedt het data om verandering teweeg te brengen. Met data kan bijvoorbeeld een nieuw gesprek op gang gebracht worden dat gebaseerd is op een beter inzicht van de situatie. Ook kunnen oplossingen beter worden afgestemd op de werkelijke lokale situatie. Het RIVM onderzoekt dit van hun platform Samen Meten aan Luchtkwaliteit. In de volgende video leggen ze uit waarom dit belangrijk is.

Waag en Citizen Sensing
Voor Waag is Hollandse Luchten een belangrijk project binnen haar onderzoek naar burgergedreven dataverzameling over de kwaliteit van leefomgeving. Waag deed hier eerder in Europees verband onderzoek naar onder de noemer Making Sense. In samenwerking met o.a. Barcelona, Pristina (Kosovo) en Amsterdam werd in negen pilots gekeken naar dit soort onderzoek. Over dit project verscheen de documentaire: Citizen Science Revolution.

Teska Drosten's picture #Citizens&Living
Jacqueline Chang, AMC®, Circular Economy Consultant , posted

Developing Pilot Project in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Looking for the experts behind Circle Scan, Amsterdam on mappin material flows in the city. Applying the “Circle Scan” methodology meant identifying the top contributing sectors in terms of environmental and economic impact and mapping the material flows of such sectors in the city. That is, organizing the information about the inputs used (energy, water, etc) and the outputs generated (types of waste, where they end up, etc). These mapping exercise allows for a clear understanding of where resources come from and where waste goes to, which actors in specific sectors are key and whether there are empty spaces that can be utilized differently, providing solutions to create closed loops

Email me at <lilacjade@gmail.com> or <jacqueline@mosti.gov.my>

Jacqueline Chang, AMC®'s picture #CircularCity
Roel van de Weijer, Cashew Officer , posted

Johnny Cashew

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Be a superhero! Our cashew travel 12.500 km less than the cashew you will find in your local supermarket and they are better for the farmer, the environment and you.

Did you know that 90% of all cashew nuts travel 27.000 km before they end up at a store near you (3/4 the glove)? Did you know that Africa is the world largest producer, but that 90% of the nuts are being processed in Vietnam & India under harsh conditions, only to be shipped all the way back to the Netherlands?

Neither did we...

But as soon as we realized this, we started this project: Johnny Cashew. We decided to ship cashew straight from Tanzania, while making sure the farmer and the local processor got a fair price. Also, we found a home for the broken cashew nuts that are normally cast aside: we started workshops in Amsterdam to turn them into bars, pasta and maybe also a dressing on your next ice cream :).
Part of our profits will go to planting new cashew trees in Tanzania: good for the farmer, the environment and your karma.

In other words: our nuts taste good, look good and do good!

More info at www.JohnnyCashew.com

Roel van de Weijer's picture #CircularCity
Jonathan Bloch, Consultancy Intern at TheRockGroup, posted

BrouwBrood

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Jonathan Bloch's picture #CircularCity
Jonathan Bloch, Consultancy Intern at TheRockGroup, posted

Circular Economy Course - UvA

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PPLE at the University of Amsterdam is an intense interdisciplinary program for bright bachelor’s students. Within this faculty, international (including Dutch) students are brought together and posed with challenging courses designed to help them think critically about society and the world around them. These dedicated driven students typically have strong backgrounds in social sciences, however, lack education in the area of sustainability. TheRockGroup sees it as its mission to fill this gap by presenting practical societal perspectives on our current sustainability challenges.

The courses invited guest speakers from relevant societal actors (businesses, government and/or NGO’s) to provide real-life examples to students. This brought the studied theory and our class debates to a higher level. Not only did it show the relevance of what we studied, it also portrayed the complexity of current challenges in a world without perfection information.

Jonathan Bloch's picture #CircularCity
Jonathan Bloch, Consultancy Intern at TheRockGroup, posted

enerGQmobility

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Founded in 2014, enerGQmobility develops and markets low cost self-learning energy management systems to the full range of organizations from households to multinationals in all sectors of the market. Our aim is to contribute to “stop the global warming” within 5 years by licensing the technology to partners. It uses the low cost and energy saving technology to assess the performance and provide improvements in the areas of aviation, maritime, rail, and road transport.

The self-learning energy management systems of enerGQmobility make use of AI-techniques and visualize excess energy so that it can be reduced easily.

Jonathan Bloch's picture #Mobility
Olina Terzi, Digital Transformation Designer at Digital Society School, posted

Digital Society School

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Digital Society School is an energetic training ground where creative solutions are being developed, tested and prototyped to address business and societal challenges. We root our design, tech and social innovation in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. This unique combination offers insights and new perspectives to add innovation power to organisations. We work together with governments, businesses and citizens to help them adapt and become future-proof for the digital world.

Join forces with us now to work on the Sustainable Development Goals and explore how these can help open up market opportunities for your business. Embark on innovative projects together where we use digital technology to find effective results for the most pressing social and business challenges. Join forces with our creative and curious minds to work on challenges that your organisation faces. Develop competencies that are essential for now and the future. Learn the tools, mindset and methods that can be implemented back into your own organisation to lead the digital transformation of your business and of society. Customize or join our existing courses where we share knowledge, tools and methods to empower (your) people on their lifelong development journey. Whatever your choice is, it is bound to be a worthwhile investment towards building our digital future.

Olina Terzi's picture #DigitalCity
Ioana Biris, co owner at Nature Desks, posted

Outdoor Office Day

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In het Nieuwe Werken staan gezondheid en vitaliteit centraal. Voor iedereen is bewegen en werken in het stedelijke groen een ‘must’. Wist je dat wetenschappelijke onderzoeken hebben aangetoond dat een groene omgeving bij mensen creativiteit stimuleert, de concentratie verbetert en een rustgevend effect heeft? Buiten bewegen is noodzakelijk voor je gezondheid. Het sluit perfect aan bij de breed gevoelde noodzaak om het werkgeluk en het welzijn van medewerkers te verbeteren.

Staat het idee van een #OutdoorOfficeDay je wel aan?

Verlang je ook naar een werkoverleg buiten in het stedelijk groen, in de omgeving van je kantoor? Wil je bij voorkeur je plannen wandelend bespreken met een collega? Of gewoon ergens in een park in de buurt een werklunch organiseren? Of het liefst dat belangrijke telefoongesprek buiten voeren?

Initiatiefnemer Nature Desks wil ook andere mensen, organisaties en bedrijven in Nederland uitnodigen om ook dit jaar op 23 juni hun ‘werkplek’ letterlijk buiten in het stedelijk groen te plaatsen.

Ook jij kunt aan de slag met deze landelijke Outdoor Office Day! Ga naar buiten. Maak je collega’s enthousiast en verzin een gaaf idee voor de #outdoorofficeday!

Ioana Biris's picture #Citizens&Living
Ioana Biris, co owner at Nature Desks, posted

Urban Nature Amsterdam

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#UrbanNatureAmsterdam, de eerste papieren groene en blauwe kaart van de stad.

Amsterdam is veel meer dan een verzameling straten, gebouwen, cultuur en economische activiteit. Het doel van deze stadskaart is om te laten zien dat we leven temidden van parken, (binnen)tuinen, plantsoenen, natuurspeeltuinen, groene daken, meren, grachten, rivieren, polders en bossen. Een uniek groen en blauw stadslandschap dat we ongemerkt delen met meer dan 10.000 soorten flora en fauna.

Ioana Biris's picture #Citizens&Living
Marten de Vries, Project Manager , posted

Circulaire Houtketens

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Om te kijken hoe hout opnieuw en duurzaam gebruikt kan worden, zijn de provincie en Dr2 New Economy gestart met een aantal pilots waarin lokaal en gebruikt hout wordt toegepast in de bouw. Zo zijn 1.200 balken uit de busremise in Zaandam gesloopt en hergebruikt voor een nieuwe toepassing in de bouw.

Via een tweede pilot wordt gekeken hoe resthout als snoei-, tak-, top- en stamhout uit plantsoenen en parken van de stad, in de bouw hergebruikt kan worden. Bijvoorbeeld in de vorm van balken, planken of plaatmateriaal. Hout is een bekend en prachtig bouwmateriaal. Bij productie en verwerking is de CO2-uitstoot veel lager dan die van staal of beton. In het hout is juist veel CO2 vastgelegd, waarmee de woningen zorgen voor langdurige CO2 opslag.

Marten de Vries's picture #CircularCity
Tayfun Yalcin, Founder at Towards Nature Permaculture Landscaping, posted

Permaculture Impact on Schools, Europa School Transformation

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Our children are growing on paved, 2 dimentional and disconnected school environments. We are here to change that. With our passion Permaculture concept, we designed and created a new style of school garden, which doesn't exist in Amsterdam and if we are not wrong in the Netherlands. It was not the first of our school design/implementation. Laterna Magica School in IJburg Amsterdam is also another example.

You can find further info, photos, videos on our website. We need help from all aware people to inform schools about our services that we can have more impact on our environment and children's connection with nature

Tayfun Yalcin's picture #CircularCity
Noud Verhave, co-artistieke leider MAP en projectleider KAREL , posted

Sponsoring zonnepanelen voor KARLOS

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Wilt u ook een groener Zuidoost? Sponsor KARLOS en adopteer een zonnepaneel!

Misschien heeft u al van KARLOS gehoord?
Binnenkort rijdt deze elektrische wagen rond in Zuidoost. KARLOS staat voor KAR Levert Overal schone Stroom. Deze elektrische Spijkstaal levert op evenementen in Zuidoost groene stroom, zoals op voorlichtingsbijeenkomsten over schone energie, maar ook op buurtfestivals en andere events. Zo helpt KARLOS de energietransitie in Zuidoost te versnellen. Om KARLOS klimaatneutraal te laten rondrijden en werken, willen we 20 zonnepanelen op het dak van deze wagen plaatsen. Draagt u bij aan een schoner en groener Zuidoost? Steun dan KARLOS met een zonnepaneel.

Investeren in een groene wijk met KARLOS
U kunt €250 investeren in een zonnepaneel voor KARLOS. Daarvoor krijgt u mobiele publiciteit. Uw naam vermelden we namelijk als donateur op de rijdende KARLOS. Maar vooral levert u een bijdrage aan groene stroom op evenementen voor de wijk.
Heeft u interesse om te investeren in een duurzaam Zuidoost?
Neem contact op met Ton Jansen van CoForce 0614-197-373 of mail
ton.jansen@icasus.nl

Op zoek naar een energievriendelijke oplossing voor uw evenement?
Dan kan KARLOS u van dienst zijn. KARLOS is mobiel, levert elektra, werkt als vergaderruimte, opslagplek, podium en faciliteert bij catering. Meer weten? Neem contact op voor de mogelijkheden van KARLOS voor uw organisatie: Dennie Armelita (Moving Arts Project) 0642-874-122, Noud Verhave (Moving Arts Project) 0655-335-465 of mail naar productie@movingartsproject.nl

Van wie is KARLOS?
KARLOS is een samenwerking van Stichting CoForce en kunstenaarscollectief Moving Arts Project en wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door gemeente Amsterdam en provincie Noord-Holland. Stichting CoForce is een bundeling van bewoners en bedrijven, geïnitieerd door energiecommissarissen van stadsdeel Amsterdam Zuidoost om de energietransitie in dit stadsdeel te versnellen. Moving Arts Project is initiator van KARELs KARAVAAN, het schone wagenpark dat mobiele oplossingen biedt voor klimaatvriendelijke evenementen in de stad. KARLOS is een van de leden van KARELs KARAVAAN.

www.cofroce.nu | info@coforce.nu
www.facebook.com/ikbenkarel | www.movingartsproject.nl | productie@movingartsproject.nl

Hoe kunnen we sociaal-culturele evenementen in de stad duurzamer maken? Dit vroegen wij, het Amsterdamse kunstenaarscollectief Moving Arts Project, ons af. Geïnspireerd door die vraag ontwikkelden we eerst KAREL, de Kar voor Elektriciteit op Locatie, en vervolgens andere schone voertuigen, die met elkaar KARELs KARAVAAN vormen. Deze serie klimaatneutrale voertuigen voorzien evenementen in de stad van schone energie, met allerlei extra faciliteiten. Van een podium tot catering. Van opslagplek tot mobiele vergaderruimte. Van rolmodel als milieuvriendelijk alternatief tot oplaadpunten voor je telefoon.

Wie en wat is KAREL en zijn KARAVAAN?

KAREL staat voor “KAR voor Elektriciteit op Locatie”. Een stalen busje van het oerdegelijke Hollandse merk Spijkstaal, dat al lang voordat het noodzaak werd elektrische wagens bouwde. KAREL vervoert decors, bouwmateriaal, gereedschap en andere productie-onderdelen én voorziet in energie op locatie voor buitenevenementen in Amsterdam.

KAREL is een waar rolmodel. Dankzij zijn zonnepanelen op het dak is hij namelijk CO2-neutraal en verspreidt hij de boodschap van groen en duurzaam dwars door de stad. Behalve KAREL zijn er inmiddels ook:

KARIMA: KAR voor Inductie, Meezingen en Aanhangsels

KARLOS: KAR Levert Overal schone Stroom

en KARLIJN: KAR voor verhaalLIJNen

En de KARAVAAN aan schone voertuigen blijft uitbreiden. Wat alle leden van de KARAVAAN gemeen hebben is dat zij evenementen van schone energie voorzien en andere milieuvriendelijke oplossingen bieden.

Noud Verhave's picture #Mobility
Yvo Hunink, Concernadviseur Innovatie at Gemeente Den Haag, posted

Conscious Cities

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How might we automate access to a public digital ecosystem for citizens and machines in order to grow a conscious city? How might we incentivize all citizens and companies to interact with the public digital ecosystem of the city in order to improve livability, democratic representation and societal engagement?

Read our ecosystem document

Join our online ecosystem platform

Yvo Hunink's picture #DigitalCity
Julie Chenadec, Head of Communications at SDIA - Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance, posted

CEDaCI – Circular Economy for the Data Center Industry

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The Data Centre Industry has grown rapidly and generates a large volume of e-waste / WEEE. The current infrastructure for dealing with this waste is underdeveloped and consequently, there is a real and urgent need to address this now. CEDaCI will build a Circular Economy for the Data Centre Industry by bringing together stakeholders from all equipment life cycle stages to turn this waste into a useful resource and support the ongoing rapid growth of the DCI.

Julie Chenadec's picture #CircularCity
Snezana Zivcevska-Stalpers, posted

#WiTNL - Women in Tech NL

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#WiTNL ia a platform for all women and girls in tech in Amsterdam and The Netherlands, We bring together Academia, Corporates and Start-Ups, individuals and organisations, women and men, everyone who is dedicated to work towards closing the gender gap in tech. We organize inspiring events, workshops, masterclasses, mentoring sessions, speaking opportunities, and many other career supportive activities. We collaborate with other initiatives, networks, tech and non-tech conferences, companies and organizations while building an eco-system that will help women in tech and female tech entrepreneurs thrive.

Snezana Zivcevska-Stalpers's picture #DigitalCity
Menno Houtstra, chairman cooperative , posted

KASKANTINE 4.0

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The Kaskantine will implement together with the neighboorhood its design for closing local resource loops: a kitchen with closed water cycle, preventing local food waste, introduce neighbourhood composting, and organise repair cafe's, sport and musique workshops, etc. Data will be gathered to monitor the resource cycling and methods will be tested to make it more socially and culturally inclusive.

User-created nature-based solutions in an urban environment;

The case of the KasKantine (Greenhouse Cantina), Amsterdam

Historically landscape architecture and infrastructural planning have assigned physical separated functions to landscape in order to upscale and manage resource flows cost efficiently. Rather than monosectoral and large scale linear production systems we can now see a shift to decentralized and locally integrated solutions to close resource loops. In these solutions also citizens can play a more (pro)active role. After being more prominent in rural areas, landscape architecture is now also more active as a lead design principle in urban neighbourhoods. Local integrated solutions for resource cycling efficiency give rise to multiple value production rather than to an increase of local financial income. Either way it increases citizen driven (semi)professional activities in resource management in urban neighbourhoods, as well in its creation and in management.

We see enormous potential in this approach: it can reconnect citizens to nature, it can facilitate in changing lifestyles AND produce the right technology to face our climate and resource crisis. But before it can become mainstream, we see the following challenges and questions, mainly to do with creating sufficient local political support and accessibility to these technological and economic opportunities.

  • How can actors on local level on one side and central sectoral level at the other side co-create and redesign effectively the landscape, necessary to close resource loops locally with sufficient democratic legitimacy?
  • How could citizen-driven services in resource management be held accountable to a broader public and the public sector?
  • How can these nature-based solutions be culturally and socially inclusive?
  • How can socio-economically marginal(ized|) groups profit from this increased multiple-values production?

We can try to answer those questions for one specific case to see how it could work out in practice. The Kaskantine is a not-for-profit volunteer driven garden- restaurant - food coop which has as its main objective to show that more autonomous, off the grid nature based solutions for climate adaptive working and living in urban areas are possible and can be at the same time a new lifestyle. It is a small village of refurbished shipping containers, recycled greenhouses and (roof top)gardens. The Kaskantine is currently being built on its fourth location and is negotiating a 7 years ground lease with the municipality of Amsterdam.

The Kaskantine managed to grow from only one container and a one-man company, 5 years ago, to a cooperative with over 30 volunteers with 13 containers. A second village is being planned of 7 containers in the east of Amsterdam. This has been realised without any external capital investment or subsidies. The strategy has always been: find a solution with the least possible financial costs and turn untapped local resources into value.

In doing so the Kaskantine discovered that although real estate prices in Amsterdam skyrocket, there is still a lot of underutilised land and water, that is without use for people and for nature. Lots of plots are “waiting” to be developed, or are underdeveloped: for one function while there could be double or triple functionalities. We could call this “real estate waste”. The Kaskantine could use land for free because there was no direct market value of that land. And the same counts for other important resources: (rain)water, (solar)energy, food (waste and own production), labour (volunteers) and (natural and waste) materials. The Kaskantine is able to operate with zero fixed costs and therefore able to survive.

Furthermore, with its installations it is trying to integrate all received good and services in local loops. Maximum in, minimum out. This is optimized by integrating different resource loops in one management system.

An abundance of one flow of resources can be absorbed by other resource cycles: Peak solar energy can be used in extra ventilation, aeration and irrigation. Sudden food surpluses are redistributed for free and create network solidarity. The Kaskantine is also able to use resources in all phases of their life cycle, like wood: from construction to fire wood. Or being able by using rest heat in storing it in mass or other spaces, or filtering waste water for irrigation. We call this adaptive capacity: the capacity to buffer abundance and use it later or in an alternative way.

Finally, an alternative lifestyle is embraced, one that is appreciating the value of abundance of local resources, rather than the value of market choice.

We could argue that the Kaskantine is thriving in an alternative economy, that can exist thanks to and despite of the mainstream economy that they are trying to transform. We call this abundance or give economy, in contrast with economy based on consumption and the organisation of scarcity.

Abundance economy as being a sum of relatively autonomous integrated projects in mainstream economy.

Because of its ability to expand autonomously within mainstream economy, and because its abundance economy is not a zero-sum game as long as local resources and waste are underutilised, the Kaskantine is very open for participation. There is no economic argument against including more neighborhood activities, on the contrary. More participation seems therefore to depend more on the capability of cultural inclusiveness: if people feel comfortable within the network of the Kaskantine, or if people feel comfortable to start a sort of “kaskantine” on their own.

First, the opportunity to integrate has been ”built in” into the design of the Kaskantine by a step-in approach. From experience as a guest (exchange, tasting, get inspired, etc) to participation in the design, creation and operation of the Kaskantine and Kaskantine related projects.

Secondly, the Kaskantine is also active in the neighbourhood centre and within a network of community organisations, with a step-out approach. In this case the Kaskantine offers through free workshops a learning curve to adopt small scale installations, like vertical gardens and worm composting, and participate in food saving and storage at home in order to take a step back from mainstream economy into the abundance economy.

An important ambition of the Kaskantine is to negotiate with the municipality a land lease contract in which the landuser takes responsibility for its development and environmental control of the land. This cheaper land rent will hopefully give other “kaskantines” the opportunity to arise.

The Kaskantine has free energy to spend on helping other groups in joining this movement because it can operate autonomously and with low fixed costs. This creates hopeful opportunities for inclusiveness of the proposed solutions. Whether this is done in some kind of co-creation with more central institutions depends more on their own capability to work with local small scale initiatives and on their willingness to change or compensate the negative effects of their lineair production models and on their willingness and capability to change sectoral into integrated policies.

Menno Houtstra's picture #CircularCity