Amsterdam launches Living Lab for circular urban development

Geplaatst op 22 april 2015, 09:37 uur

Former industrial area becomes testing ground for circular development

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Buiksloterham, a district in the North of Amsterdam, is being developed by public and private parties into a neighborhood with high circular ambitions. The area – currently a post-industrial zone with large brownfields – will be developed with an addition of 3,500 new homes and 200,000 m2 of office space over the coming years. On March 5th, 2015, Aldermen of the Municipality of Amsterdam and twenty local stakeholders will sign the Circular Buiksloterham Manifesto committing to the circular ambitions for Buiksloterham. This moment will mark the official launch of the district as a Living Lab for Circular Development. Circular Buiksloterham closes cycles An ambitious action plan has been defined to help realize the neighborhood's high circular potential. The “Circular Buiksloterham” study showed that the area's energy demand can be significantly reduced, resulting in an annual CO2 savings potential of 60,000 tons. This can be achieved by applying passive house standards for new construction alongside other interventions like smart DC (direct current) grids. The area will be able to achieve high levels of material reuse by applying circular building principles and smart systems for waste collection and recycling. Water cycle innovations will make Circular Buiksloterham a ‘rainproof’ district, where about 73,000 m3 per year of drinking water can be saved and 9,000 kg of phosphate (fertilizer) can be recovered from waste water. A local biorefinery will be able to process organic wastes into new resources. The transition from linear to circular requires learning by doing The radical changes needed to transition from a linear to a circular city still face many legislative, technological, and financial barriers. Designating Buiksloterham as a Living Lab allows local stakeholders to join forces with research institutes such as AMS (Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions), Wageningen UR, TU Delft, TNO and University of Amsterdam to jointly develop innovative solutions and new business models. Bottom-up and top-down parties in the area such as the local water utility, Waternet, the waste-to-energy company, AEB Amsterdam, housing corporation, Amsterdam Rainproof, De Alliantie, and local residents are actively working to achieve the high ambitions through innovation. Aldermen team up with local stakeholders for a circular Buiksloterham A public event on March 5th will include the signing of the Manifesto and a debate about the proposed ambitions for Circular Buiksloterham. The event will take place at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. During this event, the Circular Buiksloterham study will be officially published and presented to Waternet, the Municipality of Amsterdam, and De Alliantie, who supported the research. Background Buiksloterham is already well-known as a neighborhood full of sustainable and creative initiatives. One such example is the De Ceuvel site, a largely self-sufficient creative office space constructed using recycled houseboats placed on land with a landscape plan to regenerate the site's polluted soil. The 'Circular Buiksloterham' study was a product of local parties jointly developing an ambitious vision for the whole area. From resource-drain to circular city The need for the transition from predominantly linear to circular cities becomes apparent when we look at the statistics. Our cities only occupy around 3% of the world’s land surface area, their residents consume 75% of natural resources and account for 60 – 80% of humanity’s greenhouse gas footprint. The global trend towards urbanization is projected to continue, with the global urban population rising from 54% currently to over 60% by 2025. This increase in urbanization is driving the expansion of city borders, an increase in infrastructure demand and development, and a growing demand in product and service consumption within cities. Hence we can see that cities are one of the most critical intervention points for reducing human impact on the environment, creating sustainable local economies, and increasing the average quality of human life. It is essential for us to radically re-imagine how cities currently function and to develop transition strategies for urban areas to evolve to a more sustainable state. Based on the Circular Buiksloterham research circular city principles where defined which guided the development of the vision, ambitions and action plan. There are amongst others: all energy comes from renewable or otherwise sustainable sources, material cycles are closed, and human activities support ecosystems and biodiversity. On March 5, the Circular Buiksloterham Manifesto will be signed by: Waternet, Alliander Duurzame Gebiedsontwikkeling, De Alliantie, Eigen Haard, Metabolic, DELVA Landscape Architects, Studioninedots, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), Stichting Schoonschip, Vereniging de Ceuvel, Beleef Buiksloterham, Afval Energie Bedrijf Amsterdam, Amsterdam Economic Board, Westpoort Warmte, Zelfbouwers Buiksloterham, Waterschap Amstel, Gooi en Vecht, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Gemeente Amsterdam, NUON, New Energy Docks. The "Circular Buiksloterham" study was completed by: Metabolic Studioninedots DELVA Landscape Architects Frank Alsema Peter Dortwegt Saskia Müller For more information about the project and the signing event on March 5th, please contact: For more information about the Circular Buiksloterham study please contact: Sanderine van Odijk, Metabolic,, +31 (0) 639470933 Steven Delva, DELVA Landscape Architects, +31 (0) 202 209 078 The manifesto and the Circular Buiksloterham study can be downloaded here.

Download the Buiksloterham circular potential map


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