Metabolic and AMS Institute launch strategic Circular Cities partnership

Published on the 12th of October 2017

Metabolic and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) are proud to announce a new joint research program that will identify and build new smart solutions for sustainable urban development.

Using Amsterdam as a ‘living lab’ for circular city research, the two organizations will work together to develop solutions for healthy and resilient metropolitan regions, focusing on resource recovery systems (from wastewater and waste streams); transitioning to a renewable energy system; tools and methods for circular building design; citizen engagement; and governance. Both Metabolic and AMS Institute believe that cities, as they are organized today, must adapt and reinvent themselves in order to successfully meet the challenges they face for the future – largely driven by population growth, limitations of natural resources, and climate change.

AMS Institute and Metabolic have already worked together on a range of programs together due to their shared circular economy ambitions. Some of their most recent collaborations include the Adaptive Circular Cities project (using the district of Buiksloterham as a living lab to explore innovative solutions for the transition towards a circular city), the Stimulus project PUMA (Prospecting the Urban Mines of Amsterdam), aimed at mapping metals in the existing building stock of Amsterdam, and BIES (Buiksloterham Integrated Energy System), an investigation into various scenarios for a sustainable, flexible and integrated energy system. This week, the two organizations signed an MoU to confirm how a new formal strategic partnership can help them build on these projects to provide more dynamic, impactful and replicable answers to some of our greatest urban challenges.

Eva Gladek, Founder and CEO Metabolic, said: “The strength of this particular collaboration between Metabolic and AMS Institute lies in their complementary expertise: AMS Institute as a leading international organization, brings together top academia, businesses, governments and citizens to create research-based, inclusive urban solutions, and Metabolic bringing to the partnership a deep understanding of systems thinking, and experience in applying it to sustainability challenges in a practical and entrepreneurial way. The alliance is a powerful combination for further integrating systems thinking in the research conducted by AMS Institute and its partners, and at the same time ensuring that the insights generated are tested and applied in practice throughout Amsterdam.”

Arjan van Timmeren, Scientific Director AMS Institute, said: “After a series of joint projects, we’re excited to formalize and further strengthen our collaboration with Metabolic this week. Working from the shared vision that innovation can not be forced upon cities, but needs to be generated, tested and developed in co-creation with its citizens, academia, government, civil society and entrepreneurs – we look forward to intensifying our ties with Metabolic and to continue working together on bespoke technological solutions that make the cities we love better, more sustainable and more inclusive places to live.”

Metabolic’s experience with multiple urban living labs, such as De Ceuvel, Buiksloterham and Hotel QO, will bring invaluable practical implementation learnings to the program. The team will begin working with AMS Institute’s Principal Investigators – highly acclaimed professors and global ambassadors from MIT, TU Delft and Wageningen University and Research – on three identified key themes: systems integration in area development, urban mining research and development; and regenerative, circular food systems. As part of the partnership, the consortium will then jointly seek additional funding, to extend research opportunities within prestigious research programmes such as Horizon2020.

An inaugural workshop was held this week, bringing the AMS Principal Investigators and Research Fellows together with the Metabolic team, to officially set the partnership in motion. Developments and news updates will be shared by both organizations as the program progresses.

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