Circular Buiksloterham

Investigating Buiksloterham’s potential to become a world-class living lab for circular cities.

For Buiksloterham, a 100 hectare post-industrial site in Amsterdam-North, we developed a vision, roadmap and action plan to transition to a fully circular neighborhood. Today, the neighbourhood is set to become a global example of circular urban development.

  • Client: Waternet, De Alliantie and the City of Amsterdam (Dienst Ruimtelijke Ordening)
  • Partners: DELVA Landscape Architects, Studio Nine Dots, Peter Dortwegt (New Energy Docks), Saskia Muller (Amsterdam Smart City), Frank Alsema (Neighborhood Coordinator)
The challenge

Transforming cities is one of the biggest leverage points in moving towards a circular economy. Just a 3-minute ferry ride from the center of Amsterdam, Buiksloterham, a neighborhood in Amsterdam North, is a former industrial area being completely redeveloped into a neighborhood for living and working. This created an opportunity for the city to create Amsterdam’s first circular urban development. To do so, they brought in Metabolic to create a vision and action plan.

The challenge
Our approach

Together with the City of Amsterdam, housing corporations, utility companies, and residents, Metabolic analyzed the area’s resource flows and developed a 20-year vision for holistic circularity in Buiksloterham. With local stakeholders, Metabolic developed a set of interventions for improving the current situation through waste minimization, high levels of source separation, and improved recycling techniques. These interventions were then translated into a roadmap and action plan. In 2015, the Circular Buiksloterham Manifesto was signed by more than 25 committed stakeholders, anchoring public support for follow-up studies and pilot projects, and influencing urban development within Amsterdam as a whole.

Our approach
The outcome

The development of Buiksloterham as a living lab for circularity has led to a significant strengthening of the local economy and a transformation of what could previously have been deemed ‘unusable land’ into a thriving neighbourhood. Currently, Buiksloterham is undergoing transformation from an industrial area to a mixed living and working area. In 2013, the whole of Buiksloterham, an area of 100 hectares, totaled 252 residents. Once the redevelopment process envisioned by the city of Amsterdam is complete, it is projected that around 6500 people will live in Buiksloterham and an additional 8000 people will work in the area.

The outcome

“Buiksloterham is practically a “blank slate” that can “serve as both a test bed and catalyst for Amsterdam’s broader transition to becoming a circular, smart and biobased city.”

- Cityscope

Founder and CEO


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