Sustainable Amsterdam

Energy Efficient and Sustainable Design and Building

This Sustainability Guide was created on the basis of student work in the course of the seminar „Sustainable Architecture, Urban and Landscape Planning” in the winter semester 2019/2020 at the Institute of Energy, Efficient and Sustainable Design and Building. It aimed to prepare a one-week excursion to Amsterdam in the summer semester, which we have postponed by one year due to the current situation.

Why is the city of Amsterdam so special and unique? Why does it draw our attention and makes people want to visit and experience it themselves? How come that it is perceived as liveable, innovative and sustainable?
Is it even truly sustainable?
In this book, the city of Amsterdam has been analyzed on several indicators to break the answers to these questions and the complexity of the city down into segments. Firstly the Netherlands and its history are introduced to better understand the cities surrounding influences over the last centuries. Part of this is the current performance of the country on the introduced indicators and the city’s political system. The following chapters are divided into the different indicators Urban Planning, Waste, Green Infrastructure, Water Management, Mobility and Energy.
This overview, about the hard facts for each of the city’s major segments that are responsible for its functioning, differentiates and identifies its strengths and weaknesses from a holistic perspective. This includes the current municipal goals for the future which will expose large discrepancies and enable the evaluation of the city’s position as a sustainable city. Can it be a role model for other cities in the years to come or is it not even future proof?
The final conclusions will create a realistic vision for the city of Amsterdam under the question: “How could Amsterdam in 2050 look like, if the people, the political shapers, the municipal administration and the economical actors focus on the development of a sustainable city which is based on the people’s needs and desires?”
We hope that this book will inspire others to demystify underlying complex city structures which inhibit the successful implementation of sustainable interventions and actions.
“Not everything is as it seems, the closer you look, the more you see…” …and with every weakness there is a new opportunity.

Green Infrastructure
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Floating Office for Waternet, Office, Amsterdam
Example from project analyses
KasHuis, Private Housing, Amsterdam
Example from project analyses