Amsterdam welcomes the circular economy 

Cirkelstad (in Dutch), as the initiative is known, is a “circular economy” concept that began in Rotterdam with the goal of renewing neighbourhoods both physically and socially; for example, by making better use of waste materials.

The concept has already spread to other cities in the Netherlands, and it most recently landed in Amsterdam. In the Amsterdam version, 19 partners (Dutch link) are working together on the transition to a circular economy in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, which also includes Zaanstad, Aalsmeer, and Haarlem. The various cities involved in the Cirkelstad project also share their knowledge with each other, which accelerates the transition to the circular economy even more.

A wide range of projects to make Amsterdam more sustainable 

Government partners in the Amsterdam version of the Cirkelstad include the City of Amsterdam and the Dutch Ministries of Infrastructure and Environment, Economic Affairs, and the Interior. Many parties from the Dutch business world are also involved, including BAM, OVG Real Estate (the developer of Deloitte's sustainable office building The Edge), and Dura Vermeer.

Each partner has its own project that is linked to the initiative. The Port of Amsterdam, for example, is working together with the City of Amsterdam to create a “circular hub” for building materials. This hub makes it possible to recycle materials from demolition and construction projects into reusable elements. Amsterdam-based Stonecycling, one of several start-ups to take part in Cirkelstad, recycles some of this construction waste into high-quality new building materials, such as bricks.

Another example is the sustainability consulting firm Copper8, which has introduced its own Amsterdam office as a model project. Their office has been designed and manufactured in a circular way from the very beginning, using waste materials taken from demolition sites. Likewise, construction group BAM is working on a form of 3D printing that uses bio-based or recycled materials, as part of the European Fabcity.