Amsterdam as a Sustainable European Metropolis: Integration of Water, Energy and Material Flows

Amsterdam has the ambition to develop as a competitive and sustainable European metropolis. The flows of energy, water and resources within the urban environment have a large potential to contribute to this ambition. The overall mass balances of phosphate, food, water, energy and material imports in the Amsterdam region have already been mapped. Through a transition from a linear usage of resources and waste production without feedbacks of resources, towards a sustainable management of urban resources with circular flows of resources, the sustainability of cities can be increased. This Urban Harvesting Concept can be applied in Amsterdam. The challenge is to operationalize this concept in practice. Two municipal companies in Amsterdam, Waternet and AEB, take initiatives to create closed cycles within their working areas. Waternet is the water company of Amsterdam and surroundings responsible for all water activities. AEB is the company which operates two waste-to-energy plants in Amsterdam. The focus is on water, energy, waste and material flows. Integration of these cycles is also part of the initiatives. These circular flows result in economic benefits and sustainability benefits, either expressed as Ecopoints or CO2-emissions.