Meaningful Circular Metabolism

The main products of this graduation are a new pattern language to map difficult/technical interventions in spatial tiles, a GIS model for assessing urban metabolism potentials and restrictions and a new approach for applying urban metabolism measurements on neighbourhood level. A personal motivation for me is the relation between the urban metabolism analysis and the impact it has on the urban design. Important questions are ‘where in the city should the urban designer or planner do something?’ and ‘how big does the intervention need to be?’ Often these questions are not addressed properly related to the theory of urban metabolism. The spatial component is often lacking and therefore the impact of urban metabolism on urban design is not well established. This graduation project focuses on bridging that gap. The testcase for this project is the city of Amsterdam.Amsterdam wants to be one of the frontier cities in the subject of circularity. This ambition is shown by the reports the city of Amsterdam has made. However it stays unclear how the analysis and the interventions relate to the context of Amsterdam. Where in the city would which measurements be implemented? And how that would change the city, how would it look? This leads to the research question: What is the spatial impact of the meaningful sustainable measurements, for key urban flows, which create a more circular city of Amsterdam? The studied flows in this graduation project are electricity, heat, drink water and phosphate. The project creates an inventory of twelve spatial intervention in creating circularity for the flows. The inventory contains the 1) spatial requirements and 2) theoretical potential. Based on the spatial requirements an allocation tool is created. This GIS based model for assessing urban metabolism potentials and restrictions is one of the outcomes of this graduation project. This model is not only an analytical step towards the urban design, but an outcome in itself. However the goal of the graduation project was to see what is the spatial impact of urban metabolism. For this a location was chosen based partially on the GIS model. For this location spatial exploration is made The exploration shows the possible potential of each measurement and their spatial impact. By comparing all the possible interventions we get a design brief for the location. Then a more in depth design experiment is made for an area in Slotervaart. This to see how the design can not only be a technical solution but also add to the urban quality. The design zoom-in contains 3 elements which can be replicated in the area of Slotervaart in similar areas. These elements are 1) a housing block with row housing, 2) housing block with high density housing, 3) neighbourhood nutrient hub. The design impressions show how the elements look, work together and add value to the site. Showing the relation between how much the interventions solve and their spatial impact. This shows the real spatial impact of the interventions related to the potential circularity. The used process is a new approach for applying urban metabolism measurements on neighbourhood level.

Associated space

Amsterdam