Urban Metabolism workshop @ AMS

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Conference, Homepage, Presentations, Project

On the 20th of May, an Urban Metabolism workshop was held at AMS institute in Amsterdam, organized by the research groups Environmental Technology (Wageningen UR) and Environmental Technology and Design (TU Delft). The goal was bringing together design sciences and sustainability technology for sharing research results, strategies and questions on Urban Metabolism as a common ground. The workshop sessions provided the opportunity of getting insights into the state-of-the-art of current works at WUR and TU Delft related to Urban Metabolism theory or its applications to technology or design.

As stated in the workshop opening by Prof. Huub Rijnaarts (WUR/ETE), the intention was “starting from people’s perspectives” rather than applying a purely academic view. These perspectives were those of scientists or junior researchers looking at different technical and societal aspects of the metabolisms of cities. Across the workshop sessions, they were questioning how these metabolisms currently function while providing visions of how they could or should be in future scenarios. NRGlab member Ilse Voskamp presented the first results of the Urban Pulse project, unraveling the dynamics of Amsterdam’s metabolism, while Daniela Perrotti discussed the issue of whether and how biophysical flows and ecosystem services are accounted for in material and energy flow analyses.

Sven Stremke took part in the closing debate as a panel discussant. Interestingly, the discussion was fueled by complementary viewpoints from a few private and public stakeholders involved in the AMS community. What tools, simulation models, guidelines or – eventually – solutions does society expect from science, for designing together a more sustainable metabolism of our cities? Reciprocally, how can researchers find the “right” stakeholders for implementing such projects and how to capitalize on bottom-up approaches as a part of the research process? How about the narrability of the solutions proposed by scientists with regard to people’s behaviors? These were among the questions that emerged through the debate. As open questions, by their own nature, they certainly provide an inspiring ground for future developments of an Urban Metabolism research platform across WUR, TU and AMS community.

More information available here.

AMS workshop-program