Zero Waste Buiksloterham

an Integrated Approach to Circular Cities

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Abstract

Waste is one of the core problems in sustainable city design. In current city planning waste management systems are often disregarded. However, concepts that deal with waste and resources within urban areas are getting more and more attention. ‘Zero waste’ is one of the most visionary concepts for solving waste problems. The concept of the zero waste neighbourhood includes a 90% recycling rate and recovery of all resources from waste materials. However, it has been found that there are many challenges in the development of zero waste concepts in the urban context. The challenges relate to social, political, economic, technological and environmental contexts. This thesis focuses on Buiksloterham, a neighbourhood in Amsterdam. In order to design (spatial) interventions for zero waste Buiksloterham, 31 solutions are developed that aim to reduce, re-use and recycle household waste in the urban district. These general solutions are combined in the booklet ‘Waste Solutions to use in Urban Districts’. An integrated approach has resulted in the design of seven zero waste interventions for Buiksloterham. The design showed that there are five conditions that contribute to the development of Buiksloterham as zero waste neighbourhood: the available space, the mixed use area development, the level of participation of stakeholders, the different stages of development and the scale. The interventions in Buiksloterham can provide interesting urban program, contribute to the urban quality of the area and create a new public domain. It has been estimated that by implementing the interventions Buiksloterham could transform in a 85% zero waste neighbourhood. The design has resulted in five recommendations for zero waste Buiksloterham and five recommendations for zero waste Amsterdam. Nevertheless, in the transition to circular cities there is more needed than urban design. We have to think and act different and we have to invest in new ways of working, producing and consuming. However, this thesis showed that zero waste interventions can be integrated in an urban area, can bring urban quality and in that way can contribute in the transition to circular cities.