Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. As commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered a primary world city by the Globalization and World Cities study group. The city’s development strategy focuses primarily on achieving sufficient high-quality housing in mixed urban environments. Moreover, by 2020, it has objective of a reduction of 20% in the energy consumed per inhabitant, and a 20% increase of total energy produced by renewable sources. Amsterdam has chosen to generate a large percentage via solar energy from roofs, the installation of a closed heating network warmed by residual heat and the installation of additional wind turbines in the Port of Amsterdam.
The Future of The Car in Amsterdam
More room for pedestrians, cyclists, playing children and green space – which means less room for cars. This is the vision of the College of Mayor and Alderpersons for the future of Amsterdam. Measures have already been taken to achieve it, including increasing parking tariffs and reducing the number of parking spaces.
Buiksloterham - Eco-City Case in Netherlands
Buiksloterham is an ecological city in Amsterdam with areas of mixed functions or mixed usages. For example, a futuristic residential cluster is with an area of 100 hectares, and 1 million square meters of floor space, FSI = 1. It has 2700 inhabitant residences + 2000 private residences (collectives). In half of the residential houses, residents will be of large families, that is to say, families live together for a number of generations. In the Netherlands, this is called concentrated property development. While in the other half, their developments are led by the municipal government, mainly for some welfare housing or self-purchased housing. But development of the first type is mainly led by private owners.
This is a small city with 244 households in the suburb. As you can see from the picture below, this small town is very green with very high green coverage ratio. People here hope to develop the area into an eco-city, and has made a good attempt. The public is very enthusiastic about developing eco-city. Local people implemented specific measures. The project has received great support from the local government.
The collection and use of rainwater made water reuse more efficient. All water resources are collected into a basin and processed through the sewage treatment system. In addition, the power generation system is also locally owned. So it can be said that this area is basically the best case for ecological protection.
GWL Terre & Heerhugowaard - Eco-City Case in Netherlands
GWL Tterrein is a district of Amsterdam. It used to be the site of natural gas and hydropower plants. The specific measures were taken for the district redevelopment and were initiated and planned by the local people.
The specifics are as follows: all the cars in the entire area are parked underground. No parking car can be seen from the ground. Some roofs are green. The area with more than 100 households is very densely dwelled. It has some high-rise buildings as well. These areas are similar to some residential areas with busy traffic that people usually see. As shown in the picture below, the highlight is its re-development and re-utilization of the sites of some original factories, and it is therefore famous.
In Heerhugowaard, solar panels are available in every house in this suburb to collect solar energy. There are more than 3,000 homes in this area, and each house has solar panels on the roof to collect solar energy. In terms of population density, this area is basically equal to a medium-dense city. In addition, this area also enjoys wind farms. Wind power and solar energy make the area energy-independent.
Sustainable Floating Neighbourhood Nears Completion
The most sustainable floating residential neighbourhood in Europe will soon be ready for the residents to move in. After years of dreaming, research, design and construction, the Schoonschip project is starting to take shape. The water homes will float on the Johan van Hasseltkanaal, a waterway in Buiksloterham, Amsterdam Noord.
The homes are currently being constructed in different locations in the Netherlands. They will then be towed to the Johan van Hasseltkanaal. The neighbourhood will also have social activities, leisure facilities, and floating gardens.
Source: Gemeente Amsterdam
Increase in Parking Fees to Improve Quality of Life
Amsterdam is growing, flourishing and getting more and more crowded. Keeping the city liveable and accessible is a major challenge. Cars still place a huge burden on the available space. In its efforts to restrict traffic in the city centre, the City Council is proposing an increase in parking fees for visitors. Anyone who wants to park in Amsterdam will pay more for this service starting in April 2019.
Amsterdam City wants to encourage residents and visitors to change how they travel to and around the city. Many Amsterdammers choose not to use their cars or even make the conscious decision not to buy one. More and more visitors are starting to use the P+R (Park + Ride) facilities on the outskirts of the city.
Source: Gemeente Amsterdam
Bikes Have Overtaken Cars
The City of Amsterdam has made great efforts to promote greener means of transport, and successfully. The citizens now prefer bicycles over cars.
Over the last thirty years, the municipal authority of Amsterdam has worked hard on encouraging bicycle use by providing cycle paths and lanes; bicycle and pedestrian friendly roads and an extensive network of parking facilities for bicycles. The main bicycle routes through the city are part of the ‘Hoofdnet Fiets’ bicycle network. A complex network of bicycle routes through the entire city, which ensures all of Amsterdam is safely and comfortably accessible by bicycle.
Source: European Commission
Guidelines on Investment & Financing for Green Buildings
Green building investment and financing refers to the investment and financing behavior in the field of green building.
The green funding gap for green building construction in China is still large. To fill it, statistics predict that CNY 3 to 4 trillion worth of yearly investments are needed for the whole period of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). According to prediction, of the total needed investment, only the 10% to 15% can come from the government, the rest is made of social capital. Therefore, it is necessary to effectively mobilize private capitals into the field of green building.
In the top-level design of green finance in China, there is a lack of docking schemes for green buildings, albeit efforts have been made in this regard. In August 2016, seven ministries and commissions, including the People's Bank of China, jointly issued the “Guidelines on Building a Green Financial System”, a blueprint for China's green financial development plan. However, they did not clearly point out the specific financing, financing methods and implementation methods of green finance for green buildings.
In summary, China's green building investment and financing sector urgently needs to set clear guidelines to ensure the green development of China's urban and rural construction to achieve the overall development goals of 2050.
The guideline aims to consider all the aspects of the green building financing, from the technical side (use of green technology and energy-saving effects) to the potential benefits and capital risks connected with the investments.
The objective is to embed ecological and environmental considerations (from financial to social externalizations) in the decision making process of the operators from the construction sectors.
Urban Development and Growing International Trade Within the BRI
The growth in international trade and investments around the EU Trans European Network -Transport (TEN-T) policy and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is leading to increasing transport volumes between China and the EU. Cities are the key nodes in these growing national, regional and intercontinental transport networks and should contribute to and benefit from the increased trade.
However, without proper planning and management, those urban nodes can become blockages in national and international transport flows. Local congestion around hubs and terminals can lead to reduced network efficiency and increased levels of local air pollution.
Chinese cities have an opportunity to plan the development of safe, clean and affordable transportation systems. The impact that such development can bring in terms of economic opportunities, human wellbeing, and climate change are determined by the choices city leaders make today: a sustainable urban/spatial hub development will be part of “resilient cities” with logistic hubs as part of the urban structures.
The proposed Project is designed to bring together Chinese and European Cities (such as Hamburg, Barcelona, Gothenburg) along key trade routes to work together to optimize their leading roles as national, regional and international hubs.
The EU and China together can define a model of rising trade and prosperity combined with healthy cities. To this aim, Europe and China need to work together to maximize the benefits of trade while minimizing potential negative impacts on cities.
Policy: Sustainability and Energy
Sustainability is one of Amsterdam’s top priorities; so, the city government has therefore set a number of clear goals, such as reducing waste and transitioning to a circular economy. The Sustainability Agenda describes a number of goals designed to speed up the move towards a sustainable city:
• By 2020, Amsterdam will generate 20% more renewable energy and use 20% less energy per resident than in 2013.
• Improve air quality by putting as many zero-emissions vehicles on the road as possible.
• Establish a circular economy with new forms of production, distribution and consumption.
• Ensure that 65% of household waste is collected separately by 2020.
Source: Gemeente Amsterdam
Amsterdam Outlines New Sustainability Measures
The City of Amsterdam wants to increase the pace of improving sustainability in the Dutch capital.
As part of the new motion, the number of households using locally-generated sustainable electricity needs to have increased by at least 92,000 by 2020. Concrete plans have been drawn up for energy saving efforts and accelerating the process of connecting existing houses to district heating systems. The construction market will be challenged to build greener properties. Air quality in the city will be improved through continued efforts to encourage the use of electric transport, by stimulating smart distribution processes and extending low emission zones to include more types of vehicles.
Source: Gemeente Amsterdam
Policy: Clean Streets Action Plan
Clean, attractive city streets are more than just an effective calling card; they are a necessity for any liveable city. The Clean Streets Action Plan details exactly how to get Amsterdam looking its best again. The plan contains three key points:
• Data-driven cleaning: Street cleaning teams will make use of real-time data, such as sensors that alert workers when waste containers are full.
• Shared responsibility: Amsterdam will cooperate and share responsibility with businesses and residents.
• Smarter methods: Street cleaning will no longer be arranged separately for each city district, but centrally for the whole city.
Source: Gemeente Amsterdam