"Workshops like this one are a unique opportunity to have people from different backgrounds exchange ideas and share thoughts in one room. Inspiring to see businesses, government officials and academics come up with shared concepts for accelerating circular transition together."
— Aga Biedalak, Research and Innovation Lead Space&Matter

1 — Mapping circular businesses in Amsterdam region 

Our sustainability experts have created a comprehensive framework for identifying circular businesses operating in the Amsterdam region. The framework takes into account the entire life cycle of construction, from the extraction of raw materials to the end of a building's useful life and its potential for reuse. With this framework, we have identified over 120 businesses operating in the region and have evaluated their circular products and services, providing a comprehensive overview of their construction sector's circularity potential.

2 — Interviewing circularity champions

In order to gain a better understanding of the challenges that companies face in their efforts towards circular transformation and business growth, we conducted a series of interviews. Our diverse group of respondents included a range of businesses, from small start-ups to long established companies, and encompassed various industries such as manufacturing, design, and building technology. Through these interviews, we were able to gain valuable insights into the shared challenges faced by these businesses. Now, the question remains: what are the expectations of business owners, managers and consultants in terms of collaboration with the city? 

3 — Co-creating future pathways for circular ecosystem

To translate our research findings into applicable solutions that would benefit both local businesses and the City of Amsterdam, we organised a workshop. The workshop brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including representatives from local circular businesses as well as four officials from different city departments. By involving multiple perspectives in this conversation, we were able to share our research findings and co-design pathways for the creation of a circular ecosystem in Amsterdam’s built environment.

"We need to appoint a so-called “mediator of innovation”, someone who is well informed about companies’ respective strengths and can bring them together."
— Workshop participant

Roadmap towards creating a circular ecosystem

Throughout this process, we have come to realise the immense potential for collaboration within the sector. It has become evident that companies must work together to effectively implement a circular economy, and that the city has a vital role to play in supporting the transition of the built environment. As a result of our results, we have developend potential pathways and a roadmap outlining actions that should be taken within the next year, two years, and ten years. 

Space&Matter - Whole Life Cycle diagram. Terminology used in the diagram referenced to terms and life cycle stages defined in EN 15978