AMS Science for the city #11 – Today’s challenges of Amsterdam

Urban challenges from the MSc MADE students’ perspective

The students of the master Metropolitan Analysis, Design and Engineering (MSc MADE) work on defining and understanding the metropolitan challenges that Amsterdam is facing today. With a series of knowledge clips, they share their first observations on the challenges of the city of Amsterdam within themes such as urban mobility, food, water, waste, energy and health – and learn to understand how these challenges are interlinked. During this programme we aim to take their observations one step further and engage in discussions on the possible solutions.

Based on the following knowledge clips, Nikolaus Houben and Matthew Bearden share their first observations on the challenges the city of Amsterdam is facing today:

Floating cities
The city of Amsterdam is experiencing an increased pressure in several ways. One the one hand, its population is estimated to grow with 50.000 people in the next seven years. Also, tourist activity will continue to increase. Due to this, housing prices have been rising extremely and property prices have surged by 19,3% between 2017 and 2018 alone. On the other hand, we are confronted with rising sea levels due to climate change. Therefore, we need to mitigate our footprint by using sustainable energy sources and transition to more eco-friendly household practices. How can a city provide affordable, attractive and eco-friendly housing? Could living in floating houses be a solution? On what scale? And is the City of Amsterdam ready for it?

Based on this Knowledge Clip, we further discuss the matter with our panel:

Ties Reijcken (TU Delft): researcher Intergrated Delta & Flood Risk Systems Development from TU Delft
Sascha Glasl (Space & Matter): Architect and researcher, co-founder
Nikolaus Houben (MSc MADE): student, and (co-)producer of the Knowledge Clip Living on Water

Amsterdam is under treat of Disneyfication. Its historical heritages are been commercialized in the sake of the tourist industry. The city begins to look like a theme park and in 2016 Amsterdam was facing almost 18 million visitors, which is more than the entire population of the Netherlands. Is it true that a Disneyfied Amsterdam leaves residents with no room for a normal lifestyle? How can we promote the preservation of Amsterdam’s historical significance and its quality of life?

Based on this Knowledge Clip, we further discuss the matter with our panel:

Dennis Boutkan (Raadslid PvdA Amsterdam): expert in economic business, tourism and balance in the city
Roel Mostert (Managing Director Holland Inbound): expert in international destination marketing and -sales, trade promotor and international media
Carla Hoffschulte (Ruimte voor Communicatie): Researcher and core team member Amsterdam in Progress
Matthew Bearden (MSc MADE): student and (co-)producer of the Knowledge Clip Disneyfication

This event will take place December 12th from 20.00-22.00h at Pakhuis de Zwijger. Register for the event here.

Photo by Delphine Chevalier