From the kitchen table at AMS Institute Kenneth Heijns, Managing Director at AMS Institute, and Sacha Stolp, Director Future-Proof Assets for the City of Amsterdam - will be hosting this weekly podcast and explore solutions to urban challenges. Solutions further down the road, and solutions that can be scaled-up tomorrow. Together with thinkers and doers, they discuss what should be on the agenda of every mayor. With the podcast, we aim to inspire you and other thinkers and doers to accelerate global urban transitions.

We discuss major urban challenges and transitions such as: how do we move towards a circular city, what is the path to a safe digital city, which innovations already exist for our current mobility system and who will make our city climate-proof?

Video special - first episode Mayor’s Manual - The role of leadership in urban transitions

“Let us immerse ourselves in the mass of people and learn from each other, share knowledge, be optimistic, trust and cooperate. Because we can not only learn from nature. We can also do that from technology, from each other, and from one of the greatest technical achievements that people are capable of: building fine, ingenious and sustainable cities.”

Sacha Stolp

Director of innovation

Listen to the Mayor's Manual podcast

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Episode #18 | Urban Transitions - Inclusive citizen engagement (Eng.)

This week's episode is made specifically to help you make European cities reach their target of becoming climate neutral by 2030 through inclusive citizen engagement. Our guests are Leonie van den Beuken and Alexandra Almaral.

Leonie is program director at Amsterdam Smart City, an expert in creating inclusiveness in citizen engagement initiatives and driven by the opportunity to create and facilitate sustainable solutions. Alexandra is founder of the Shift Initiative, an expert on belonging, engagement and inclusiveness with a keen focus and enthusiasm for cross-cultural behavioral insights and human transformation.

Together we discuss how we can create inclusive change. Change that gives a true feeling of belonging, includes all voices and takes into account human behaviour throughout transitions. We discuss how we can create acceptance, the right mindset and a common language necessary for change.

Listen this week to learn more about the topic of change from the perspective of acceptance and inclusion. Find out more about the European event ‘100 Climate Neutral Cities in Europe by 2030, here.

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“Once you truly feel the scale, scope and speed at which we need to transform our cities, then it is clear we need to act now and act together. With the Mayor’s Manual we have conversations with thinkers and doers, on the best ideas, brightest talent and unusual partnerships to speed up and scale up the transition.”

Kenneth Heijns

Managing Director

Episode #17 | Urban Underground - an infarct in the making?

This week we are talking to two experts in the field of our underground surface, Lidwien Besselink and Ernst Klaver. Lidwien is a senior consultant on the underground surfaces at the engineering office of the municipality of Amsterdam. Here she works as project leader of the Strategic Exploration of the Underground surface, initiator of the 'the collateral' working group and member of the Linking Opportunities project to encourage deeper thinking. She wants to inspire people to think more about the underground surface of the city and all designs.

Ernst is a sustainable water management consultant at Wavin, specializing in the underground infrastructure for the processing of water. He is involved in the Amsterdam Rainproof project in which, among other things, he is committed to an integrated approach between the various departments of the Municipality of Amsterdam.

We discuss the state of our underground infrastructure and what that means for all future ambitions. How can we properly put together the 3D puzzle of the underground infrastructure, how do all interests and ambitions receive the correct, integral attention and what is the correct effect on the 'total cost of ownership'?

Listen this week to learn more about the spaghetti of cables and pipes in our underground surface and what integrated solutions are possible.

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Episode #16 | Sustainable Urban Development - The art of seeing the bigger picture

This week we speak to Amber Huizinga and Jorine Noordman. Amber is Head of Development at Aedes real estate, where she combines her interest in complex and sustainable projects with her vision on the positive effects of long-term strategies. As a project developer, she emphasizes the importance of involvement from investment to management in order to convert ambitious long-term visions into results. Jorine is a specialist in nature-inclusive building of a team for water, greenery and (living) environment at the engineering office of the Municipality of Amsterdam. In her daily work she advises projects and area developers on nature-inclusive design and development, in which the interests of humans, animals and plants are represented. She uses her specific knowledge from urban planning to ecology to realize a nature-inclusive city.

We discuss the barriers that must be overcome when moving from a short-term to a long-term vision, why ambitions do not translate well into situations with shared responsibilities and divergent interests and whether it is time to advocate for a sustainability warehouse at municipalities.

Listen this week to learn more about long-term strategies for sustainable and nature-inclusive development in the built environment. Curious about the Mannoury project? Then look at If you want to know more about the approach of the municipality of Amsterdam to nature-inclusive construction, visit the page Nature-inclusive construction manual -

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Episode #15 | Urban forestry - Trading glass, concrete and stone for wood, soil and leaves in the built environment (Eng.).

Our guests this week are Paco Bunnik and Stefano Boeri.
Paco works as a lead urban designer for the department of Planning & Sustainability of the Municipality of Amsterdam. Here he focuses on integral urban planning and regeneration of districts for a future proof Amsterdam. Stefano is an Italian architect and urban planner, founder of Stefano Boeri Architetti. He is well known for his pioneering work in urban forestry design for high-rise buildings and city districts.

We have a conversation about the new public image and bold statement needed for a proper valuation of green ecosystems in the built environment, the positive impact urban forestry has on inhabitants and the necessity for storytelling when radically reenvisioning our shared surroundings. How do we build green cities when the demand for renovation and maintenance is greater than the demand for newly built green buildings?

Listen in this week to learn more about urban forestry and how we can make integrated green in buildings a standard outcome and not a unique request.

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Episode #14 | Discussing values, long term visions and trust (Eng.)

Our guests this week are Lindsey Ogston and Jan Jorrit Hasselaar. Lindsey is Environmental Stewardship Coordinator at Tsleil Waututh Nation, Vancouver Canada.
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive leader in First Nations economic development, with multiple businesses, partnerships and strategies to acquire and manage wealth for current and future generations. Jan Jorrit is an economist & public theologian. He is the Coördinator at the Centre for Religion and Sustainable Development at VU University and part of the Dominican Study Center for Theology and Society.

Lindsey and Jan Jorrit tell us about the role safe spaces can play in the search for strong, shared values and long time lines and in helping us create and strengthen relationships between people, even if they strongly disagree. Furthermore we talk about the importance of trust and how it can help us accelerate urban transitions.

Learn more about the Tsleil-Waututh community and their values here & about the Centre for Religion and Sustainable Development here!

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Episode #12 | Nature-based solutions: How tradition can meet innovation (Eng.)

Our guests this week are Melina Scholefield (Manger of the Green Infrastructure Implementation) and Tim van Hattum (Program Leader of Green Climate Solutions at WUR). Melina and her team are leading the City’s ambitious Rain City Strategy, a cross-departmental green rainwater infrastructure and urban rainwater management initiative. Tim van Hattum and his team created a map of the Netherlands in 2120 based on the narrative of large scale implementation of nature-based solutions. We have a conversation about the importance of revaluing rainwater as a resource, the implementation proces of nature-based solutions and how this can be visualized to the public. We discuss different questions, such as: How can innovations like nature-based solutions be linked to personal values and traditions and what challenges arise when implementing these solutions?

Listen in this week to learn about Nature Based Solutions and how we can scale up their implementation. See for yourself how green the Netherlands can look 2120here!

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Episode #10 | New York City – Strengthening urban resilience in response to climate change (Eng.)

In this new episode of the Mayor’s Manual podcast, we talk to Daniel Zarrilli, the Chief Climate Policy Advisor of New York City. Daniel worked on the Green New Deal, which should prepare New York City for the consequences of climate change. It’s a good example of a coastal city that faced its vulnerability, with Hurricane Sandy. This event was a turning point for the climate policy. It resulted in a more future-oriented approach in which they critically looked to the future, to know what climate-related events are coming and what they can do about it. Together with Daniel, we talk about the importance of both climate and social resilience in order to tackle those future challenges. The questions that we will discuss are: What is the importance of a strong democracy for the fights against climate change? And what are the best practices that came out of these projects that should be shared with other mayors?

Find this episode on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts and Spotify.

Episode #9 | Residential cooperative the Warren - an affordable community for all living things

This week a conversation with and about housing cooperative the Warren. Chandar is a sustainability consultant at Metabolic and creator and co-founder of the Warren. Boris is an architect, founder of architectural firm Natrufied, specializing in nature inclusive design and architect for the Warren. Carried on by a group of 50 enthusiastic stakeholders, the Warren will be a nature-inclusive residential building with 36 social and middle rented homes in Amsterdam. Boris and Chandar will take you through the ups and downs of setting up a housing cooperative, the creation of a nature inclusive design, and a democratic decision-making strategy. Listen in this week to learn more about an innovative kind of ownership of sustainable, affordable real estate for the urbanites of today and tomorrow.

For more information about this project and natrufied, check out the Warren's website: or at

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Episode #7 | The energy transition - an artist's view of value creation, ownership, use and democracy.

In this episode, we discuss examples of and new ideas about value creation, ownership and use. We discuss the importance of democratizing the energy transition and learn how an artist's perspective can contribute to this.

This week's guests are Reinier Bosch and Pallas Agterberg. Reinier is co-owner of studio Solarix, an artist and fascinated by design that adds more than just looks. Pallas is a Challange officer at Alliander and an artist with an innovative view on the social side of technological solutions.

Find this episode on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts and Spotify.

Episode #6 | The mobility transition - a connecting problem

In this sixth podcast, we discuss challenges and solutions related to the mobility transition. Specifically, we will discuss the modes of transport of the future, public transport, the impact of corona on our travel behavior, and the opportunities it offers. We also discuss the possibilities of transport by water and why the government and public parties should invest in the digitalization.
Listen to this week to get an idea of some of the main challenges and corresponding solution directions that are important within the mobility transition in cities.

Our guests this week are Stephan van Dijk (Director of Innovation of AMS Institute) and Niels van Oort (Co-director of the Smart Public Transport Lab of the TU Delft).

Find this episode on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts and Spotify.

Episode #3 | Urban food system - short chains and robot farmers

Our guests this week are Dr. Alexander Laarman (Business Developer at Wageningen University & Research, AMS Institute and and Ard van de Kreeke (founder and manager GROWx).

With them, we discuss changes in the urban food system. How is the transition to urban food production and circular agriculture going and what does the urban farmer of the future look like? Listen this week to learn more about the future of urban food production.

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Episode #2 | Scaling-up innovation - can be done better!

This week, Bas van Beers is our guest at the Mayor's Manual podcast to discuss how we can accelerate scaling up innovative solutions. Bas is founding partner at FRINGE.

According to Bas it's good to be inspired by examples from abroad and to not strive for profit maximization in new business cases, but for a simple, net return.

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Episode #1 | Taking Leadership in Urban transition

In this episode we talk to Orbia CEO Daniel Martínez-Valle, AMS institute scientific director Eveline van Leeuwen and Brian Schmitt from RESILIO and Metropolder company about the challenges they see and in which direction we should seek solutions.

Find this episode on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts and Spotify