In May and June, MADE students who followed the course Metropolitan Solutions had a chance to apply their acquired skills into practice. Over the course of two months, the students looked into metropolitan challenges and were challenged to research and design solutions. They have worked on three interesting and challenging cases, closing off with presentations at the studied locations.
The three projects are a good example of how students from MSc MADE are challenged to research and find innovative solutions to metropolitan challenges. Master MADE focuses on the metropolitan challenges of Amsterdam as a booming city, using Amsterdam as a case study and a living lab. Set-up in collaboration with AMS Institute, the program connects students to real-life cases, business, the city and its citizens – training them hands-on for the multidisciplinary challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s cities.
Case 1: Zeilfort Kudelstaart
The first case is an UNESCO heritage site Fort Kudelstaart, part of the ‘Stelling van Amsterdam’ (Defence Line of Amsterdam) to protect the Herenweg (road) and Westeinderplassen (lake). As there are plans to redevelop Zeilfort Kudelstaart into a pioneering venue with hospitality and leisure activities with private sector’s initiative, the challenge is how to make this Zeilfort future-proof. Currently, much attention has been given to the environmental and economic sustainability of the Zeilfort, but social sustainability has had a modest role.
“Stelling van Amsterdam acts as a “green line” for biodiversity, the uniqueness of the dune sand at these locations provides a chance to regain and expand the biodiversity in the region.”
Franke van der Laan (Ecologist, MEERBOMEN.NU), stakeholder Zeilfort Kudelstaart
To get to a future proof Zeilfort, students examined four areas, including temporary urban development, energy neutral solutions, social sustainability and catalyst effect. Based on the research of the four themes, students have developed a phase-based roadmap to incorporate all dimensions in a balanced manner. Executing this roadmap is a collaborative effort of a diverse range of stakeholders. Recognizing the interest in developments at the fort and the power to influence decisions and activities of each stakeholder provides, an overview is provided of how to manage each stakeholder during the phases of the roadmap.
Showing true entrepreneurial spirit, the students even built a Sup Centre and found a local partner to start engaging training activities in the fort for local youth. The commissioner gained new insights into his relationship with the community as well as about multifunctional possibilities for parking places.
“Shower heat exchanger could save up to 60% of the energy needed for hot showers, this is a relatively easy and financially feasible solution for the Fort.”
Jan Peter van der Hoek, stakeholder Zeilfort Kudelstaart
Case 2: Restaurant De Kas
The second case is Restaurant De Kas. Twenty years ago, the renowned restaurant De Kas took the lead in the field of catering sustainability and now strives to reinvent themselves as the prime example of contemporary restaurant innovation.
The student teams aimed to ameliorate the circularity of De Kas by solving the current challenges through a multitude of proposed interventions that apply to this restaurant. To ensure an efficient and effective introduction of sustainable initiatives, the interventions proposed by the different expert teams of Water, Waste, Urban Agriculture and Public Perception are synergized. The quest for sustainability is a multidisciplinary undertaking and we believe De Kas needs to implement multipurpose interventions that address several segments of their business at once if they want to solidify their position as a frontrunner in sustainable practices.
A ‘roadmap’ structure is used to organise the proposed interventions within one, two, five and ten years. The commissioner is already working on different issues and is planning to go ahead with strengthening the relation with the neighborhood.
“The garden should be easily available for farming as well as for visitors to walk around.”
Ynte Stor, gardener at De Kas
Case 3: Djame Masdjied Taibah Mosque
The third case is the Djame Masdjied Taibah Mosque in Zuidoost area of Amsterdam. The mosque aspires to be the first energy neutral mosque in the Netherlands and has already taken steps towards this goal by installing solar panels on the roof. However, they have the ambition to scale up their sustainability work, and that’s where the MADE students came in.
Expert teams worked on four different aspects of the mosque’s energy transition. One team developed different scenarios for making the mosque’s kitchen – which provides anywhere between 50 and 2,000 meals per day – futureproof. A second team devised a communication strategy for engaging the mosque’s wider community in discussions around sustainability, while another team worked on designing concrete actions that community members could take to use energy more responsibly in their daily lives. The final team mapped out a pathway that other mosques could take to join the Taibah Mosque on their sustainability journey. In addition, the group produced several impressive products for the mosque to use going forward, including a new website, a short video introducing the mosque’s sustainability work so far, and an online tool that shares information about household energy use.
The students found that bringing together both social and technical aspects of the energy transitions was the most interesting and challenging part of this project, which required unique and contextually specific solutions.
“Becoming more sustainable is not dealing with a single issue and then everything is sorted, it is everything around you.”