Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference 2019

Urban Lab: The circular city in global contexts

Pre-conference, 23 October

Due to their environmental impact, cities play a crucial role in the transition towards sustainable societies, both locally and globally. Cities can help to reveal the opportunities of the circular economy and to show practical ways to get there. In this Urban Lab we share insights on how we can implement innovative, circular (collaboration) projects of the city in research and education on location in the north of Amsterdam.

De Ceuvel Café and Restaurant



13:30 Meet up at AIS Registration Desk, guided travel to location
14:15 Welcome
14:30 Ass.Prof. Coyan Tromp 'Wicked Philosophy for Wicked Problems'
14:50 Prof. Mendel Giezen 'Circular Cities in Global Contexts'
15:10 Chandar van der Zanden 'Lessons Learned in Practice'
15:40 Discussion
15:50 Start Tour around Ceuvel
16:20 End


At 18:00 there is a pre-conference dinner located on the waterside at the 'Tolhuistuin' which gives you one of the best views of Amsterdam (20 minute walk). The coordinator of the Urban Lab can take you there. If you would like to join this dinner, please buy a separate ticket from the webshop.

Mendel Giezen & Coyan Tromp from the UvA will take you to ‘the Ceuvel’ in North- Amsterdam during this Urban Lab. The Ceuvel is a sustainable breeding ground for creative and social entrepreneurs on a former shipyard, partly set up by Future Planet Studies students from the UvA’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS). It is a bustling community of entrepreneurs and artists with a green heart who have personally contributed to their workplaces in Amsterdam's first circular office park.

Climate proof cities with Mendel Giezen

Prof. Mendel Giezen is a researcher and lecturer at the UvA and conducts (transdisciplinary) research on climate-proof cities, urban CO2 mitigation and the integration of new technologies in urban planning. Giezen will explain about circularity in the city of Amsterdam and how he has used the Ceuvel as a practical example in his international UvA Summer School "Circular City". He also explains how he applies insights from his research on environmental urban planning into the municipality of Amsterdam.

Wicked Problems with Coyan Tromp

Ass. Prof. Coyan Tromp, is university lecturer in the interdisciplinary bachelor course Future Planet Studies and recently published a book about "Wicked Philosophy". During the Lab she examines vision development for complex problems and how she teaches students to tackle "wicked" problems through a design project during the semester ‘Food’ at Future Planet Studies.

Strategic choices with Chandar van der Zanden

However, due to the complexity of the political, geographical and economic context, compromises and trade-offs within this type of innovative, urban projects, are inevitable. Chandar van der Zande of consultancy and building venture ‘Metabolic’ explains how the unruliness of the practice has influenced the strategic choices made for the Ceuvel. He also talks about how Metabolic uses the knowledge gained from the pilot projects of the Ceuvel to advise on circularity in other places.

Chandar van der Zande will take you on a tour at the Ceuvel to discover the terrain and see how the innovations came about in practice.

Green house Metabolic Lab project

Published by  Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies

8 October 2019