Amsterdam: The Economy is a Doughnut

coffee and chocolate

Amsterdam is embracing an ecological approach to their economy by looking at it as if it’s a doughnut. Of course, it’s not a literal snack they are using, it’s a metaphor to visualize how different aspects of life interact with each other in an economic model. Classical economic models assume there’s always an external source of input and an external output where waste can be dumped (like the sea, air, landfills, etc.); but ecological models take into consideration the whole economic system. As a result these doughnut models capture reality much better since it’s no longer possible to socialize the costs of waste from running a modern economy.

“Within these two boundaries, between the social foundation that is on the inside and the ecological ceiling, there is this doughnut-shaped space where it is possible to meet the needs of all within the means of the living planet,” says Ilektra Kouloumpi, a senior strategist at Circle Economy, a nonprofit that has been working with Raworth, along with the nonprofits Biomimicry 3.8 and C40 Cities, to help the Amsterdam government adopt the doughnut model to make policy decisions. “The overarching question is: How can our city be home to thriving people, in a thriving place, while respecting the well-being of all people and the health of the whole planet?”

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Amsterdam Wants to be Known for Sustainable Transportation

Like a town in Sweden, Amsterdam wants to be known for it’s greenness. The city council has decided to show the uniqueness of their beautiful city by being the exemplar of sustainable transportation.

The Netherlands – Amsterdam, the world’s number one cycling city with some 60% of all trips in the city centre made by bicycle, wants to turn into the world’s centre of expertise on sustainable mobility. A program to reach that goal was launched on Tuesday.

Amsterdam City Council and various Amsterdam businesses and organizations have joined together in a platform for sustainable mobility: Amsterdam Cycling to Sustainability. A declaration of intent was signed on Tuesday 1st April by Councillor Tjeerd Herrema and the initiators Jos Louwman of MacBike and Pascal van den Noort from Vélo Mondial. Prominent Amsterdam businesses and organizations such as the RAI association, JCDecaux, the Amsterdam Innovation Motor, the Fietsfabriek and Mister Green, also signed the declaration of intent.

Sustainable mobility will ensure that Amsterdam maintains its accessibility and quality of life. Amsterdam is on the right path. Bicycles are widely used in the city and there are all sorts of positive initiatives in the field of sustainable mobility. There is, however, a lot still to be done which is why the Amsterdam City Council and various Amsterdam businesses and organizations are working together to promote sustainable mobility in Amsterdam.

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