City Net Zero

Centre of Expertise City Net Zero

From research and education to business and citizens: making rapid transition possible together

Climate-neutral, circular, climate-resilient: that is the plan for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region (MRA) and the clear objective of the Centre of Expertise City Net Zero. We are an initiative of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA – Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences), founded to stimulate local industry, research and academia collaboration, to create a net-zero MRA. Doing our part in the transition to a sustainable society.

Our city is facing some very modern challenges: increased risk of climate change induced flooding, managing large volumes of waste, and the need to speed up the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the MRA sees many opportunities for innovation. One of them is renovation of the existing housing stock, as a part of addressing the acute lack of affordable housing. How to make housing more energy efficient while introducing circular renovation and construction materials?

Synergistic solutions

The challenge is to ensure that synergistic solutions emerge that deliver results greater than the sum of their parts. For instance, knowing how to mitigate the non-recyclable impacts of solar panels is fundamental to energy- and climate-neutral construction. Speed of transition is vital, and will need careful management and communication if it is to garner and sustain public support. Often, far-reaching plans need to be re-examined if they are perceived to increase inequality between citizens of varying socio-economic strata. Measures are generally technically complex and not always (as yet) economically competitive. They frequently require citizen participation and acceptance, while occupying relatively large amounts of scarce private and public space.

Engaging skilled and talented people

The MRA is home to an abundance of skilled and talented people. We will need to engage them and their different disciplines and perspectives: government, business, citizens, young talent and experienced professionals.

Leading role

City Net Zero has its origins in the HvA. We are linked to fifteen research groups, each with their own large regional network and numerous programmes to develop tomorrow's sustainability experts. Ideally placed to take on a pioneering role in the city’s net zero transition, we connect local businesses, research organisations and educational establishments in interdisciplinary and innovative research. Additionally, we organise seminars and workshops to share knowledge, contribute to the renewal of education at the HvA, and develop learning paths that prepare the region’s existing and emerging workforces for a sustainable future.

Published by  City Net Zero 1 September 2023