Member in the spotlight
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is the financial and cultural capital of the Netherlands and has a population of 783,364. The city's unique character was discovered on a large scale after 1950, when international tourism began to increase and Amsterdam is now one of Europe's top ten tourist cities. The city is also dedicated to protecting the environment and does so in a number of ways.
Amsterdam is home to the Waste and Energy Company, Afval Energie Bedrijf (AEB). AEB is a leader in the sustainable conversion of waste into energy in the form of electricity and heating and obtains precious metals and other raw materials from process residues. AEB processes 1,4 million tons of waste every year, a value topping all other individual waste treatment plants across the globe.
In addition Amsterdam is also focusing on sustainable urban mobility. Trams and trains in the city already use the green electricity generated by the AEB and there is a plentiful supply of other sustainable types of energy, wind power, which is even disposable at night. A special project promoting electric transport will see 15 million EUR used for new acquisitions, charging stations and subsidising free electricity.
Sustainability focus: A cyclist's paradise
It should come as no surprise that Amsterdam is seen as a bicycle paradise. The city supports the eco-friendly mode of public transport in a variety of ways, including secure bicycle lanes, storage facilities and efficient theft protection. It’s no surprise that 75 percent of the city’s inhabitants travel by bike.
The primary cycling network, Hoofdnet Fiets is made up of 400km of bike paths and the network is constantly growing. Favorable traffic lights create a “green wave” of lights to ensure cyclists are not stuck in traffic for long. Furthermore, the Amsterdam bike-handling centre, Fietsdepot, offers services for ownerless and/or stolen bikes and educational programmes help non-cyclers take to their saddles. Thanks to Fietsdepot everyone can register their bike with an engraved code, making it easy to classify in case of theft. Thus far, 135,000 Amsterdam bikes have been found this way.
- Amsterdam was a finalist in the European Green Capital Award competition 2009
- Amsterdam is a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors
- Amsterdam Smart City was the winner of the European City Star Award 2011
ICLEI and Amsterdam: Amsterdam has been an ICLEI member since 2008. The city is heavily involved in ICLEI's Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB) Initiative. Amsterdam is also a member of ICLEI’s European Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign. The city has also just begun its involvement in the Sustainable Construction and Innovation through Procurement (SCI) Network.
Websites: www.amsterdam.nl [In Dutch], www.amsterdamsmartcity.com/#/en [In English], www.amsterdam.nl/energie [in Dutch], www.amsterdam.nl/elektrisch [in Dutch], www.amsterdam.nl/fiets [In Dutch], www.aebamsterdam.com, www.amsterdam.nl/electric [in English].