Metropolitane, Energie, Transitie en Ruimtelijke Ordening (METRO)
The City of Amsterdam has ambitious energy transition targets: 75% less CO2 emissions in 2040 (Agenda Duurzaamheid, 2015). The city and the metropolitan region of Amsterdam (MRA), however, has a high population density (over 900 inhabitants/km2). This requires evidence-based and innovative research through design to accommodate the energy transition in the metropolitan landscape. This multi-year partnership between the municipality and the Academy of Architecture has three interconnected objectives. The first is to advance existing knowledge on the spatial dimension of the energy transition. Second is to strengthen the daily practices of the municipality by enhancing substantial knowledge of municipal designers on energy landscapes. Finally, this partnership gives students of the Academy the opportunity to work on real-world assignments. The 2019 research question is: Which theories, narratives and design guidelines can help realizing energy transition targets while, simultaneously improving spatial quality of degraded landscapes or unlocking vacant spaces in the densely populated metropolitan landscape of Amsterdam?
June 11-14th 2019 the Academy of Architecture hosted the first edition of the Masterclass High Density Energy Landscapes for Amsterdam R&D and CTO civil servants. We applied an inventive approach in mapping the spaces for the energy transition in the future energy landscape of Amsterdam. We encouraged participants in inter-team working and knowledge exchange practices among the different municipality teams; and turned them ambassadors inspired and trained in the field through mutual responsibility, joint inquiry and shared purpose.
Past events: Masterclass 2020
In September 7th-10th 2020 the second edition of the Masterclass High Density Energy Landscapes was held at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. The municipal Ruimte en Duurzaamheid Department (R&D) aims at strengthening daily practices to advance the energy transition. For this purpose, a multi-year partnership has been established with the Academy: a) To advance research through design for the energy transition in the Amsterdam b) to organize a training program on energy transition for the civil servants. The training program expected outcome is to create a group of ambassadors inspired and trained in the field of energy transition through “mutual responsibility, joint inquiry and shared purpose”. Each year the Masterclass applies design thinking to contribute to answer a research question. In 2020 the research question was set together with RES stakeholders (Regionale Energiestrategie) and regarding the spatial dimension of the energy transition in the Diemerscheg. Here current plans foresee the installation of a relevant number of wind turbines. The design thinking aimed at operationalize the plans and open possible alternatives. The research question was: Which design concepts can help realizing energy transition targets while, simultaneously, improving spatial quality and unlocking vacant spaces in the linear Infrastructure landscape of the Diemerscheg?
Despite the Covid-19 limitation to the construction of a proper learning social environment, participants demonstrated to have developed a shared skill in designing with renewable energy technologies in a reference scenario (RES). New insight were generated with specific regards to the Diemerscheg, yet reliable for the whole metropolitan region. An attentive knowledge phase prior to the design thinking one, enabled a better comprehension of the real, everyday landscapes and their concrete potential participation in the RES plans. Participants envisaged that it is possible to integrate renewable energy technologies with other landscape systems and functions, skipping the perception that wind turbines or photovoltaic systems are like alien ships landing. Energy transition can represent a challenge to design new multi-functional landscapes. In the Diemerscheg case, the complex infrastructure systems revealed extensive available spaces, where nature, culture and social enterprise and renewable energy can be activated together. The activation of energy communities appear as promising in the future shaping of the energy transition, in line with the EU directive 2001/2018.
The Masterclass third edition edition will take place in September 6th-9th 2021, we will be working on the Noorder IJ-Plas and we really look forward to meeting 2021 participants.