As the first municipality in the world, Amsterdam made a quantitative evaluation in 2016 of the opportunities of a circular economy. It emerged that a circular economy creates new business, has a positive economic impact and contributes directly to a sustainable and viable society. After the research was submitted to residents, knowledge institutions and businesses, two complementary programs were drawn up: one with municipal projects and one with projects in which the municipality works with parties in the city: the Circular Innovation Program. Within this program, various circular innovation projects take place at different levels with the aim of gaining insight and becoming a 100% circular city by 2050.
The Amsterdam circular approach is characterized by innovative collaborations, chain approaches, innovation, research, and encouraging the city to be used as a living lab for circular innovations. What is most noticeable is that this development is not driven from one organization or imposed from above, but literally occurs on a grassroot level. Many parties develop many solutions and adaptation takes place based on shared interests. When something is scalable, it is quickly taken over. Ultimately, cities should not see sustainability and circular to merely reduce negative effects. If we really want to regain our future, then we should focus on creating positive effects.