Europe's Greenest City: The Top 5 Reasons Why Amsterdam is an Eco Capital
Europe's Greenest City: The Top 5 Reasons Why Amsterdam is an Eco Capital5th December 2019
With cycling being the city’s main form of transportation, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam is often referred to as the green city of Europe. In fact, studies show that “in the period 2005 to 2007 residents used their bicycle an average of 0.87 times a day and their car 0.84 times. Approximately three out of four of Amsterdam residents own a bicycle, and bicycles are the most commonly used means of transport.”
But there’s far more to this green city than its multitude of avid cyclists – Amsterdam is a sustainability hub dotted with parks, gardens and scenic canals, and it’s green to its very core. Book your stay with us in one of our serviced apartments in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam's Circular Economy
Before taking a look at Amsterdam’s huge number of eco-friendly initiatives, it’s important to understand the ins & outs of the city’s circular economy – an eco-friendly initiative pioneered in Europe by the Netherlands.
By definition, the transition from a linear to a circular economy is when “products and materials are reused and production chains are redesigned to minimise waste of resources.” Generally speaking, all aspects of a circular economy look towards being more careful with raw materials and natural resources. In a circular economy, new ways of recycling are championed and changes are made in designing, manufacturing and using products to limit the use of raw materials.
In terms of this initiative’s influence on industries and companies, it is generally maintained that “the businesses engaged with circular economy processes are similarly manifold, including large corporations, small start-ups and everything in between.”
As a green city, sustainability is invariably at the heart of everything and is particularly evident in many areas around Amsterdam…
Often thought of as the city’s creative hotspot, De Ceuvel is an innovative business park fused with a sustainable playground. Located in Amsterdam North, De Ceuvel is a riverside hangout that was once no more than an industrial shipyard. Frequented by urban creatives and young professionals, this bohemian sanctuary is made up of workspaces, cafes and event venues built out of repurposed houseboats. Kitchen waste is also used to fertilise the garden and fruit trees – a great example of the city’s circular economy in action.
This unique Frankendael Park restaurant is one of the finest (and most delicious) examples of Amsterdam’s culture of sustainability. Housed within a greenhouse that dates back to around 1926, De Kas prides itself on its ability to source its produce from its own gardens. This focus on sustainability and vegetable-centric dishes can be attributed to the initiative of head chefs Wim de Beer and Jos Timmer.
As a green city, Amsterdam’s circular economy also extends to its shopping scene, which, on many occasions, tends to combine sustainability and social consciousness. The city’s LENA fashion library is at the forefront of this new, innovative approach to tackle textile waste. LENA provides a great alternative to environmentally damaging retail by offering shoppers a vast stock of vintage clothing that can be borrowed in exchange for a monthly subscription.
Parks & Gardens
If you’ve ever visited Amsterdam, you’ll be keenly aware that the city is also green in appearance. Home to one of the world’s most intricate urban canal networks, Amsterdam also presents visitors with an array of parks and pleasant green spaces.
One of Amsterdam’s best central green spaces, Frankendael Park is the city’s only remaining 17th century country estate – a sense of prestige that is best reflected in the park’s key attraction, the Frankendael House. Frankendael, however, is much more than just a local park, it’s an ecological hub dotted with nature trails, calming waterways and sustainable eateries.
Amsterdam’s most eagerly sought-out green space, Vondelpark, covers 47 hectares – making it the city’s largest park. This charming green space welcomes around 1 million visitors a year and is hugely popular among sculpture lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Found on the edge of the city in suburban Amstelveen, Amsterdamse Bos – or, the Amsterdam Forest – is the city’s largest park and recreational area. Comprised of stretches of wild woodland and open meadows, Amsterdamse Bos is perfect for letting off steam and getting off the busy city streets.
It’d be impossible to outline Amsterdam’s status as an eco-city without mentioning the city’s affinity with cycling and how to get involved. Cycling is more of a lifestyle choice than a mode of transport in Amsterdam and well-designed cycle lanes allow tourists and city locals alike to experience the city in style.
How We Can Help
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