University of Amsterdam

Graduate School of Social Sciences

The Circular City: Towards a Sustainable Urban Ecosystem


Turfdraagsterpad 9

Kloveniersburgwal 48

Amsterdam, Noord-Holl


Program Information

Degrees Offered:


Format: Campus

Program Description:

In this course, students are taught how to leverage the potential of cities via a new paradigm for urban planning and design: urban metabolism. While this concept has been around for over 50 years, recent interest in it has rejuvenated the fields of urban studies, industrial ecology, and architecture. Urban metabolism can be defined as the sum total of the technical and socio-economic processes that occur in cities, resulting in growth, and production of energy, materials, and waste. The city is viewed by its ‘material flows’, generally defined into water, energy, materials (including food), and waste. These flows consist of inputs (local, regional, and global inflow of resources), throughputs (energy required to transform these resources and waste produced by any process), and outputs (the material outcome of this process). 

The programme will consist of (guest) lectures, workshops and excursions within and outside of Amsterdam. Students will explore the following topics regarding circular urban development. The course is divided in three main blocks: Analysis, Design and Planning, and Implementation. We begin with an analytical introduction to the circular economy through field excursion. In the second block, students confront socio-technological complexities through circular development and planning, and in the third block, work toward implementation of these theories in urban environments.


Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

In State Tuition (per year): 1550 EUR

Out State Tuition (per year): 1550 EUR

Classification: Non-U.S. Higher Ed. Institution (Not Carnegie Classified)

Locale: Large City

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