Business sector, region and national government participate to create circular WESTAS

  1 December 2015  |    News

The national government wants to participate in the further development of the circular WESTAS. That was the message from Minister of Infrastructure and Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen to the Lower House of Parliament. This ambition arose from the administrative consultation* on 14 October between the region and the national government concerning the Multi-Annual Programme for Infrastructure, Spatial Planning & Transport (MIRT). On behalf of the Amsterdam region, representatives were in attendance from the Province of Noord-Holland, Municipality of Amsterdam, Municipality of Haarlemmermeer, the Amsterdam Port Authority, the Schiphol Group, VGB, Simadan and Delta Development.


At the initiative of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA), the national government, regional authorities and the business sector made agreements on the development of the WESTAS. The WESTAS will become the circular workplace of the Amsterdam region and encompasses the corridor from Aalsmeer to the North Sea Canal area, via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Here, with the government’s help, the business sector is creating a place where economic growth is characterised by circular use of raw materials and resources. The government support will in first instance be focused on regulations aimed at providing room for this type of economic growth.


Together with the partners involved**, SADC will be taking the next step to realise the circular workplace of the MRA. The central question in this is: how can we improve our international competitive position and at the same time enable liveable growth of the MRA?


More, more, more …
More inhabitants and extra economic activities of course also mean more consumption, more demand for energy, more water consumption, more food, more urban distribution, more visitors, more traffic and more transport movements. More of everything and more waste as well therefore. Added to this is the fact that raw materials, like phosphate and rare metals, are becoming scarcer, oil and gas reserves are finite and the mountain of waste is only getting bigger. We have actually known for years that our current way of producing, transporting and consuming is not tenable for the long-term. Our throw-away society needs to be transformed.


Innovative cross-overs
The partners are seeking a way to contend with these challenges and, as part of the solution, are focusing on a unique area in the region and the world: the WESTAS. Four interconnected hubs are all situated a short distance from each other: the port, airport, greenport, and AMS-IX data port. These four hubs contribute to a differentiated environment in a relatively small area, good accessibility and a strong economy. The partners see opportunities for cross-overs in innovation, as is already taking place in the Hotspot Circular Economy Valley and Simadan in the port. But this is not enough.


Logistics the ‘enabler’ for a transition to a circular economy
We want to use the existing (logistics) companies and the initiatives and ambitions of these companies to arrive at a more circular economy. Within this, these four hubs ideally constitute the central hub for the new logistics flows arising from this. The WESTAS potentially has the physical and environmental space to be able to take the step towards initiatives with actual impact.


What now?
At the moment, the WESTAS partners are working hard to translate their joint ambition into further action. With the involvement of the national government and the regional partners, the agreements are being documented at the beginning of 2016 and the programme will be started for the period 2016-2018. All the experiences brought into the Green Deal Cirkelstad Amsterdam contribute to this.


You can find the presentation from Paul Jansen (SADC) during the administrative consultation on 14 October 2015 


Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, Province of Noord-Holland, Municipality of Amsterdam, Municipality of Haarlemmermeer, Amsix, Greenport Aalsmeer, Oram, Port of Amsterdam, SADC, Schiphol Group and City Region of Amsterdam