Slime City

A bio-energy network for the AMA to foster regional economic and social resilience

  • TU Delft core studio I 2017
  • Location: AMA region, Netherlands
  • Mentors: A. Wandl, L. Tummers
  • Team: N. Moncrieff, M. den Boer, G. Rolvering, Q. Ma, Aikaterina Myserli
  • Status: Invited to be presented in Gemeente Aalsmeer in May 2017

Global reliance on polluting and non-renewable fossil fuels to enable transport and to power our cities is damaging the environment and engenders vulnerabilities within our current societal structures. This is particularly relevant within the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (AMA) given its heavy reliance on global trade and industries based on (predominantly) imported fossil fuels. In order to localise energy sources, maintain current levels of economic activity and standards of living as well as address notions of the Circular Economy, we will suggest a shift in the energy infrastructures of the AMA region away from non-renewable fuels and towards a more resilient model. Circular Economy initiatives are being prioritised by the AMA to promote more sustainable public infrastructure and ways of living but, at the scale of some of the larger economic drivers within the region at least, these initiatives are not well coordinated. The project proposes to forge circular connections between these large economic stakeholders by interlinking their input and output streams as part of a new bio-based energy network and economy.

This new bio-focused and interconnected energy infrastructure will focus on the large scale production of algae as a source of biomass and biofuels to ultimately replace fossil fuels such as diesel, liquefied natural gas and aviation jet fuel. The nitrates and phosphates required to sustain this level of algae production will be filtered from effluent streams throughout the AMA as part of a new ‘nutrient economy’ and a new coordinated approach to the region’s system of infrastructure flows (power, gas and heat networks etc.) In order to relieve economic and social pressures on the City of Amsterdam as well as bolster the economies of the adjacent cities and townships, the interventions required as part of this bio-energy infrastructure will concentrate on outlying areas of the AMA. With this in mind, the existing defence line of Amsterdam (De Stelling, a UNESCO world heritage site) will be used as a cultural and connective mechanism to physically and thematically link the areas chosen for a new bio-energy focus.


Flow analysis for the AMA region


Design scenario


Towards a biobased network



AMA 2070


Systemic section for the AMA region


Macroalgae production around Pampus island





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