BlueCity is a breeding ground in Rotterdam for innovative companies that try to connect their loops together: one company’s output is another company’s input.
CASE STAGE: Well established and running
LOCATION: City of Rotterdam (Netherlands)
TRANSITION CONNECTION: No
GOVERNANCE: Not defined
BlueCity is a breeding ground in Rotterdam for innovative companies that try to connect their loops together: one company’s output is the other company’s input. Coffee grounds from the bar are used to grow mushrooms for a company called RotterZwam. The CO2 that is released in this process is used by another company to produce spirulina. The mycelium is used to develop wrapping materials in the BlueCity Lab and the mushrooms are used for snacks in the bar. Beeswax from an urban beekeepers is used by furniture maker OKKEHOUT. Plastic waste from the neighbourhood is recycled into new products for the neighbourhood (such as bird houses) by a company called Community Plastics. And there are several other examples .
BlueCity’s vision is to create a circular economy, close loops and create the city of the future. Its name is derived from the Blue Economy on which principles it is based. They work with whatever is available locally, focus on collaboration rather than competition and try to create networks. Their aims are to innovate, create jobs, decrease the amount of rubbish generated and build up social capital without wearing out the environment.
BlueCity is currently organising the BlueCity Circular Challenge in which companies are challenged to offer their waste stream to a team of students and young professionals who will do all they can to turn it into a valuable product. The municipality is one of the ‘companies’ participating in the challenge. There is also a website which has been partly set up by the municipality (Rotterdamcirculair.nl) which gives an overview of projects within the city that promote a circular economy.
DOMAINS: Food and agriculture, Waste management.
MiT note: The project relates to circular economy at the business level. Interesting for Phase 2 (as a tool) and maybe suitable for a pilot, if the industrial/entrepreneurial sector is considered desirable.