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Assessment and Visualization of Urban Mining Potentials: A Case Study in Amsterdam

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Last Updated: 7-2021

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World environmental crisis has forced the nations to outline action plans to keep the negative impacts within a sustainable limit. Identifying main unsustainable industries, built environment contributes to highest shares in any aspect from resource consumption to waste production. Although targets have been set in Europe to achieve 100% circular economy, there seems to be not enough time for so much targets to be achieved. In the Netherlands, government has introduced a general action plans for circular economy, while local government authorities have started with blueprints of assessing urban mining potentials (referring to PUMA by municipality of Amsterdam). The PUMA report has identified lack of information as the main dilemma to accurately assess the urban mines of Amsterdam, hence, the urgency to establish an information system is discussed. In this study, the potential of total of six specially selected locations for both buildings and underground metal stocks have been assessed. The assessment consists of obtaining data from various sources to quantify and monetize the existing metal stocks in buildings (copper and steel), and underground cables (aluminium). Lastly, the attained information is linked to a web map using GIS tool that delivers the required information in a well-organized order to users. The users vary from designers who are designing buildings and look for second-hand material, to recycle plants who wish to collect cables in a more efficient way. The digital platform gives the opportunity for unlimited improvement to fit the information that any designer wishes to receive in order to rely on a second-hand building element.

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