BK Talks: Reinventing the wheel? Circularity and the built environment

01 October 2020 18:30 till 20:30 - Location: Oostserre & Online - By: Communication BK | Add to my calendar

Arjan van Timmeren (Professor of Environmental Technology & Design, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft) will steer a discussion about the ongoing conversation that, understanding the city as an organism, proposes, for over a decade, to change our linear society into a circular one, closing urban inflows and outflows into cycles.

What are the technologies that help us sense the city? How to properly use the available data about waste? How to turn our cities into true mines where all waste is reused? How does circularity contribute to a socially sustainable urban development and regeneration? What are the social implications of the so-called doughnut city? What is the role of the citizen in the fabrication of a circular model of city?...


Arjan van Timmeren is full professor at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Department of Urbanism, chair ‘Environmental Technology & Design’.

Besides of this he is also Principle Investigator of the joint initiative by TUD (Delft), MIT (Boston) and WUR (Wageningen) ‘AMS Institute’ (Institute for ‘Advanced Metropolitan Solutions’), in Amsterdam together with public and private stakeholders and citizen(platforms). AMS Institute is a Knowledge institute with at the moment over 100 research projects and an approximate turnover of over 60M€ on projects related to circularity, mobility, resilience, data and intelligence and several other fields relevant for metropolitan areas from the perspective of sustainability and urban intelligence.

Over the years his work has focused on the integration of the concept of sustainable development in the field of architecture, urbanism and building technology in both practice and academia, with lately emphasis on Circular Economy, Urban Metabolism, Urban Climate (Green-Blue systems) and Smart cities, and -citizens. He is project leader of many European and national research projects and publishes regularly on these. Arjan van Timmeren has seats in several (inter)national steering groups, quality teams, scientific boards and is lecturing all over the globe.


Ellen van Bueren is a Professor of Urban Development Management at TU Delft. Her research and teaching focus on the governance and management of sustainable urban development in general and by focusing on sustainability aspects in depth, such as the transition towards circular cities, low carbon cities and resilient cities. With her group, she aims to develop usable approaches, practices, methods, and tools to address the multi-level and multi-stakeholder dynamics of planning and decision-making on the urban and built environment. She is involved in multiple transdisciplinary environments for research and education, including the AMS Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions and the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Sustainability.

Darinka Czischke is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. In 2014 Dr. Czischke was awarded the Delft Technology Fellowship to develop her research on Collaborative Housing. She is the founder of the Co-Lab Research group at the TU Delft and co-founder of the working group ‘Collaborative Housing’ at the European Network for Housing Research (ENHR). Previously, she worked as Director of World Habitat (formerly Building and Social Housing Foundation, BSHF); Research Director of the European Social Housing Observatory at CECODHAS Housing Europe; and as Research Associate at the LSE Cities Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science. She has published extensively about social, affordable and collaborative housing in comparative international perspective. 

Pablo van der Lugt (MSc PhD) is senior sustainability consultant in the wood- and bamboo industry as well as lecturer of bio-based building at Delft University of Technology (Environmental Technology & Design). 

In the vision of van der Lugt in the essential transition towards a more bio-based, circular economy there are tremendous opportunities for the next generation of re-growable materials (mass timber, modified wood, engineered bamboo, etc) to substitute carbon intensive, non-renewable materials such as aluminium, steel, PVC and concrete. 

Van der Lugt is the author of several international books on biobased building, including Tomorrow’s Timber (2020) and Booming Bamboo (2017), and regularly publishes his research findings in popular magazines and scientific journals. Van der Lugt is a highly demanded speaker following several formats, ranging from TED and Pecha Kucha talks, to keynote presentations at high-level international conferences, including the International Climate Conference in Paris, COP 21 and COP 24 in Katowice Poland (2018). 

Arnout Sabbe is a doctoral researcher at the Delft University of Technology and the Program Developer ‘Circularity in Urban Regions’ of the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute). With a background in journalism, architecture and urban planning, Arnout has worked for various public and private organisations across The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Singapore on large-scale sustainable infrastructure projects.  

 More recently, Arnout co-founded geoFluxus: a spin-off company from the Delft University of Technology. geoFluxus maps, analyses and predicts how materials move through cities

Rusne Sileryte is a PhD researcher at the Chair of Environmental Technology and Design in Delft University of Technology. Her research has been closely related to a H2020 project REPAiR (Resource Management in Peri-urban Areas) and focused on the changing material flows due to the (desired) transition towards a circular economy. Her work assesses how significant are the impacts of these changes in light of the set city, national or international targets. During the 4 years of the project she has significantly contributed to developing the Geodesign Decision Support Environment and is currently running a spin-off company geoFluxus that aims to upscale the web application into an open source software for material flow data analysis, policy feedback and secondary material exchange.

Alexander Wandl is an Urbanist and Senior Researcher at the Chair of Environmental Technology and Design, at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. His research focuses on developing sustainable urbanization, using an extended territorial metabolism approach and integrating (GIS-supported) methods and tools from different disciplines. As scientific coordinator of the Horizon 2020 financed research project REPAiR—Resource Management in peri-urban areas—he is at the forefront of developing spatial strategies, which support the transition towards more circularity. He specifically focuses on the challenges related to the sustainable development of dispersed urban areas and peri-urbanization processes in Europe.

Circularity in the Built Environment Graduation Award

After the panel discussion, recorded interviews with the winners of the Circularity in the Built Environment Graduation Award 2019-2020 will be on show. This Award recognizes the contribution that BK graduation students make to the transition towards a circular built environment. This new annual award aims to stimulate research and innovation in the field of circularity in the built environment. The prize is awarded by the Circular Built Environment Hub of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Practical information

This BK Talk will be streamed live from the Oostserre and can be followed via this link. A limited number of students who have access to the building on Thursday can attend the BK Talk in the Oostserre. They can request attendance via the email address publicprograms-BK@tudelft.nl. First come, first served.

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