Green Light District is an Amsterdam-based partnership that aims at transforming the city’s Red Light District into a sustainable area. Green Light District is part of the Amsterdam Climate Agreement – Roadmap Amsterdam Climate Neutral 2050 – which aims at reducing CO2 emissions by 55% in 2030 and by 95% in 2050 (compared to 1990). Green Light District currently forms the most operationalized partnerships aiming at the sustainable urban transformation for the city.
With 3.1 million yearly visitors, the Red Light District is an important tourist attraction and one of the most visited square kilometres in Europe. This creates several social and environmental challenges for the neighbourhood.
Green Light District aims for more than just becoming a ‘green’ neighbourhood, but for social coherence in an area that is challenged by over tourism. They take a bottom-up approach in creating social value for the neighbourhood by involving inhabitants and local businesses. The expertise of the individual partners allows the partnership to take a holistic approach in the sustainable urban transformation of the area. De Groene Grachten is specialized in the transformation of historical monuments into energy-efficient buildings. Rooftop Revolution’s expertise lays in transforming rooftops into green, natural spaces for the neighbourhood to enjoy, while at the same time capturing carbon and purifying the air. As the partnership believes in providing knowledge and facilitating individual initiatives are crucial steps towards societal change, De Gezonde Stad is specialized in involving the community in the sustainability transition, by inspiring bottom-up initiatives towards a more sustainable lifestyle. NV Zeedijk takes a social purpose to real estate and merges its property with social impact by creating a social infrastructure in the area consisting of individuals, organisations and the community. The Delft University of Technology is specialized in sustainable urban transformation and helps Green Light District to scale its efforts from individual buildings and blocks to the entire neighbourhood. As the European Union’s climate innovation institute, EIT Climate-KIC provides knowledge and funding to the partnership. With an aim towards the acceleration of a zero-carbon economy, their focus is on scale. Finally, the Municipality of Amsterdam provides additional funding and a gateway towards their network in the city. As such, Green Light District forms a showcase for sustainable transformation of (European) historical, monumental inner cities and gives important insights in how to design future partnerships.
Between september and december 2019, Hesther conducted action research at the Green Light District for her master thesis aiming at designing a business model for cross-sector partnerships. The study took a collaborative approach and resulted in a the design of a widely supported, tailor-made model for the partnership. The model forms a reflection of the joint goals of the partnershp and forms a hands-on tool to reach these objectives. This model was extrapolated to present a previously non-existent cross-sector partnership model. The thesis was awarded with a 8.5 and the model will be presented at the CSSI2020 conference in June, 2020 aiming at an academic publication. The research study and the collaboration with Green Light District, formed the inspiration for the launch of Klimaatkantoor.
More information on Green Light District can be found here.