Last Wednesday, February 6, more than 30 students attended the UvA Green Office event ‘Sustainable Transport: Innovations in Amsterdam’ at CREA’s theatre. The event was the office’s first independently-produced event of the year.
Addressing the audience were Cornelia Dinca, founder of the consultancy Sustainable Amsterdam and delegation lead of the municipal organization Amsterdam Smart City, and Luca Bertolini, urban and regional planning professor at the UvA. The two speakers talked about ways to maintain a diverse and productive biological system through sustainable transport.
Regarding urban mobility, Bertolini referred to the Bertolini and Ie Clercq theory, which links promising sustainable transport with modifying land use, to talk about mobility environments in Amsterdam. The finding that public transportation is the most popular way of travelling for the residents in Amsterdam-Zuidoost raised questions from the audience.
Ksenia Kiselova, a first-year PPLE student at the University of Amsterdam and former member of the UvA Green Office, admitted she is satisfied with how sustainable transportation in Amsterdam is. “I biked on the first day of moving here. It is safer than it is expected to be.” She also stated that though she has only used public transportation once, her opinions of it are positive. “I really like it, I think it is quite quick, clean and fast.”
“I was positively surprised when I came in first and saw all these people, and also because it is a big theatre,” said Marc Beckman, UvA Green Office coordinator. “I think this time we are just very fortunate… in Amsterdam we have many distinctive speakers who can come. And now we do not have a big problem to get them,” he said, referring to Cornelia Dinca. “Sustainable transport and mobility is not only a very interesting topic, but also easy to get very interesting speakers,” remarked Beckman.
Though this was a lecture event, the speakers interacted with the audience. Overall, the event received positive feedback. “I am quite impressed by [Bertolini’s] way of giving a speech,” said Stefano Bolumetto, a 24-year-old student in environment and resource management at the VU. Bolumetto was impressed by the audience participation: ”interaction allows the speech not to be too plain.”
UvA Green Office is an organization that aims to make the university more sustainable. Through research, students working with staff members and the university institution try to apply their findings to create solutions to environmental issues. Among the actions taken by the student-run organization are the implementation of recycling pans, the production sustainable coffee cups and the organization of lectures.
The UvA Green Office’s next event is expected to be held at the end of March.