Urban commons and empowered cities

Nathalie van Loon, project leader on the commons at City Council of Amsterdam

Nathalie van Loon



Nathalie van Loon


Project leader commons




Amsterdam, The Netherlands


This time we take a look at the democratic potential of the urban commons. The commons are those resources we all share and use like water, energy, food or public space. I’ve talked to someone who deals with this in her everyday work: I’ve interviewed Nathalie van Loon who is the commons coordinator at the city council of Amsterdam.

This Spring, Amsterdam made the news as the city council officially adopted the famous “doughnut model” by Kate Rayworth. Amsterdam is the first city in the world to make such a commitment. Nathalie tells us what the doughnut means for people in Amsterdam and for energy democracy in particular. Her job mission focuses very much on stimulating the “do democracy”. Nathalie gives insights into her work around the commons and takes us to a few heat and solar cooperatives of her city.

As Nathalie and her team wanted to make Amsterdam’s commons better known, she asked an artist to produce the city’s very first commons catalogue. You can check it out here: http://heeldeaarde.net/.

Some of the mentioned initiatives:

This episode was recorded via internet. It is part of “City Stories” is brought to you by the EU project mPower. mPower explores how cities and citizens can manage the energy transition together – in a fair, clean and democratic way. Participation can happen at various stages: from involving citizens, local NGOs or businesses in the policy design to any stage of the energy value chain: for example as shareholders or even prosumers. The mPower project gets funding from the European Horizon 2020 programme.

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