The Second Life of a Stadium Seat
AMSTERDAM ARENA: A CASE STUDY FOR REUSE AND RECYCLING OF DISCARDED STADIUM SEATS
Confronted by more and more global sustainabilityrelated challenges, society is increasingly aiming for a circular economy. Wouldn’t it be ideal if we could contribute to an economic model with closed loops, where products and materials that are at the end of their functional life are reused in new products and systems? As the Netherlands aims to have a fully circular economy (i.e., zero net waste) by 2050, circularity is also a critical theme for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.
‘Circular City’ is one of the main urban challenges of the Urban Technology research programme of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). Its chair of Circular Design & Business and its research group on Digital Production collaborate with companies, lecturers and students on a range of applied research projects in order to advance the knowledge around circular design and business model strategies making use of digital production to encourage the local reuse of discarded urban materials.
Amsterdam ArenA, home base of the Ajax football team and a major concert and events venue, is replacing all stadium seats in the run-up to the European Football Championship in 2020 (UEFA Euro 2020), and wishes to do so in a socially responsible manner. With that purpose, Amsterdam ArenA engaged the expertise of the Urban Technology research programme at the AUAS to study the viability reusing the old seats in a circular manner. The research started from the assumption that these discarded seats not only form a large and relatively homogeneous waste stream, but also have an emotional value that can potentially raise their economic value, beyond that of the material alone.
For the AUAS this was an important case study, because the Amsterdam ArenA aspires to be a stage for sustainable innovations, reduce its environmental impact and stimulate the local economy. This project could serve as an example for other stadiums and public buildings with substantial waste streams on how to handle discarded products, and rethink how they can prevent waste in the future. With this mission, the AUAS lined up a team of experts on circular design, digital production, business modelling and impact studies to carry out a comprehensive multi-disciplinary study.