Doughnut Economics as Policy Framework
- see Doughnut Economics for the general introduction
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
"the model will be formally embraced by the municipality of Amsterdam as the starting point for public policy decisions, the first city in the world to make such a commitment.
“I think it can help us overcome the effects of the crisis”, said Amsterdam’s deputy mayor, Marieke van Doorninck, who joined Raworth in an interview with the Guardian via Skype before the launch. “It might look strange that we are talking about the period after that but as a government we have to … It is to help us to not fall back on easy mechanisms.”
“When suddenly we have to care about climate, health, and jobs and housing and care and communities, is there a framework around that can help us with all of that?” Raworth says. “Yes there is, and it is ready to go.”
The central premise is simple: the goal of economic activity should be about meeting the core needs of all but within the means of the planet. The “doughnut” is a device to show what this means in practice.
Raworth scaled down the model to provide Amsterdam with a “city portrait” showing where basic needs are not being met and “planetary boundaries” overshot. It displays how the issues are interlinked.
“It is not just a hippy way at looking at the world,” says Van Doorninck, citing the housing crisis as an example.
Residents’ housing needs are increasingly not being satisfied, with almost 20% of city tenants unable to cover their basic needs after paying their rent, and just 12% of approximately 60,000 online applicants for social housing being successful.
One solution might be to build more homes but Amsterdam’s doughnut highlights that the area’s carbon dioxide emissions are 31% above 1990 levels. Imports of building materials, food and consumer products from outside the city boundaries contribute 62% of those total emissions.
Van Doorninck says the city plans to regulate to ensure builders use materials that are as often possible recycled and bio based, such as wood. But the doughnut approach also encourages policymakers to lift their eyes to the horizon.
“The fact that houses are too expensive is not only to do with too few being built. There is a lot of capital flowing around the world trying to find an investment, and right now real estate is seen as the best way to invest, so that drives up prices,” she says.
“The doughnut does not bring us the answers but a way of looking at it, so that we don’t keep on going on in the same structures as we used to.” (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/08/amsterdam-doughnut-model-mend-post-coronavirus-economy?)