Amsterdam bets on the donut to get out of the crisis

The capital of the Netherlands has adopted an economic program inspired by a model named after the famous American donut. Objective: to combine economic prosperity, social progress and ecological transition.

And if, at the out of confinement, our economies restarted thanks to the donut, the famous American donut with a hole in the center? The city of Amsterdam is taking the gamble – symbolically, at least. In mid-April, the capital of the Netherlands adopted a stimulus plan inspired by the “Donut economy”, a model developed by Kate Raworth, professor at the University of Oxford.

The stated objective is ambitious: to support
the resumption of activity by combining social progress and ecological transition

The stated objective is ambitious: to support the recovery of the activity, as the country is due to start reopening schools on May 11, combining social progress and ecological transition . “The idea is to review the way we consume and produce, while promoting the creation of new jobs,” summarizes Marieke van Doorninck, the deputy mayor responsible for sustainability and regional planning.

In the book La Théorie du donut: the economy of tomorrow in 7 principles , published in France in 2018 (ed. Plon), Kate Raworth proposes to review the foundations of our economic policies. Too focused on the search for growth at all costs, she believes, they should rather focus on improving living conditions, while respecting ecosystems.

This is where that the famous pastry soaked in sugar intervenes. In the donut-shaped diagram drawn up by the economist, the populations whose twelve basic needs as described by the United Nations are not assured (health, education, access to water, etc.) are located inside the central hole. The outer circle represents the “ecological ceiling”, namely the limits not to be crossed in terms of CO 2 emissions or maintenance of biodiversity, if we want to ensure the sustainability of resources. natural. Nations meeting human needs without exceeding this ceiling fall between the two circles – that is, in the dough of the donut.

Led by a left coalition

This theory is one of the pillars of the vast program deployed by Amsterdam to achieve, among other things, carbon neutrality by 2050. “We have been working on waste disposal for a long time already, but the donut makes it possible to make the link with social issues, details M me van Doorninck. And, above all, to move from theory to practice. “

In detail, the model is not a catalog of best practices to adopt. But, rather, a guide allowing each city and each country to identify where it stands – still in the hole, or already beyond ecological sustainability? And to determine, depending on, the path to follow to integrate the donut.