HCC at Amsterdam International Water Week 2017

We are happy to report back after a fruitful and engaging 4th edition of the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW). Learn more about the newly minted Roadmap for Human Cities and HCC’s participation in the closing plenary.

This edition of the biannual AIWW conference focused on the future of water demand, the circular economy, and resilient cities. Some 300 delegates, including the CEO’s of utilities and leading industries, and representatives from 30+ large cities came together to discuss their respective water challenges face-to-face. The organisers of the AIWW conference have always aimed to stimulate new coalitions. New coalitions and solutions, like those solidified in the Roadmap for Human Cities and other Amsterdam Agreements, are needed to create a resilient and circular water environment in high-density living areas.

The success of this conference is that we did not organise a traditional call for papers. We deliberately called for real life cases and solutions. We have organised round table discussions in which case holders were matched to those who could provide solutions to these specific cases… Some of these partnerships are labelled as an Amsterdam Agreement.

– Lennart Silvis, Chairman of the Managing Board AIWW and Managing Director Netherlands Water Partnership

On October 31, the Roadmap for Human Cities was signed by major players in the Dutch water infrastructure sector as part of the Amsterdam Agreements at AIWW. These Amsterdam Agreements were made between leading companies, institutes and authorities in the water sector to jointly collaborate on a wide range of challenging issues on the global water agenda. The proposed solutions are not solely technical, they are also about innovation, knowledge and skills, management, citizen involvement, inclusive approaches, and transparency.

André Veneman speaking alongside all signatories prior to signing the MoU. Photo by Rob Kamminga


Together, Human Cities Coalition and Arcadis, Witteveen+Bos, Fugro, Sweco, Deltares and AkzoNobel signed a MoU for the Roadmap for Human Cities that sets out an action agenda for inclusive urban development. André Veneman, Director of Sustainability at AkzoNobel, offered introduced the initiative at the the signing ceremony and explained how the Roadmap lays out a long-term strategy to effect transformation in water infrastructure investments by working closely with key stakeholders towards the inclusion of social and human components in procurement design. This MoU will remain in effect for eighteen months, during which signatories will share knowledge and expertise on a pre-competitive basis in order to develop a collective vision and action plan to integrate inclusivity. Signatories will report back on their progress during AIWW 2019.

It is undeniable that the world’s cities are growing rapidly. If these places are to remain liveable for the entire spectrum of its inhabitants, we believe large infrastructure development should be inclusive: integrating the interests and needs of the urban inhabitant, either rich or poor. It is clear to us that a focus on social inclusion enables businesses like us to achieve a competitive edge that can result in higher value for society, the project and in the end for our company.

– Diederik Bel, Senior Partner & Business Line Manager Built Environment at Witteveen+Bos

John Batten (Arcadis, Gobal Cities Director) speaking at the conluding plenary on behalf of Roadmap signatoires. Photo by Rob Kamminga


Three of the nines initiatives signed as part of the Amsterdam Agreements were asked to participate in a panel at the concluding plenary. John Batten, Global Cities Director from Arcadis, spoke on behalf the signatories of the Roadmap for Human Cities. His message stressed the importance need for inclusiveness in the form of community engagement and overall stakeholder involvement, because ‘it’s not just the engineers anymore’. Batten emphasised that making city development inclusive, by ‘activating communities to respond positively to water infrastructure projects’, is the key to creating resilient cities.

We believe this is a major milestone for HCC. Working together with key infrastructure players makes it possible to make the competitive advantage of integrating inclusivity more transparent to the entire sector. It’s all about the combination of societal and business benefits.

– Ronald Lenz, HCC Director

Roadmap for Human Cities Overview

Below, you can watch the AIWW recap movie, which shares more insight and conference footage on the Amsterdam Agreements as well as the Road map for human cities.

> Read more about the Roadmap for Human Cities

> For Dutch speakers, read the press coverage

> Read another HCC news item

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