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Shivant Jhagroe in Ruetir about 'donut thinking' in Amsterdam

Last friday, an article appeared on Ruetir about 'donut thinking' in Amsterdam. Shivant Jhagroe, assistant professor at the Institute of Public Administration, talked about how 'donut thinking' could work in Amsterdam.

Marieke Alderman van Doorninck (GroenLinks), expressed her ambitions in April 2020 to make Amsterdam a greener and more social city by implementing the ideas of the 'doughnut economy', based on the theory of British economist Kate Raworth of Oxford University.
According to Raworth, economic growth as we know it now leads to climate change and socio-economic inequality. That can and should be done differently, according to Raworth. In contrast to the ever increasing trend of the classical growth model, Raworth’s model looks like a donut. The inside represents a shortage of basic needs, such as care and housing. The exterior visualizes the so-called ‘planetary boundaries’ such as climate and environment, within which the entire economy should operate.

Van Doorninck also wants bigger social goals, which is the doughnut economy's challenge: it is not just sustainable, but also social. For example, an objective in Amsterdam is that 10% of the housing supply must soon be cooperative, with residents determining how they administer the building for themselves. This should help to increase housing affordability and access. However, it is precisely in this area that Amsterdam continues to fall short of its objectives.

energy poverty

Shivant Jhagroe states that in practice sustainable and social usually do not go hand in hand. In 2016 he obtained his PhD on urban sustainable transitions, noting a growth imbalance between an ‘eco-elite’ and ‘gray laggards’. Solar panels, electric cars and organic meat are not for everyone. He sees the donut economy mainly as a nice metaphor that will not change that much in practice.

“In theory you can say that you want to get rid of that eco-elite and that everyone can participate, but what if in practice exactly the same people use donut initiatives? This actually creates a donute lite.''

Jhagroe brings up that the municipality should link climate policy to poverty reduction. When looking at keeping sustainable energy affordable, Jhagroe suggest that you do not need a donut strategy. He is afraid that the donut, after circularity and sustainability, will become yet another marketing ploy.
According to Jhagroe, the big question is whether the donut economy is accompanied by a national or non-national donut policy.

read the whole article here

Shivant Jhagroe is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Public Administration. His current research focusses on human/non-human relations in politics and policy, mainly in the fields of ecology and (digital) technology. He is particularly interested in shifting socio-material regimes and practices, and related questions of governing, knowledge, power and inequality. With his research, he seeks to develop policy-relevant perspectives towards more sustainable, democratic and just futures.

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