How to create a ‘Doughnut’ City Portrait of Enschede?

How can the model of a ‘Doughnut economy’ be used to lay the foundations for a socially and ecologically sustainable development of the city of Enschede? Such a development implies a transformation at different levels, involving on the one hand changes in policy making, and other the hand local, public, and private initiatives as seeds of an emerging sustainable economy. This proposal focuses on the policy level, investigating how the Doughnut model can be applied to practices of local policy making at the city level.

The Doughnut economy as a model
The model of a Doughnut economy has been introduced by the British economist Kate Raworth in her book Doughnut economics (2017). She discusses the urgent need to move within the Doughnut’s boundaries from both sides simultaneously, in ways that promote the wellbeing of all people and the health of the whole planet. Achieving this globally calls for action on many levels, including in cities, which may be leaders of driving such change. Within the Thriving Cities Initiative (TCI), the cities of Portland, Philadelphia and Amsterdam have taken up the challenge by creating city portraits, using the Doughnut as a 21st century compass to start a public discussion about what it would mean for their city to live within the Doughnut’s boundaries. In this project, we would like to take up this challenge with the aim to create a city portrait for Enschede, on the basis of a methodological guide developed within the TCI.

The project
We would like to know how to create a City Portrait of Enschede, by using four interconnected ‘lenses’, each one highlighting a different aspect of what it means to be a thriving city. Each lens draws on the available targets for defining the Doughnut’s social foundation and ecological ceiling, both relating to the city’s local outcomes and its global impacts. It then matches these with the most relevant data available that give an illustrative and holistic snapshot of city life and its impacts in relation to those targets.

Towards a City Selfie
To create a City Portrait we will use publicly available data and reports, essentially producing a public portrait of the city. But this is just the beginning. By mapping on the City Portrait all of the ongoing initiatives that are already helping to bring the city into the Doughnut, we would effectively create a ‘City Selfie’, thus helping to make visible the seeds of a thriving city that is already emerging.

Last year a group of students worked on a similar project. We are now going to take the next step together with involved partners.

Cluster: Sustainable regions

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):