The Utrecht Community (UCo) is a national center for sustainable entrepreneurship in the city of Utrecht. UCo brings together 150 pioneering sustainable entrepreneurs and SMB's, and facilitates them in an exemplary sustainable and inspiring builing. UCo is a place to develop, discover, and accelerate together, 5 minutes biking from central station. The building is the first energy neutral, healthy and circular listed monument in the Netherlands. Except developed UCo independently, and opened its doors in 2017.
Except developed UCo as a continuation of the success of RoCo, the community for social entrepreneurs in Rotterdam. UCo is a working community where MKB's and experienced entrepreneurs are building the foundations of a sustainable society. UCo's monumental train depot building offers 1800m2 in working, meeting, and demonstration space, is energy neutral, is focused on an exemplary healthy place of work, and its interior is as circular as possible. This makes UCo a uniquely sustainable building in Europe.
UCo is born from the vision that through long term cooperation between pioneering organziations and individuals the development of sustainability is accelerated. This is empowered with an environment which supports and demonstrates the values and capacities of the community. UCo aims to become the foremost center for sustainable entrepreneurship in the Netherlands and the region of Utrecht.
UCo offers working and office space for its community members, aimed at experienced SMB's with sustainability at their core, and a content and a community program. UCo develops partnership programs, workshops, links partners, and actively engages external partners.
We found an empty monumental train deport of the Dutch Railways in 2012, which had served its time in the last decades as a warehouse space. We developed a challenging concept for an energyneutral, water neutral, toxin free and waste free builing, supported by a strong business model, and engaged the Dutch Railways with the plan. In the following years, Except worked with the Dutch Railways and several partners to make this vision a reality.
While not all of our starting goals will be realized, we've managed to achieve a higher performance than ever before realized in the Netherlands, and likely Western Europe. The main hall is filled with plants and trees in an inspiring, healthy toxin-free environment, for which all materials have been carefully selected. The building is renovated to be energy neutral, unique for a listed monument. The interior has been developed as circular as possible. All workspaces are fully lit with natural light, during the day no artifical light is necessary. UCo is a true example of sustainable inspiration. All of this, wherever possible, developed with the community, and proven to be affordable and feasible.
More information about UCo, visiting address, partners and updates, visit the UCo owebsite at www.utrechtco.nl.
The Rotterdam Collective (Ro-Co) is a real world laboratory of a radically new business model for sustainable development. It’s been operational and successful in working towards its goals since December 2009, in the center of Rotterdam.
Ro-Co currently hosts more than 25 entrepreneurs in a collective building, who are focused on environmentally and socially innovative projects. Except initiated and developed the collective from scratch with game studio Sparpweed, and continues to be involved in the operation and management of Ro-Co
We are currently investigating possibilities for similar projects in other cities in the US and the Netherlands.