Renaturing cities through circular economy because nature does not create waste, we do.


Currently writing about:

A Brief History

I was born in the Netherlands and raised in Canada. Growing up, I read the works of Jane Jacobs and James Howard Kunstler, questioning the imbalance between nature and the encroaching urban sprawl which surrounded me. 

The lingering questions led me to study environmental sciences and biological anthropology at the University of Toronto and the National University of Singapore (B.Sc. (Hons) Life Sciences), before obtaining my Master’s degree in Earth Sciences (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam. My interest in global issues and experience in communicating across cultures have since motivated me to work on sustainability projects on five continents.

As an urban ecologist, I hold a particular interest in evidence- and nature-based solutions to build up resilience in cities. To do this, I'm exploring the translation of circular economics to sustainable urban development and the built environment. My PhD research at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin focuses on mapping the life-cycle impacts and effectiveness of various nature-based solutions and their place in the circular cities of the future.

Next to my studies, I'm a consultant and education lead at Metabolic. I originally set out as project manager of Metabolic Lab, the company's experimental showcase of applied circular urban development at De Ceuvel in Amsterdam. Beyond Metabolic Lab, I'm now actively involved with the infrastructure development in Buiksloterham, the world’s first circular neighbourhood and a globally-recognised urban living laboratory.

Systems thinking is at the heart of what I do. Throughout my work, I apply my interdisciplinary background to identify leverage points through which the material, water, waste, and energy cycles in cities and industry can be closed. I have led Material Flow Analyses for various sectors, including Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the Dutch Island of Vlieland, and several Dutch music festivals. I also established Metabolic’s range of Masterclass programs and continue to work with my alma mater, the University of Amsterdam, where I act as co-founder and academic director of the world's first Circular City summer school.

To engage and inspire, I've given dozens of talks on circular economics for academia and industry across Europe and Taiwan, demonstrating why we need systemic interventions in the face of urban climate change.

Educational Background


MSc. Earth Sciencescum laude
University of Amsterdam (Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics)
Program combines geo-ecological sciences with interdisciplinary research.

+ Master thesis on macronutrient cycling of transitioning agroforestry ecosystems in southern Ethiopia at Wageningen University and Research Centre and Hawassa University
+ Internship on aquaponic systems at the circular urban development "De Ceuvel"
+ Fieldwork on biodiversity recovery on agricultural terraces in southern Tenerife
+ Summer school “Planning the Cycling City
+ Education board for MSc. Earth Sciences
+ Secretary for GAOS Association

BSc. Life Scienceshonours
University of Toronto (Department of Earth Sciences)
Program covers the entire biological spectrum, from cell to global ecosystems.

+ Joint minor environmental biology at the National University of Singapore
+ Zoological assistant at Lee Kong Chain Natural History Research Centre
+ Fieldwork on physical and chemical parameters of lake ecosystems
+ Summer school “Transboundary Water Conflict Resolution” at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Environmental science and urbanism writer at The Strand: U of T Student Newspaper


For more on my Master's thesis (macronutrient cycling of agroforestry systems), please check out my photoblog which documents my fieldwork in southern Ethiopia. Want to read all 111 pages? You can download the full text here.



Roemers, G., Galle, N.J., & Giezen, M. (2016). Planning the Circular City:
lessons from post-industrial Amsterdam.
Manuscript submitted for Publication to Tollin, N., Morato, J., & Santibanez Gonzalez, E.D. (eds.) Resilient Cities: Rethinking Urban Transformation. UK: Springer Publishing.

Galle, N.J. (2016). What Comes Out, Must Go in: Macronutrient balance assessment of transitioning home gardens in southern Ethiopia (master’s thesis). University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Relevant Skillsets

+ ArcGIS + Material Flow Analysis + Life Cycle Assessment
+ Data collection + Interviewing + Communication + Public speaking
+ Microsoft Excel + Adobe InDesign + Web design
+ Native English speaker + Native Dutch speaker