Local Sparks Accelerator 2022: Sparking impact in our communities

30 June 2022

Improving quality of life is at the core of the Local Sparks program, and the Local Sparks Accelerator supports and empowers Arcadians to lead community projects in their own communities.

For the 2022 Accelerator, Local Sparks is proud to announce the selected Accelerator projects. The Local Sparks selection committee, made up of representatives from Arcadis, Lovinklaan, and KNHM Foundation, carefully reviewed the applications and selected projects that embody Arcadis’ commitment to Sustainability, Diversity, Belonging and Human Rights (DBHR), and improving quality of life. Local Sparks is excited to support Arcadians to pursue their community engagement passions to make a difference in the communities where Arcadians live and work.

Find out more below and join us in celebrating the achievements of Arcadians delivering meaningful community initiatives. Each project will receive funding to implement their project, to be fully funded by the Local Sparks Accelerator. Special thanks to Lovinklaan and KNHM Foundation for serving on the selection committee and partnering with Arcadis to sponsor Local Sparks.

Want to find out more about the Local Sparks program and be inspired by Arcadians’ community impact projects? Visit the platform and join our social impact movement at www.local-sparks.com.

See below the selected projects:

IMC Weekend School Amsterdam West 

Project Location: Netherlands

Project Summary: IMC Weekend School offers additional motivation-oriented education to young people from 10 to 14 years old, in those places in the Netherlands where it is most needed. The lessons are designed in such a way that stimulating, magical moments arise. These are experiences that stay with the children and broaden their horizons. Arcadis’ landscape architects and urbanists support the subject ‘Architecture’ in Amsterdam West. It is part of a three-year curriculum of fifteen subjects. They organize workshops and an architectural guided tour through the area where the kids live. Kids start to see their own living environment with different eyes.

Education and Livelihood Upskilling Center for Community in Severe Poverty 

Project Location: Philippines

Project Summary: The proposal involves the construction of a multi-purpose center that aims to support 1,000 families who currently live in one of the most poverty stricken areas of the Philippines. The center will comprise classrooms to help local youth pass their high school diploma allowing them to enroll in vocational courses, adult livelihood workshops to teach parents how to manufacture clothes/bags from waste materials and sell them, a kitchen/canteen to provide cooked meals for malnourished children and adults and a health and wellbeing clinic (with doctor, nurse and pre/post-natal care services). Overall, the center will enable these families to access basic services in education, health and livelihood facilities for them to rebuild their lives (by upskilling them) and provide a sustainable income for themselves and allow their children to continue their education. 

Gowanus Canal – Climate Risk Analysis

Project Location: US

Project Summary: Arcadis is partnering with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy (GCC), a non-profit community organization, to develop climate risk data to inform resilience planning for the neighborhood around the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York.  The Gowanus Canal is a manmade industrial waterway. Recently, new residential and commercial uses have been developed along sections of the waterway, a trend that is planned to continue through a recently adopted rezoning. The area is also highly vulnerable to coastal flooding and sea level rise. Through this project, Arcadis will examine potential impacts of sea level rise on groundwater tables and assess the conditions of bulkheads along the canal

England to Egypt in 5 Days- The World Record Breaking Heritage of Otterpool ​​​​​​​

Project Location: UK

Project Summary: The England to Egypt in 5 Days Project will tell the story of the world record breaking flight that took off from RAF Lympne (Otterpool) in June 1919. We will provide a ‘digital-itinerary’ from Otterpool to Cairo and detail the stages of the adventure, involving a rescue of TE Lawrence (of Arabia). This story will be told using a Story Map so that the viewers can go on the journey. We aim to bring this story to the local communities of Lympne, Folkestone, and Hyde and to shine a light on an untold chapter of their history. In 2023, we will provide in-person engagement to local schools, museums, and community centres. This will improve the quality of life for the locals by giving this record-breaking story back to the location where it happened. 

PROJECT ALPHA: A Community Empowerment Center for Indigenous People​​​​​​​

Project Location: Philippines

Project Summary: PROJECT ALPHA serves as a stepping stone for the community to improve and to live more dignified lives. It will take a long process for them to endure all the pressures of other people but giving them the spark that they need to enrich the fire and courage to deal with life is what makes this project encouraging to do. This is an opportunity to have an initial view of the culture, challenges and lifestyle which can be a good avenue for everyone to be more aware about our origin and the call for inclusion. 

MARE! Center 

Project Location: Philippines

Project Summary: Issues on waste management in the Philippines ranges from having no access to an adequate Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), weak policy implementation, or lack of motivation among residents. MARE! Center is a one-stop sustainability-driven waste management solution that includes a cost-effective waste collection system and easy-to-install MRF. The structure to be built will serve as a collection point, education hub and retail booth. It will make use of byproducts from plastic waste such as EcoBricks and EcoLumber. The aims are to construct at least 3 kiosks and 1 permanent MARE! center within the most viable location. The MARE! Center in Taytay will serve as the prototype for other neighboring communities to follow. The structure takes less than a month to be fully constructed, with a year-long training and educational program for the community to operate the MRF on its own.