GROENE HART – Netherlands

In collaboration with Buro Sant en Co and a panel of experts, FABRICations studied the consequences of land subsidence on the Groene Hart and produced a scenario-based vision for the area, with a focus on water, soil type and land use dynamics.

Situated between the cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague, the Groene Hart is an iconic National Landscape, characterized by low-lying open grasslands, windmills and dairy production. In light of the Paris Climate agreement, increased attention has been given to projected CO2 emissions caused by land subsidence in the area, as well as accompanying high costs and water management complications.

While in recent history, water levels have been artificially maintained in service of a mostly mono-functional land use, the scenarios developed by the project team explored how the diversity of soil types could be reflected through the land use. This newfound land use range would rightfully make water management the most important driver in the balance between water, soil type and land use.

Three scenarios were identified, to build a new productive balance, dealing with accompanying problems of each soil type, like salt-water intrusion and drought. For each of these scenarios the economic perspectives were studied to ensure the market capacity for these adaptive crops and six business models were developed for both dairy farms and crop-based alternative farms. As such, the project ensures that a range of possibilities are available to farmers.

Knowing the three scenarios will necessitate a higher water demand, on top of the reduced water supply to be expected by 2050, a reliable source of water must be available. As such, a number of building blocks were devised, taking into account the transit, storage and desirable fluctuation of water.  By basing the implementation of said building blocks on structuring cultural-historical elements, the main landscape qualities remain and are even accentuated in some cases.

Location: Groene Hart, Netherlands

Program: Land use assessment for landsubsidence reduction

Year: 2018-2019

Commissioner: Provincie Zuid-Holland, Utrecht, Noord-Holland

Partners: Buro Sant en Co, Deltares, Veenweide Innovatiecentrum, Wageningen Economic Research, Waternet, Waterschap Rijnland

Project manager: Rens Wijnakker

Team: Marianne Lafontaine-Chicha


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