Regenerative development of the Lutkemeerpolder, Tuinen van West

Terragon Foundation, with the Kaskantine and SADC

Thematic route link
The Circular city

Currently, a coalition of entrepreneurs is developing a vision for the Lutkemeerpolder that embraces the philosophy of ‘regenerative area development’, with a small part of the polder, called Drakenland, as the starting point and pinnacle of the visioning process. According to the principles of regenerative development, there is no waste, only things regenerated or, in other words, ‘made anew’. Proponents consider a regenerative mindset as an important step beyond a sustainable or circular mindset. In a step-by-step approach the visioning process that the student team will be involved in will aid development of this holistic, ecosystem oriented, nature-inclusive approach. The area that the student team will work on is currently derelict and borders on a planned business area that is to be developed in a similar ‘regenerative’ direction, and an existing urban farm that has, over the years, become well known for its social and ecological urban farming practices. What does a regenerative approach mean, for the further spatial planning and design of this polder-landscape? There are already some entrepreneurs present in the area who are keen to further develop the idea and connect their ongoing activities to the new development. A key question is what financial, planning, social and cultural conditions enable or constrain implementation of the ideas. There are different relevant spatial scale levels in this project: Drakenland, the Lutkemeerpolder, and the Tuinen van West. What are possibilities at these different scale levels? Taking into account these conditions and scale levels, the Atelier team will inventory what kinds of new initiatives are possible.

The “Tuinen van West” is a green area of 320 hectares in Amsterdam West. It used to be a small-scale agricultural polder landscape, with iron and metalscrap- and other small businesses, a waste dump, and similar activities that are often seen in urban fringes. Also, the area has nature-based farming land and one of the ambitions is to conduct the maintenance and management of woodland and other greenspace sustainably on the basis of self-organisation. One of the five polders in the Tuinen van West is the Lutkemeerpolder. The area and its people are known by some for their autonomous spirit, yet people know how to find one another in case of necessity. Drakenland and Lutkemeerpolder are to be part of a network of entrepreneurs who are already engaged in novel ways of living and working on the land – such as the “Fruittuin van West” of Wil Sturkenboom – already a regenerative farm. The Atelier’s team of commissioners is a rather special collaboration of a developer, a finance and gaming expert/developer of mobile devices, and an urban farm social entrepreneur.

To maximize time in the field, there is space for the students to work locally at Terragon or the Kaskantine.