Research into the water, food and energy systems of the future
The transition towards a renewable energy system, to shared mobility, to sustainable agriculture and towards a circular economy will radically transform the landscape and urban area. This is the time for the province of South Holland to set course. How do we accommodate the changes in the food, water and energy systems? And how do we use these transitions in such a way that a productive, future-proof and attractive landscape is created that contributes to the distinctive character of South Holland as a living environment?
This future perspective shows five distinctive landscapes with a different translation of the impending transitions in the food, water and energy systems. Together these landscapes form an attractive and diverse landscape for the inhabitants of the Swamp Metropolis.
How do we create an attractive and productive living environment for the residents and visitors of South Holland?
Wind & Weed: large-scale seaweed cultivation in the North Sea
Proteins from seaweed are a good substitute for animal proteins. It is a versatile crop that can be grown without the use of land, fresh water or fertilizers. Seaweed is extremely suitable as food for humans and animals and converts CO2 into biomass and oxygen. Transforming the North Sea can thus make a substantial contribution to the transition of the food system.
Fierce wind turbine fields in the amfibian landscape
The delta landscape can grow into a robust nature and landscape development area. Amphibious nature will be given more room on the dynamic border of land and water. Not a dull, arcadian landscape with raked paths, but wild and partly impenetrable "swamp nature". The scale of this wild landscape is ideal for large concentrated wind turbine fields.
Nature inclusive agriculture
Optimizing agricultural use of the land through smart crop rotations and limited manure use, more CO2 is retained and soil life is improved. In areas with saline seepage, the supply of freshwater can provide counter pressure to the salt groundwater and at the same time form a freshwater buffer for dry periods.
Sustainable peat meadows
Raising the groundwater level in peat meadow areas is a cost-efficient method for reducing CO2 emissions. Parts of these peat areas will be transformed into nature, alternative agriculture or production forests. Transforming the peat meadows is not only a golden opportunity for the climate, but also for more biodiversity and wildlife.
Attractive living landscapes
Housing development with biobased materials can play an active role in the fight against climate change. In addition, there are less restrictions with regard to nitrogen emissions than for traditional construction. There is a golden opportunity in creating residential environments that themselves generate landscape value instead of depriving them of the existing landscape. Homes and residential areas that are not built in the landscape, but with the landscape, making them part of the landscape that they themselves form. The living areas in South Holland could therefore be developed into a consecutive landscape where there is room for living, working and recreation alongside food production and forestry.