Under the name Landlink, GG-Loop, H+N+S Landscape Architects, Revolution Development and Woonpioniers state the Dutch housing assignment must be used as a catalyst for a broad transition. One that benefits the landscape, the environment and social cohesion.
“Our national government says 'Let's build, build, build!'. But do we simply push on the old way, or is an ingenious approach conceivable? An approach that does not consume our landscape further but breathes new life into it? Building houses and shaping our living environment is a fantastic opportunity to tackle old stuck systems and social problems at their roots. And we must seize that opportunity. It is time for an awake, wise view of the world, for recovery, for transformation.”
Daniël Venneman, architect | Woonpioniers
According to LANDLINK, this integrated way of development requires insight, ambition and connection: insight into the multiple environmental impact of building and living, the ambition to balance that impact as close to home as possible, and forging intelligent connections to achieve this. Therefore LANDLINK has now developed an interactive simulation model: GRASP >>.
GRASP makes the influence of matters such as housing program, building methods, use of materials, energy, whether or not to share certain facilities, but also nutrition and other lifestyle variables clear to all parties involved in a small or large-scale development process.
“With the wonderful possibilities of today we can make the ecological footprint of building and living tangible and involve governments, developers and residents in reducing and transforming it. When they tweak the knobs together with designers in GRASP, they will see in real-time: hey, suppose we build bio-based, and that the neighborhood jointly generates energy, shares electric cars and collectively produces some food, then we halve our footprint ! And that's just the beginning: GRASP also shows which ecological measures 'balance' our residual impact locally while revitalizing our landscape.”
GRASP inspires to reduce our ecological footprint, both on an individual and on a collective level. But the ambition goes further: LANDLINK looks to the remaining impact as an opportunity to transform social, landscape and agricultural systems close to home.
“When we invest in a vital ecological balance close to our homes, compensation becomes transformation! By reducing our footprint together and transforming it locally, we can breathe new life into our landscape at municipal and regional level and forge strong connections. It is important that we start using the one-off but also revolving capital that housing development generates for the future of our children.”
In realizing the ambition to “balance” the impact of building and living locally, LANDLINK looks beyond the fence of a specific development area, at the surrounding landscape and the people who live and work there. To create robust links that provide win-win situations when it comes to the energy transition, climate adaptation and the restoration of biodiversity.
“The old way of industrial farming is reaching its limits. Broadening, extending and new (direct) sales models are becoming more important. The addition of houses in the outskirts of the village or on agricultural yards that are becoming available can give a boost to this. Because GRASP translates the remaining ecological footprint of a particular development into landscape measures and the land area required for this, we can link these to new revenue models for farmers and to social goals. In this way we join forces and budgets in a new symbiosis between city and country.”
Finalists EO Wijers
LANDLINK has been selected as a finalist for the design competition EO Wijers 2020: towards an attractive and vital countryside >>. Within this process, the team was linked to the Brabantse Kempen and Groote Heide regions, where the development of vacant farmyards has been examined in practice.
Call for action
LANDLINK challenges governments, developers and residents: who will join to give LANDLINK wings within pilot projects in the outskirts of village and city or on the yards of agricultural companies? Contact us >>.