A Floating Circular Future: Utilizing the changing landscape as a driving force to a circular economy

A Floating Circular Future: Utilizing the changing landscape as a driving force to a circular economy
Paul van Eeden
Xinqi Yao
Céleste Richard
Anouk Jansen

Tutors: Diego Sepulveda, Luisa Calabrese and Marcin Dąbrowski

Key words: circularity, flooding, climate change, resilience, delta

While attempting to find an answer to the question of how we could become sustainable and circular by 2050, we discovered that it was quite difficult to even imagine what South Holland, the Netherlands or the world, for that matter, would look like. The questions that arose quite quickly were, among others: how many people will live here then? How will we have dealt and continue to deal with the challenge of sustainability? How will the climate have changed? This resulted in the question that guided the rest of the research: will we still be able to live here? The design process started with the acknowledgment that climate change is a serious threat to us and the way we live. Then there was the realization that it does not make sense to imagine a future in which the economic structures have changed, but the landscape and the way we deal with this threat has not. From this, we continued to envision South Holland in 2100, to see what the landscape could look like and how the circular economy and its activities could exist within it.

While drawing up this image, the answers to the questions of flood risk and circularity are not found separately, but sought for in the creation of synergies between different sectors and layers. The idea is that the transforming landscape can be a generator of change within the agricultural sector and energy production as well. If the environment changes, the ways in which we use, inhabit or move through it will shift, too. The resulting strategy is about protecting what is crucial, using what is possible and letting go of what we can. This is all strived for in order to reach our goals of having South Holland protected from floods and sea level rise, a circular and sustainable agri-food sector, 100% clean and renewable energy and increased environmental health, all while taking into account the (societal) challenges of the century.

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