The Future Metropolitan Landscape

Workshop with students of IHS

13 februari 2023

A Young Planners Workshop was developed for IHS students that embraced a multi-dimensional approach to understanding the impacts of ecosystem services at four different levels: National (The Netherlands), Provincial (Province South Holland), City (Rotterdam) and Neighbourhood (of Rotterdam).

The students were tasked to examine ecosystem services at these different scales, with the intent to highlight a more comprehensive understanding of its complexity and inform more effective planning decisions. Previously the students had mapped out the green-blue connections through the cultural lens and during this workshop, they were asked to think from a social perspective about how the supporting, provisioning, and regulating ecosystem services affect the different neighborhoods of Rotterdam.  

Learning objectives: 

By the end of this workshop, students would be able to get a better understanding of a performative landscape and ways to embed and strengthen ecosystem services to develop a New Urban Nature Network through ecosystem service mapping.  

Through this exercise, they had the opportunity to evaluate the potential for additional ecosystem services depending on the existing green and blue systems. They were also able to evaluate the sustainability and resilience of ecology-related decisions and identify strategies for improving socio-economy in space and time.  

Framework and Scenarios: 

The workshop was hosted with a set of elements that have been altered to fit the following research question assigned to the students.  

Research question: How can ecosystem services (like urban green-blue networks and activators) impact spatial development on a neighborhood scale complying with the decisions of the provincial and national scale for long-term sustainable development? 

Students had to solve this research question alternating between four different scenarios Unleash the short term and let us go all the way, Unleash the short term but take it easy, Unleash the long term and let us go all the way, Unleash the long term but take it easy. 

In addition, this workshop also asked the students to work in four scales: the Netherlands, the Province of South Holland, the City of Rotterdam and Neighborhoods in Rotterdam. The timeline for this workshop was 2030 –2050 – 2100. During each timeline, a set of conditions and challenges were given to the students to solve, from a housing crisis to a loss of biodiversity students had to create innovative solutions for these challenges.  

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