The 2020 Triennale of Landscape Architecture “High Green. Innovating the Landscape” challenges us to rethink how major economic, social and environmental transitions impact on a specific territory: the area between ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Tilburg and Eindhoven, embedded in Het Groene Woud. Here, complex spatial processes linked to productivity, changing demographics and delicate landscape features, leads us to explore the transitions between landscape and cities. Where contradictions, clashes, and opportunities emerge, design can aim for coherence, and the historical patterns of occupation can form a source of inspiration.
The urgency of extra land reclamation in Nord-Brabant and the abundance of agricultural land and the conflict of spaces,, have triggered my intentions to search deeply on the agricultural sector in the province.
This research has provided me with much other information than agriculture alone, many researchers are proposing to enhance the agricultural qualities in the area in many ways, such as linking the community and reconnect the society with the agricultural sector and production. This could be through urban agriculture projects, exploitation of roofs, and creating agricultural towers or vertical farming. All these could help in solving potential expansion of the need of the agricultural sector.
In addition, through my regional analysis on the ecological qualities and infrastructures and density and water management, I have stumbled upon an important neglected element which is the energy corridors that are creating segregation and sharp edges since it paths through most of the important cities and towns in the Kampen area.
As a result, I started to pin through most problematic areas which suffer harsh edges and blocks continuity of nature, agriculture, mobility, and water management. Hence, a set of prototypes were provided a proposal for solving this discontinuity.
Nevertheless, during my investigation, I decided to map the region throughout a morphological study as the historical mapping provides us with pieces of evidence about the evolution and development of the landscape throughout time and space.
During my research analysis, I have mapped the most critical parts of the urban edges and created an atlas of power corridors which passes through critical areas which creates a big conflict and reduce the quality of living in the cities and towns.
Furthermore, I started another research on the energy lines, and what are the proposals to solve such conflicts.
Smart Grid, is an important strategy for a resilient area, where it depends on independent power sources. Therefore, I proposed to shift the power lines into a compact infrastructure system, then changing the power towers from normal to unipolar as part of reducing the footprint of the structures which have a bad impact on the ecological qualities.
The focused area which I have proposed planning is Son & Bruegel area north of Eindhoven city. The area is subjected to scars from current and previous infrastructures, such as Energy grids, canal, highway, urbanization. While the connections to this forest area are also not easy and create a bottleneck for pedestrians and bikers which in result creates a neglection of the area. However, there are many important functions in the area such as Old military museum and landscape qualities, such as sand dunes, Heide, bogaje, and water channels and old artifacts of landscapes.
Hence, I also started to map the area in a morphological way, trying to revive the old ecological qualities, links, water and many other important natural qualities which could be highlighted in the area, and reconnect old paths with each other and impose new connections, and facilities that are mentioned in the design process.
Another important factor is the area reclaimed from the power corridor which is a strip of 2 km and 60 m wide which an area of total 120,000 sqm.
This reclaimed area will work as a hub of activities which serves the natural reserve and create a junction between the segregated areas which are north of Eindhoven, Son & Bruegel, and the agricultural farmland.
Therefore, the strip which will reconnect the natural qualities will also provides activities and services for the area, such as attracting more visitors through introducing agricultural experiences such as trees nurseries, flower plantations,, bike paths, park activities such as watch and light tower, exploiting the concrete bases of the old towers, etc..
At the end, The design is a combination of three main aspects of design, first is to find areas that could be exploited for potential agricultural expansions which creating any conflicts or stress on land usage, second implementing the smart grid system gives as a huge space of land all not only in Nord-Brabant but in the whole country, hence creating a new national path that works as connection, recreation, and production. The third force that I worked on is reviving the ecological natural qualities through historical reinvention and morphological studies which reveals the stratification of layers over time which in return will work as a remembrance of the ancient landscape which the area has lost.
Project portfolio in the link below:
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