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Possible Landscapes kicks off in Amsterdam

The Possible Landscapes sessions have kicked off in our Practice Cases, starting with Metropolitan Region Amsterdam (MRA), hosted by the Vrije Universiteit and centered around the Zaanstreek-Waterland region.

Possible Landscapes

The creative outreach programme, Possible Landscapes (PL), runs parallel to the project, supporting processes of co-creation, exploration, data creation and effective communication of results. By employing creative arts and storytelling methodologies throughout the entire project, Possible Landscapes sessions inspire and challenge stakeholders to imagine regenerative, rural and (peri) urban landscapes for their specific local cases.

The sessions are led by Biobased Creations, and will take place in the 12 Practice Cases, where the different participants are guided in the co-creation of 12 Possible Landscapes. A wide range of stakeholders representing different perspectives in social chains and systems are invited to participate, including farmers, food processors, builders and residents, but also policymakers, bankers, ecologists and researchers. These sessions, hosted by a facilitating storyteller, aim to engage participants in imagining a future of sustainable land use and in developing new perspectives that add ecological, social and economic value to the living environment. Biobased Creations engage participants in an exercise of imagination to inspire, expose and fuel potential, by breaking barriers of communication, connecting dots and exposing blinding spots. This way, the participants are asked to rethink their role and responsibilities in collaborating to achieve their co-created future landscape.

The outcomes are then visualized by an artist. In later phases of the project, PL shifts to a story-telling approach by creating installations and a live event in Practice Case areas, where the storyteller performs a journey of their Possible Landscape.

Possible Landscapes in Amsterdam

The first Possible Landscapes session took place in the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam, where the Biobased Creations team, together with the colleagues from the Vrije Universiteit, welcomed an enthusiastic mix of 19 stakeholders.

The participants comprised farmers, municipal policy advisors specializing in landscape, nitrogen, and rural areas, regional advisors focusing on water management, an ecology consultant, an alderman, a systems designer, and researchers/Ph.D. students in environmental economics and environmental geography. They were drawn from various organisations, including three municipalities, the state forestry department, water boards, the Agriculture and Horticulture Organisation of the Netherlands, the Dutch Bird Protection Organisation, and the Vrije Universiteit.

The session focused on the Zaanstreek-Waterland region, and engaged participants around the following question:

“In the peat meadow landscape of Zaanstreek-Waterland, various land use challenges come together, including housing construction, the agricultural transition, reducing CO2 emissions, strengthening biodiversity, water storage and quality, and the preservation of recreational space. These aspects offer opportunities but also bring challenges given the limited space. How do stakeholders in this region envision the future of land use?

During ensuing discussions, stakeholders identified ‘water’ as a primary influencing factor and challenge for the region. Interestingly, when identifying relevant stakeholders, participants added ‘future generations” as key benefactors of new land use frameworks, suggesting a future-oriented outlook.

Sketches of the PL workshop and the full story will be published soon, so stay tuned!