Space makers from Pioneering

We engages in finding innovative solutions for spacial issues. We do acknowledge that the spacial development of the Netherlands is at a crossroads. We have reached the boundaries of our ‘old ways’, in which we – sometimes knowingly – ignored the fact that public spaces do not belong to a government, but are being used by people, nature and animals. Too often we decided, without consulting users, what is ‘good’ or ‘ beautiful’ or ‘necessary’. Too often we have ignored the causes and effects of climate change. Too often we have ignored the fact that what we do is not healthy for us, for our nature and for the children of our children. We do have to change.

That’s easier said than done. The Dutch government has the ambition to build 900.000 new homes in 10 years. It needs space to develop sustainable energy sources. It wants new business parks, and huge amounts of new nature to save biodiversity – and the infrastructure to support all that. To realize all these goals we need an additional 150.000 hectares – roughly the province of Utrecht! That’s fairly impossible in a country that already uses functionally 100% of its space. We have to rethink our ways and develop innovative (technical) solutions to assign multiple functions to available spaces. Not only for the users, but with the users. We want supported solutions instead of ‘nimby’ (not in my backyard).

On top of that in every project we must add value in multiple areas: not only economic gain, but also ecologic value. Not only euros but also health. Not only biodiversity, but also a perspective of a decent income. We make it a habit to find solutions for seemingly contrary interests – and thrive at it!

To realize all that we do not only need physical space. We also need space in our heads. We need to clear our minds from all thoughts concerning ‘that’s the way we do it’. We see added value in different, sometimes even illogical, disciplines working on a problem – interdisciplinary teams are the norm here! We seek boundaries, go outside our comfort zone. We try – and succeed or fail. But we learn! And what we learn we share with everyone who wants to hear about it.

For spring 2023 we seek students who are inquisitive and daring. Students willing to be rebellious, challenging us to find solutions no-one has ever come up with so far. Students who want to make a difference. Not in school, not to impress their teachers or peers, but because they want to add sustainable value to the space we all live in!

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):