Slimme natuur

A strategy for resilient and healthy cities worldwide

Synergy of human, nature and technology

For the municipality of Loosduinen, The Hague Smart City and Fred Developers, UNSense developed the design strategy for a new green urban environment: Slimme Natuur (Innovative Nature). The plan of approach provides a new identity for Loosduinen as a uniquely green urban area that allows for synergy between human, nature and technology. The concept of Slimme Natuur builds upon several, until now undervalued elements and qualities of this particular area, providing a clear and futureproof identity for Loosduinen as a place where nature and cities live in symbiosis. Although the solutions are specifically tailored for Loosduinen, the concept of Slimme Natuur aims to be an example to resilient and healthy cities worldwide, providing solutions to global topics related to density, circularity, sustainability, mobility and live-ability. As such the case of Loosduinen serves as an example of how to build resilient and healthy cities in general.

Case Loosduinen, The Hague

Loosduinen houses a unique mix of city, nature and technology. The area of Loosduinen – situated between the city of The Hague and the North Sea coast – includes a wide variety of communities and landscapes, from residential areas, to nature (beach), protected green (dunes), historical estates and recreation facilities. The region’s specific innovation character is evidenced by multiple projects: one is the old natural water filtering complex Solleveld in the dunes that still uses sand as a natural filter to produce drinking water for 1.4 million people in a wider area. The greenhouse horticulture zone of Westland is another one: internationally considered as the epicenter of innovation in its field. And last but not least: the artificial sand bank Zandmotor was built as an icon for dynamic natural coast protection, and turned out to become a great place to go kitesurfing as well.

Plan of approach: four innovation zones

Based on this particular symbiosis of people, nature and technology the Slimme Natuur design strategy distinguishes four innovation zones link naar booklet. Together these innovation zones will result in the creation of a new ecosystem in which human, nature and technology are in balance. One aims to reinforce the beach as an attractive leisure/ cultural destination that celebrates and showcases innovating with nature. The second innovation zone focusses on the transformation of an abandoned industrial zone (ZKD) into a circular hub. The third implies the transformation of the main access road (Lozerlaan) into a congestion- and emission-free green destination. The fourth innovation zone focusses on a existing living neighbourhood (Vroondaal) to become a self sustaining, energy neutral living community.

 

Global perspective: symbiosis of nature and city

While formulating solutions for Loosduinen, the concept of Slimme Natuur can be extrapolated to cities in general since it touches upon global challenges related to density, circularity, sustainability, mobility and livability that a lot of cities worldwide are facing. The creation of an ecosystem in which innovation and nature reinforce each other instead of going against each other, is beneficial for every city that wants to stay healthy and resilient.