Research, strategies and design for healthy cities, landscapes and water systems
My expertise lies in the field of research, strategies and design for healthy cities and landscapes. I believe spatial quality and a healthy eco-system should go hand in hand. I have a special focus on (historical) water systems, like river, drainage and irrigation systems, and a special interest in what we can learn from freshwater management systems for a resilient and water secure future.
With a special expertise on Dutch (heritage) landscapes I conduct assessments of landscapes, their structures and artefacts for Dutch bodies of government on the bases of which these governments are able to develop their spatial development strategies. Work comprises of research into polders, historical gardens, cemeteries etc. For Stichting Dorp, Stad en Land I am a member of the Board for Spatial Quality in the Krimpenerwaard, advisor on the Qteam KIJK IJsseldijken and a landscape and heritage advisor.
Teaching and academic research
Since 2005 I am involved in teaching and research on heritage landscapes and water systems at the department of Landscape Architecture TU Delft. I am involved in:
- Minor Heritage & Design
- Master Landscape Graduation Studio Circular Water Stories
- Master Landscape Waterscape Analyses
- Publication Water Insight
- Lecture video: Thirsty Cities lecture @ LDE conference Heritage & Sustainability
Selection of works
- 2018 Circular Water Stories The research project Circular Water Stories explores what we can learn from historical water systems in terms of the interaction and engagement between people & water, when building resilient and valuable waterscapes for the future. In collaboration with Inge Bobbink, Michiel were given an NWO grant for their research proposal ‘Circular Water Stories’.The project is funded by NWO /KIEM.
- 2017 Thirsty Cities. The project was initiated after the Bandung project where I looked at the relation between water demand and flood. Due to excessive groundwater extraction, for both domestic use and the textile industries, these live and work environments of the urban poor have become more and more subject to water shortages, land subsidence, landslides and flooding. Alarmed but fascinated by the subject of the growing thirst of cities I initiated THIRSTY CITIES, with the intention of building a body of knowledge on fresh-water supply systems and insights how cities deal and have dealt with freshwater supply challenges throughout the course of history. The design research for case study Curaçao has received funding from Creative Industries Fund NL.
- 2014 Home at Work/Welcome to the Fashion Village (Bandung, West Java, Indonesia), towards a healthy live-work environment in the industrial textile kampungs of Cigondewah. Collaboration with architect, project founder and TUDelft colleague/Mo Smit/Cococan in setting up the project and conducting design research in the field of landscape ecology. I focused on analysing and developing sustainable urban water and greening strategies that are connected/support to the economy while up-grading the eco-system and improving living conditions. It is an independent research but is supported by the universities of ITB (Bandung, Indonesia) and TU Delft (Delft, The Netherlands) by collecting data in urban analyses studio’s. Funded by a research grant by the Dutch Creative Industries Fund NL.
- 2012 Landwerk Walcheren, scenario’s for a rich and divers landscape investigated a possible synergy between the nowadays strictly divided cultural, recreational and natural landscapes. in the south west delta estuary island of Walcheren, a popular holiday destination. Funded by a research grant by the Dutch Creative Industries Fund NL. In collaboration with Paul de Graaf en Jos Willemsen.
- 2011 European Interregional project Functional Green, Projectleader interregional design workshops, ‘knowledge caravan’. During the project the team visited cities in Belgium (Leuven & Oostrozebeke) and The Netherlands (Tilburg & Sittard) in the border region to help local governments implement scientifically based knowledge into greening strategies for urban post-industrial redevelopment sites.
- 2010 KRACHTGROEN (Green Power)Projectleader researchlab . A researchlab commissioned by The National Board of Government Advisors to the cabinet on spatial quality. The research looked at how green space could contribute to improve socio-economic deprived urban neighbourhoods and how designers and stakeholders should collaborate in urban greening strategies. During this research a study on green co-creative best practices strategies was conducted, leading to the ‘Krachtgroen Manifesto’ stating co-creative greening as a driver for urban re-development. To meet the need of municipalities in co-creative urban greening developments the researchteam continued as design and research collective KRACHTGROEN, working nationwide.
- 2007 Founder of LILA Living Landscapes research and design for green healthy cities and resilient cultural landscapes. First price for landscape development strategy for Grevelingen a salt water lake in the south west delta estuary of The Netherlands.