Rivierenland, the Netherlands
Uncertainty posed by Climate Change brings control approaches to environmental processes and dynamics into question. In the Netherlands and particularly in the Dutch River area (Rivierenland in Dutch) narratives have already shifted towards an adaptive planning (Davoudi, 2013). However, there is still a need to go beyond the operational and physical separation between the protected and protecting areas characterising the Dutch Rivierenland area, and the physical and cultural separation from the ground that support us. The definition of these dualities in the Dutch territory not only feeds a model based on vulnerability, but it also leaves the problem of a fragmented landscape unsolved. Aiming at the enhancement of adaptive territories and the embracement of uncertainty, the thesis starting point is the proposition to re-design symbiotic relations between urban systems and the ecology in which they are embedded, by synchronizing the spheres of land management, flood risk management and ecosystem restoration.
Through a transcalar approach, operational and physical connectivity provide with a multisystemic and multiscalar fractal network characterised by its local capacity to expand or contract according to changing climatic frequencies. The network designs an adaptive performance that accommodates to fluctuating and extreme river discharges (climate uncertainty), and to different degrees of implementation (socio-economic uncertainty). This approach outlines new forms of re-engagement with soil, water and air, serving as a tool to re-appropriate and re-connect with the processes of change. The thesis casts light upon the process of re-territorialization (Deleuze and Guatari, 2000) within the Rivierenland, crystallizing in the collective management of a hybrid territory, where endogenous productive activities are aligned in time and space with natural dynamics, and where natural dynamics are appropriated into the Delta culture. The research gives a key role to land management in the form of ecosystem-based production by giving it regional and national values related to the local implementation and maintenance of flood risk management and ecosystem restoration. Sources: Davoudi, S., Brooks, E., & Mehmood, A. (2013). Evolutionary resilience and strategies for climate adaptation. Planning Practice & Research, 28(3), 307-322. Guattari, F., & Deleuze, G. (2000). A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. London: Athlone Press.
On connectivity. The capacity of the Dutch Rivierenland to adapt to climate uncertainty comes from embracing operational and physical connectivity throughout its landscape.
On natural occupations. (Geddes, 1985) Ecosystem-based productive activities (work) are aligned in time and space with place conditions defining maintenance regimes that adapt to changing climate frequencies.
On collective transformation. The adaptive capacity of the territory is enhanced through a collective transformation that increases buffer capacity and ecological density per land unit (1ha)
On an integrated view of life. (Geddes, 1985) Life as a dynamic ecological, social, and cognitive process in which humanity participates, raises awareness of the fundamental interconnection between nature and culture.On the integration of people and their livelihood into the particular place and region they inhabit.
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