Area development for sustainability – Wieringerrandmeer

Lessons Learned

Although the project was cancelled, there are still some lessons learned from the planning and design phase.

  • Nature can be a unique and essential selling point. In order to give an area like this a socio-economic boost, nature has to be included in the project. Traditionally, in the business case of real-estate development revenues come first and costs follow. As this revenue is gained by building and selling houses, houses would come first and nature and infrastructure second. In this project, creation of nature was required to make the area attractive for living. This made nature a unique and essential selling point in the project.
  • One should think differently. Constructors like a closed sand balance. They usually achieve this by first determining the amount of sand needed for land development, and then ‘seeing’ how deep the designed dredging area will become. In the present case the design goals for the dredged area and the depth of the lake were pre-set on the basis of nature development arguments, leading to a volume of dredged material not meeting the reclamation targets.
  • Be aware of different views on the same aspect. About the improval of the water management, private parties and farmers had different views. Private parties thought about increasing the volume of water that could be stored in order to maintain the required level of safety during periods of high inflow (precipitation). Farmers, however, were primarily interested in improving the water quality for irrigation. This is a difference in views one should be aware of.