With the Interactive Design Tool – Holland Coast (ITHC) users can easily and rapidly evaluate the consequences of various coastal interventions (e.g. nourishments, coastal structures) for indicators such as coastline development, dune development and habitat suitability. The tool has the ability to evaluate (mutual) interactions between new interventions and existing coastal structures in both space (small- vs. large-scale) and time (short- vs. long-term). This enables users to get insight into the consequences of their choices, to determine their position, and to provide input into the design process.
Building with Nature interest
The ITHC is a platform for interaction of knowledge from different disciplines (coastal engineering, marine & dune ecology, ecosystem services, cost-benefit analysis) and people with different roles in the development process (policy makers, stakeholders, professionals). It can be used to gain insight into the effects of human interventions and changes in environmental conditions (such as sea level rise), as well as their interactions with user functions. In this way it facilitates interaction between eco-dynamic project developers and stakeholders, which is one of the three main eco-dynamic development and design principles of Building with Nature.
In principle, the Interactive Design Tool can be applied in all project phases. In the current (2012) version, however, the limitations of the underlying model practically restrict its use to the initiation and planning & design phases, e.g. to identify and evaluate first alternative visions/designs. For more detailed design stages more detailed models could be plugged in. The Interactive Design Tool for the Holland Coast is just one example of an interactive Interactive group modelling – MapTable type of tool. The basic concept can be (and has been) applied in a wide range of other applications.
Although the tool now focuses on the Holland Coast, the underlying framework, consisting of an interface, pre- and post-processing software and a model, can be applied to coastal systems anywhere in the world. Any type of model can be plugged in, as long as the proper software for pre- and post-processing is available or developed. Note, however, that the current empirical relations to link coastline development to dune development, ecology and other indicators are specific for the Holland Coast and may not be applicable to other coastal systems.