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Preparing the Greenport for the future

De Greenport West Holland, in the 'West' and 'Oostland' in the province of South Holland, faces the task of transforming into an even more modern and sustainable production landscape in order to maintain its (world) leading position in the field of greenhouse horticulture in the future. To achieve this, various authorities, from province and municipalities to central government, are working together on an integrated area development for the spatial and logistical interpretation of the area. The purpose of this area elaboration is to define a package of short-term and (medium) long-term measures that are necessary for the future development of the area and its relationship in the network of Greenports and the mainports, including the port of Rotterdam. to strengthen. Defining the right measures for the future does require a good picture of the challenges for the future. Predicting the future is difficult, however. Especially in a world that is changing as much as ours, it is difficult to put a precise dot on the horizon.

Deepening existing scenarios to make an inventory of future challenges

In order to gain more insight into and to get a grip on a changing and uncertain world, especially for an area that is so dependent on exports, the province of South Holland has chosen to use the scenario planning method. However, no new scenario set has been drawn up in this process. It was precisely decided to use future scenarios drawn up in 2017 by the municipality of Westland. One of the core uncertainties of the Westland 2030 scenarios is the geopolitical / world economic situation: are we moving towards protectionism or will free trade eventually reignite? The other core uncertainty is more social. For example, will other values ​​take center stage? Will welfare be preferred over prosperity? Do we put our shoulders together? Or will society become more vulnerable, focused on individual and short-term interests? This uncertainty may also have relevance with regard to the focus on sustainability and regulations in this regard, which is important for an area in which a lot of energy is used in greenhouse horticulture and food logistics.

With the help of various expert sessions, with experts from governments, companies and knowledge institutions, additional insights were collected to translate Westland's scenarios into three relevant themes:

  1. Mobility and accessibility
  2. Modernization of cultivation area
  3. Energy transition

On the basis of these translations, in a number of sessions per theme, it was then considered per theme which challenges would occur in the scenarios, what the major tasks would be for the area. Tasks to which the necessary attention must be paid in the area elaboration process, and how to deal with them must be considered. The in-depth scenarios are also used to provide a quantitative traffic model. Based on the scenarios, a basic model can be adapted to visualize traffic flows per scenario, in order to gain more insight into where certain bottlenecks could arise. In the coming months, the scenarios will be used in drawing up an area development and in discussions with central government.

“It is often difficult for decision-makers to work with scenarios, because they show such a wide bandwidth in possible future situations. Nevertheless, the Westland scenarios have raised a number of tasks that are relevant in each scenario and thus provide good input for the area elaboration. "
Tony van der Meulen, Program Manager Area Elaboration GP 3.0 in Westland

For more information about this project, please contact Jeroen Toet

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