Unite education, research and practice in innovative projects that stand out for interdisciplinary leadership

Haarlem: Climate x Maintenance 2019

In collaboration with
Witteveen & Bos

Involved teachers
Fransje Hooimeijer – Associate Professor TU Delft

Involved IE Design students
Sun Woo Kim Cassie (Landscape Architecture)
Linyu Qu (Landscape Architecture)
Shu-Yu Lin (Landscape Architecture)
Song Yulin (Urbanism)
Daan Randsdorp (TIL)
Mathijs Stratermans (TIL)
Asma Ouchan (TIL)

In 2017 Witteveen+Bos agreed to execute project management and engineering services for all major maintenance projects within the Municipality of Haarlem to the west of the Spaarne (river). Since last year this also includes maintenance projects in the city of Zandvoort. The realization of the maintenance projects is being done by one of the four contractors.

The municipality of Haarlem has formulated the following mission for its organization: ‘The municipality of Haarlem is responsible for the design and management of the physical living environment of the city in such a way that Haarlem is cared for, maintained and has an attractive appearance in order to be an attractive city to live in, work and recreate’. To fulfil this mission, the municipality of Haarlem has set four goals, of which one concerns sustainability.

Sustainability is a high priority for the municipality of Haarlem. The realization of major maintenance projects must not be harmful to the environment. Both during the preparation and the execution of maintenance projects in the public space, Witteveen+Bos ensures that nature values in and water features are preserved and where possible promoted. Disruptions of flora and fauna are avoided or control measures are taken. In addition, the ideas of a circular economy are put into practice as much as possible. An example of this is the application of the highest possible reuse of materials and the least possible loss of waste during the execution of the work.

Together with the company Antea Group (who executes project management and engineering services on the east side of the Spaarne), Witteveen+Bos, developed a structure around the process of implementing sustainable measures in maintenance projects. This process forms the basis for taking steps regarding sustainability in projects. For example, during the start of a project the team a session on sustainability is organised, in order to identify opportunities in an early stage of the project. In a later phase, in order to be able to monitor progress or optimisation of the project/design, opportunities are translated into SMART measures (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound). The aim of such a process is to ultimately let sustainability become an integral part of maintenance projects.

The purpose of the research

The proposal for the research assignment is to examine the role of design in the acceptance and implementation of sustainability measures in major maintenance projects. Design is meant in the broadest sense of the word, not so much as a visualisation of the (end)product, but equally important to support the process for implementing sustainable measures. As this proposal is based on the hypothesis that visuals, designs and examples can help in the imagination of those involved, it is important to first examine the problem. Perhaps other aspects are more interesting and effective to investigate. For now, we identify a number of important steps for the research assignment:

· Analysis: dig further into the problem, look at and sketch the context, the objects and people who are involved, use the suggested case studies, redefine the problem, establish research questions to further build on the analysis;
· Synthesis: go deeper and find patterns;
· Evaluate
· Ideate/design: learn from successful examples, use references (in- and outside the company*) and come up with lots of ideas, choose an idea (a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action) to further develop and elaborate on, substantiate the idea or recommendations with arguments and share the results with those involved.