Transformation of the Amstelland
The Amstelland is a landscape in transition. Risen from the sea at the time of the Ice Age, dried up in warmer times into a forest of trees interspersed with reed lands resulting in a thick peat deposit. With the rise of the sea level after the Ice Age, the area was swallowed up by the sea once again. Vegetation conquered the sea with a peat deposit up to five metres above Amsterdam Ordnance Datum as natural history climax. Around 1100 AD, humankind moulded this landscape to its will. Under the direction of the Bishop of Utrecht’s reclamation plan, Amstelland was drained on a large scale and metres of peat evaporated as CO2. Amstelland added to global warming with these emissions. The thick peat deposit was exchanged for large problems in terms of, among other things, water regime and environment. The peat meadow landscape has been exploited for nine hundred years and is running out of its reserves. The agricultural landscape leads to high social costs and is untenable. Time for a new transformation, time for a restoration plan. The restoration plan is a response to the reclamation plan of 1100 AD and gives society a manual on how to transform this landscape.
The Amstelland as user landscape
With the increase in tourism and residents, the demand for recreational options around Amsterdam is greater than ever. The high-quality cultural-historical Amstelland is becoming overburdened by the many hikers, cyclists, motorists and the agricultural traffic that make use of the narrow roads along the Amstel river. The growing demand for recreation is an solution for the problems that are afflicting this landscape and provide opportunities for a transition from agricultural landscape to climatescape.
One look at the soil map shows the natural-historical riches of the Amstelland, hidden beneath a carpet of grass. By connecting the landscaping of the Amstelland to the soil, the natural-historical riches will become inhabitable in the form of woodland environment, reed environment and food environment. The Amstelland of the future is a landscape of great cultural-historical and natural-historical value. With this restoration, the Amstelland will strengthen its right to exist and the Amstelscheg will be preserved as green lobe of Amsterdam.
A climate-positive restoration society
Climate change will force us to transform to a CO2 neutral society within 20 years. The Amstelland of the future offers the general public the space to compensate its own CO2 emissions by blowing new life into lost nature, thus storing CO2. The climate-conscious society sets the restoration of the Amstelland in motion through buying a plot in one of the three environments. A climate-neutral home may be built within the borders of the nature experience so that the Amstelland is also given social significance. In this way, Amstelland Climatescape is created; a landscape of great cultural-historical and natural-historical value. A restoration plan through which soil subsidence becomes a thing of the past.
Commission members: Marieke Timmermans (mentor), Dingeman Deijs, Jana Crepon. Additional members for the exam: Marie-Laure Hoedemakers, Niké van Keulen.