3. The future sustainable socio-technical sub-system
3.1 Trends and Technology
The future of public space as our proposal would be multiple use of the same space available. As stated in week 1 reports, “avoid”, “recycle” and “compensate” are the 3 criteria we will look into. We will use the concept of “placemaking” to further explore possibilities of shaping the culture of sustainability awareness. While environmentalism has challenged human impact on our planet, it is not the planet that is threatened but humanity’s ability to live viably here. Placemaking is the communal capacity, for people to thrive with each other and our natural world. Which is dedicated to encouraging and empowering people to take ownership over and contribute to the world beyond their private property and work together to improve them. It is the common sense process through which the human places we most value are created and sustained. (PPS, placemaking)
In essence, the future public spaces will be not one space for one function but rather one space for a multitude of changing functions. These spaces are then defined by what kinds of functions the tourists and mainly the locals would want to ensure that these spaces are most active and efficiently used.
This will call for smart design techniques. These designs include using the current technologies instead of waiting for the development of one, in order to ensure fast and instant applications. This involved a multitude of possible technological interventions. Smart lighting and solar power could be possible options of smart technologies in application. However, simple techniques such as glow paints instead of bright light, especially at the ecological fringe will be effective. The technologies will address harmony of ecological, social and economic aspects.
3.1.1 Places for initiatives for social awareness will be a key goal for use of these technologies.
This will take into place by two steps: first educating the people of the interventions needed, next inviting for realistic design proposals, and lastly, taking a public vote on the solutions presented. The approach of this development system will be the use of back-casting method, meaning that the desired future will be worked out backwards by identifying policies and programs and then connect future to present
These approaches combine
1. The involvement of a broad range of stakeholders and actors from different societal groups including government, companies, public interest groups, and knowledge bodies, not only when defining the problem but also when searching for solutions and developing shared visions.
2. Incorporating not only the environmental component of sustainability, but also its economic and social components.
3. Taking into account the demand side and the supply chain as well as related production and consumption systems. (Adapted from J.Quist, 2013)
The agenda includes channelizing human, social, and economic, infrastructure and cultural capital into the generation of place capital (adapted from The Benefits of place)
Who are actors, their problem definitions, needs, interests etc.?
3.2 Actors, problem definition, needs & interests
In the previous chapter is elaborated on the actors of the current sub-system, in this case the current public space. This chapter includes also the actors of the future subsystem and its design. Besides, the actors, their needs and interests and the problem definition will be defined in this chapter. The question that also needs to be answered in this chapter is: "Who are actors, their problem definitions, needs, interests etc.?".
Our ambition for Texel is to become a sustainable pioneer for the Netherlands and surrounding Wadden Islands by improving the knowledge of the tourist about the sustainable solutions of Texel. As our sub-system concerns the public space, we want to share this knowledge via this platform. This vision will have an impact on the future sub-system of Texel.
The current target groups are both tourists and Texelaars of 45 years and older. It is assumed that the population of Texelaars will remain approximately the same. The group of people of 20 to 40 years old will probably stay the smallest group because of the study and career opportunities, which are not so present at Texel. It is expected that the migration numbers of people moving from and to Texel will be the same and the number of inhabitants is also not expected to change. Therefore, the focus for future public space for Texelaars remains on the age group of 45 years and older.
However, the age group of tourists could be influenced more easily. They stay at the island for a couple of days instead of living there, which results in totally different needs. The tourists currently visiting Texel, consist especially of tourist from the age group of 45-64 years old. The second largest group is the group of teenagers. A group with a lot of potential is the age group between 18 and 44 year. The age group of 18-25 years is almost not visiting Texel. However, the Texelaars probably do not mind the absence of that age group because they can cause some disturbances (especially during the night). Families with children however, are less disruptive and therefore very welcome at Texel. Besides, parents want to do activities with their kids. An educational activity aligns perfect with the vision.
The majority of the tourists come from the Netherlands. Also a lot of Germans visit the island. However, if Texel becomes a pioneer for sustainable development, it would be desirable if people from other (surrounding) countries visit Texel as well.
3.2.3 Problem definition
No problem definition was defined from the current public space due to absence of knowledge about the public space of Texel. However, it is possible to state that the future public space should fulfil an educational function or a function that supports the education about Texel its sustainability.
The age group of people of 45-64 years has already a kind of bonding with Texel. It is not expected that this bonding will decrease because of the measures that will be implemented for Texel as a sustainable pioneer. Therefore the focus will be on the families with children. The challenge for this sub-system is to attract families to come visit Texel and learn something about sustainable development by the implementation of sustainable public space.
Needs and interests
In the previous paragraph conclusions are drawn about the actors and the problem definition. The goal is to attract families with children to come visit Texel and learn something about sustainable development. Some aspects that could attract families are:
- Activities (especially for kids)
- Safe accommodation
- Possibilities for the kids to play
- Beaches and nature
- (Public) spaces where interaction can take place
- Comfort (including thermal, social, etc.)
Families do need a car to visit Texel because of the kids and the luggage they need to carry with them. This requires enough space on the ferry, accessible accommodations and parking lots.
3.3 Rules and regulations
'Nature for people, people for nature'
As it was mentioned before, more and more initiatives between public and private parties are coming off the ground and benefiting local economies. That is why the Dutch Government set out a plan to realize a national ecological network made up of large, interlinked nature areas. The aim is the network comprises 750,000 hectares, or roughly 18% of the Netherlands’ area by 2018. In fact, the national ecological network will form the core of Dutch nature. Hence, it will enable the sustainable preservation of both common and rare plant and animal species in the Netherlands.
In order to develop a sustainable island and regarding public space some aspects have to be taken in account for the development of future policies. Nowadays, public space is a place for social and economic exchange, such as, street markets, car boot sales and community centers, all of which need consideration in local public space strategies.
First, future policies and proposals for public space should be based on a better understanding of people’s use of existing spaces and places, particularly street markets and traditional high streets. Thus, integrating economic, social and cultural aspects.
It is important to develop inclusive policies that take in account local attachments to existing places and activities. Besides, it is important to generate playful spaces. Children still need opportunities for outdoor play in neighborhood spaces, not just fixed equipment playgrounds, in order to participate in communal games, which in turn create a sense of belonging and attachment to local places. Some studies suggest that successful public spaces should build on the large degree of self-regulation of public behavior that already exists. What is more, better coordination is required to address the multiple concerns of accomplishing design, efficient management and maintenance and social cohesion and inclusion.
On the other hand, regarding public space management in Texel, it is important to take in account some aspects for example wildlife management. Therefore, it is propose to include within the policy of the place a Geocaching management, where people can integrate education, recreation, and nature, but some regulations are needed in order not to affect any wild ecosystem. (Worpole, 2007) (SamenwerkingsverbandNationaleParken, 2014) (Ecomare, 2014)
PPS, placemaking, (http://www.pps.org/reference/placemaking-as-a-new-environmentalism/)
The benefits of place, http://www.pps.org/reference/place-capital-the-shared-wealth-that-drives-thriving-communities/
J.Quist, 2013, Backcasting and Scenarios for Sustainable Technological Development, Delft university of Technology.
Worpole, K. &. (2007, 04 23). The Social Value of Public Space . Retrieved 12 5, 2014, from Joseph Rowntree Foundation: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/social-value-public-spaces
Ecomare. (2014). Dutch Nature policy. Retrieved 12 5, 2014, from Ecomare: http://www.ecomare.nl/en/encyclopedia/man-and-the-environment/nature-management/nature-policy/
SamenwerkingsverbandNationaleParken. (2014). Dutch Nature Policy. Retrieved 12 5, 2014, from Samenwerkingsverband Nationale Parken: http://www.nationaalpark.nl/documents/nationale-parken/nederlands-natuurbeleid.xml?lang=en