- GOALS OF OUR CONCEPT FOR TEXEL AS A HOST.
Importing supplies from far away is unsustainable for there is a lot of exhaust and pollution because of transport, think of trucks, ships and airplanes. It should be a good trend if more products should be produced near the place where they are used.
Texel is doing a good job by trying to produce locally as much as possible. Texel is a host for a lot of visitors. This gives us the opportunity to show these visitors that it is possible to foresee in needed products in a very small area, Texel is a good example because it is an island and therefore a very concrete example.
What we need is:
1: Awareness of the polluting side of transport
Many people do not realize this when they buy their oranges in midwinter, although the label says that they came from South-Africa. There should be awareness that it is a very polluting habit to buy all these products from all over the world. If people would care and only buy what the season provides, a lot less transport would be needed.
2: clarity/visibility in connections of companies, the balance between the use of local products and the use of imported products.
Of course it is in the current situation nearly impossible to tell if companies like restaurants use imported products or locally produced products. We need a tool to make this readable.
3: Awareness of the possibility to provide enough locally produced products so that it is not necessary to import products. It is possible, even in a small area.
If we succeed in making visible that the island provides the biggest parts of its needs itself, then this could work as an inspiring example for all those visitors every year. Hopefully Texel could work as a catalyst for other areas on the mainland to visualize their product connections, make it readable for the normal citizen and this way the connections can be made inside a smaller area.
In order to achieve set goals our proposal is to make “a map” and show how sustainable the island is or can be. On this map we will show the connections between companies on the Texel Island regarding sustainability: which restaurants use locally produced products or what kind of renewable energy source is used in a certain hotel. We will show the food and energy sources and waste cycle. Designing the map we considered three groups of companies. One group involves the companies that have already applied certain sustainable measures or assume they did. Another group of companies includes companies that want to become sustainable, and yet another group is the companies that are not yet interested in being sustainable. These three kinds of groups provide us with three different pathways on how to start the implementation of our project.
One way to arrange everything and start to make our design proposal come true is presented on the diagram that was made during brainstorm session. It starts with involving the companies that have already some sustainable measures applied or achieved certain sustainable goals. By involving them in our project we can get useful information and define how sustainable they are and what are the connections with other sub-systems or companies on the island or outside it. After this research stage the defined connections can be transferred to “the map”. The companies from the other two groups can be added later on the map in order to develop their own sustainability goals or trying to attract more visitors on the island.
Another way is to start with the companies that want or try to be sustainable but are not yet. We could help them by showing the connections they have on the map and show them where they could improve themselves. After we attract some companies and make our system work, other companies might want to enter the project and that will make our “map” grow.
The sustainable systems we want to include and show on the map ae: food production and consumption, renewable energy and waste management. Later on more systems can be included and be part of the map, such as water management, sustainable leisure activities and places.
For deciding the way our map will look like many solutions are possible. For example, one possible way to make the map is to design a physical map that would be available for tourists and visitors of the island. Another way is to design a digital version of the map that will be used like application on the smart phone. We assume that the digital way is the right way to choose, because such an approach is more sustainable and up to date. Also, using a digital version of the map makes it easier to put as much information as we want and make access to it easier.
We believe that such a proposal could make a huge contribution to the sustainability goals of the island. For example, using this map restaurants and farms can really advertise their role in making Texel a more sustainable place. People could visit the farms that produce the food they eat on the island.
One of the possible threats for our design proposal on how to make Texel as a host more sustainable is the willingness of companies to participate in this project. We assume that there has to be a strategy to convince society of the island about benefits that our solution can bring. Also from the research we have studied about the psychological behaviour of the community and the way to involve it in certain projects, it was mentioned that the one of the best ways to involve more parties and increase their willingness to participate, it is necessary to convince one reliable representative. That will make other participants to feel more safe and positive about the project.
The other threat is the right choice of the companies for the first step of our design proposal. On one hand, it is easier to follow the first pathway described before, because this pathway offers us more opportunities and possibilities to develop the final product. However, on the other hand, companies that already applied some sustainable strategies can have more financial sources and therefore involving them at the beginning might have negative result on companies from the 2nd group of our scheme, because they can lose some of the costumers and opportunity to achieve sustainability goals because of lack of funds. Therefore, our strategy will focus on the companies that want to be sustainable and attract more attention to this desire.