Chapters on Leisure & knowledge island Texel


Texel is an island in the north of Netherlands which is the largest and most populated among the Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea. A lot of tourists of different ages visit the island every year for its nature, its character and the different activities offered. The island is the base of various researches about the environment and the different animal species. The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) carries out research on oceanography all over the oceans and the Ecomarine museum of nature (Ecomare) provides information and education for the protection of the Wadden and North Sea. Most importantly, Texel is the first island that aims to be self-supported, which means that it will create a closed-loop system where no energy will be needed from the mainland.

The program of 'Texel 2020', which wants the island to be 100% self-supported, has been introduced by the municipality, but the inhabitants are mostly not informed about this progress. As a scenario is quite unrealistic, but a lot of effort is being put towards this direction. However, the inhabitants are not willing to change and thus some changes have to be made in order to inform people about the reasons we should all be more sustainable. The people should share the same goals with the municipality in order to progress and develop an innovative program, such as 'Texel 2020'. To do so they must acknowledge all the benefits.


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1. Program description

Problem statement

The goal of 'Texel 2020', which wants the island to become 100% energy neutral until 2020 seems unrealistic, but the intention of Texel becoming sustainable is feasible and should be endorsed. The inhabitants have a very important role in every program that the municipality may have. However, in this case, they are not aware of what exactly is sustainability and which are the benefits. Thus, they tend to refuse their participation to this due to the fear of change towards something unknown. Knowledge and awareness are the two 'keys' of success for the achievement of the sustainable goal.


Research question

We want Texel to become sustainable, but a scenario of 100% self-support is neather feasible nor wise, due to the possibility of failure at a certain moment. Thus we aim for making Texel 60% self-supported in all systems (food, waste, water, energy, etc.). This means that a large percentage of the sources will be local, while maintaining sources from the mainland, mainly for safety reasons.

The question that we have to answer is:

How leisure and knowledge contribute in making Texel 60% self-supported?


- How will the inhabitants adopt a new more sustainable way of living?

- How will Texel become famous for its educative-sustainable-innovative character?

- How will the tourists contribute to this?



The ambition of the sub-sociotechnical system 'Leisure and Knowledge' is to create the first island that will be mainly self-supported and attract visitors that will have fun and will be educated through different activities and points of interest.

We distinguish Leisure from Education by addressing different actors in each case. Eduaction has the inhabitants as actors, while leisure is addressed to the tourists. Education has a long-run plan that needs much more effort to be implemented than Leisure. The proposals of knowledge need to be widely accepted from the inhabitants and integrate to their everyday life.

So, we want to:

1. Create awareness to pupils, through the courses and excursions of the school (Knowledge)

2. Renovate the existing leisure companies and all building to become energy efficient and sustainable, by giving motivation and not by forcing the people to do it. (Knowledge)

3. Create the 'sustainable route' along the attraction points, which will make tourists aware and in the same time entertain them. The participants of the game will also have a discount pass for certain attractions, along with extra information about the island and its sustainable program. (Leisure) 

4. Create a 'Center of Innovation' close to NIOZ. The center will include NIOZ, a new department of sustainability, a museum of technology and a center of craftmanship and innovation, where visitors will make their own simple smart systems for energy generation/storage etc. (Leisure)

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1.1 Challenges to overcome

Except from our main ambitions and goals, that mentioned above, we set a program of small innovations to improve people's everyday life and make easier the task of informing and educating. We propose: (The island of Texel towards a sustainable energy future, 2014)

- Reduction of energy consumption. Information about the energy consumption can be provided weekly to every house so as people will realise which habits are harmfull for the environment

- Generation of renewable energy for island’s demands. Wind, sun and biogas are the main energy generators for Texel.

- Use of this energy when it is available. The availability of energy will be expressed in a price per hour. This leads to different energy decisions for washing the clothes, the dishes, etc.

- Use of the existing energy infrastructure in a smart way. Add intelligence to the existing energy grid. According to the forecast, the system will be able to know which source of energy should be used to cover the demands of the people.


All these actions will highlight the special educational character of the island, promote the activities offered and spread the word of sustainability by offering the visitors a chance to integrate to this lifestyle during their vacation. Tourism is the main source of income of the island, even though there is a maximum of 47.000 overnight places. This limit contributes to the control of tourism and the preservation of Texel as a green island. In addition to this, keeping this limitation makes it easier to predict the energy demands and thus the energy sources needed.

At the same time, however, there are two main focus-categories of people that need different treatment from the proposed program; the inhabitants and the tourists. Thus, we can realize that we have to overcome problems that come from behaviors and habits of 14.000 inhabitants and 47.000 visitors. Fortunately, each year a certain number of visitors consists of people that have already visited the island at least once, so they would already have experienced the local culture. But in the same time there are a lot of tourists coming to Texel for the first time. Therefore, their behavior is much more difficult to predict and for them it may be harder to adapt in Texel’s sustainable system. As a result, the energy demands of the island may vary depending on not only the number of people but also the proportion of old and new visitors. This is something has to be taken into account for the design of the technical systems.

Our focus, therefore, is first of all to show to all the inhabitants the way towards a more sustainable lifestyle with all the necessary changes (renovate their houses, adapt their choices according to the energy availability, etc.). The fact that they are used to live in a certain way, where for example the building insulation is not necessary for their comfort, creates obstacles for the goal achievement of ‘60% self-supported Texel’. In the meanwhile, the tourists should be given the proper information and education, when coming to Texel, so that they will be able to understand and adapt to the sustainable, self-sufficient concept faster and easier. We believe that the scale of our sub-system has to include the inhabitants and the tourists by distinguishing their different needs and backgrounds. 

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1.2 Societal needs

societal needs.gif

Hierarchy of societal needs (pyramid structure)

The pyramid of hierarchy of the societal needs represents Economy from a sociological perspective. In this case, economy is related and interconnected with different institutions such as labor, capital, currency, etc. All these different meanings create what we call today 'Economy'.

Gaianomy is a theory which tries to analyse the impact that changes in these institutions will have on the Economy.

This theory is still brand new, as there was no previous research on the subject, and is based on 'Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs'. The use of the pyramid can help us realize the different ingredients that consist and influence societies and the importance of leisure and education specifically. (Hierarchy of Societal Needs, 2011)

Texelaars' societal needs on Leisure and Knowledge

As we can see from the pyramid our sub-system can be found in the levels of 'coherence', 'progress', 'prosperity' and 'enlightment'.

More specifically,

_ coherence represents the economical condition and is located at the 2nd level of importance for the society, after survival aspects. In our case it consists of all leisure activities. The activities and the unique character of Texel will attract more visitors that will have fun and wander around the local businesses and points of interest.

_ progress is at the 3rd level and consists of all the aspects that will create continuity and equality between inhabitants. It is very important for a peacefull society and thus it is a great parameter for our sub-sytem as well. Technology and science have a significant role for community's progress and for that reason we want to promote the use of technological innovations for energy saving/generating, communication, building construction, etc.

_ prosperity represents the research and development, which will be promoted through NIOZ, the new department of sustainability and Ecomare.

_ enlightment, last but not least on the pyramid, will be achieved through the network between the departments on the island and the spreading of information about the researches and the achievements on sustainability, all over the world, becoming an example to follow.

In order to achieve our goals with locals' participation we have to set a program for the long term and not create unstability through drastic actions. The inhabitants are of main importance for our sub-system and we have to respect their culture and habits, without forcing them to change. The overall program has a schedule for achievement until around 2045 and we expect to have a few adjustments later on. according to people's respond. Visiting Texel in January will also give us insight of the local ethics and help us adjust our proposal even more, if necessary.

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1.3 Criteria of the system

Highlighting sustainability (sustainable development) needs technological improvements as well as a change in people's mentality and behavior. This change will be done only if people themselves want to change. Therefore, they must understand the meaning of sustainability and its importance for our future.

According to the definition of sustainable development, it is "a dynamic process which enables all people to realize their potential and to improve their quality of life in ways which simultaneously protect and enhance the Earth’s life support systems". (Criteria of Sustainability, 1998)

In order to create a dialogue about sustainable development, it is helpful to decide some criteria for the opportunities and  the creativity in planning how to achieve sustainable development. These criteria act as a platform for communication, policy and strategic planning. The aim of these criteria is to understand and give answers to certain basic questions: (Criteria of Sustainability, 1998)

- what is sustainable and eco-cycle?

- what are we doing that is unsustainable?

- how to be sustainable?

If everybody acknowledges the answers for each individual case and as a community as well, then everybody will understand what to change. 

So in short all the elements of the system have to create awareness to Texelaars and tourists by sharing knowledge and exhibiting the results of the researches. In addition to this, the facilities needed must be based on green designs and use systems and technologies, like PV panels. Last but not least, all the proposals have to be coherent and create a unified design and not act independently.

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1.4 Outlines of the future socio-technical sub-system.

It is clear already from our research question and ambitions that we want to create a network of activities to stimulate awareness. The outlines of this network are points of interest (scientific, educational, recreational, etc.) that will be represented as nodes to be connected. Every node of the network is planned to have a unique purpose; a different way of educating children and adults. After the end of the tour around the node, one will have obtained knowledge of future concerns (like sustainability, ecological footprints, green living, etc.).

Through such a strategy, we are creating awareness for a gradual convertion towards sustainability and in the meanwhile, the island will be widely known as “The sustainable island of Wadden sea”. Tourists will visit Texel to learn and integrate to this new way of living. The activities may create a ‘path of knowledge’, like a treasure hunt where the treasure is the knowledge.

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1. "The island of Texel towards a sustainable energy future" (20/12/2014):

2. "Hierarchy of Societal Needs" (1/12/2011):

3. "Criteria of Sustainability" (1998):


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2.1 The current institutes and activities on Texel

Leisure and Knowledge is an important sub-system responsible to highlight the character of Texel island. The nature and the activities on the island is what attracts tourists to the island. The main objective of leisure is fun and the main objective of knowledge is to gain knowledge and to educate. 

First of all, the activities that are held now on the island are listed, what their function is and how they already contribute to the zero energy level of Texel 2020, or not. A distinction is made between the institutes and activities related to Leisure, Knowledge or a combination Leisure&Knowledge.


Leisure Field 

The island is known of  its nature and beaches and is a perfect place for vacation or to get rest. In this field the leisure activities and institutes are listed. The main function of the activities is fun, relaxation and entertainment.  


Nature [1]

Texel is known in particular as a bird island. However, Texel's nature has much more to offer than just birds. Approximately one third of the surface on Texel is nature reserve. Many unusual plants and animals are also found outside of this area, while there are still things to be discovered in the nature on Texel. New species are reported practically every year. 


Activities [2]

1. Cycling
Texel offers 140 km of cycling paths and some beautiful routes along the dunes.

2. walking
Texel can best be discovered by foot or bicycle. In this way you'll find the most beautiful locations.

3. Going to the beach
With a length of 30 kilometres the beach has endless possibilities.

4. hayride
Trip with the covered wagon with horses on the beach.

5. Searching for oysters with the Texel Oyster Man, Treasure hunt at the beach area, Jutters-Experience
Different activities on the beach of Texel.

6. Wadd-excursion
During this nature excursion you will discover what takes place under your feet.

7. Kite surfing and windsurfing

8. Blo-karting and power kiting

9. Fishing

10. Golf and

11. Shopping
Den Burg is the 'capital' of the island with various unique shops. There's a market every monday morning in the centre of Den Burg.


Going out [3]

The area of Den Koog offers the best options for a great nightlife. The village houses 11 café’s with Café De Wijsneus and Toekomst Dance Factory as the place to be to have a good party. Also in Den Burg there are two café’s to go out (Café De Slock and Eetcafé de Twaalf Balcken) and in Oudeschild there are also two (Brasserie de Compagnie and Café 't Kombuis).


Restaurants and beach houses [4]

According to the website there are 162 restaurants on Texel, including the beach houses. They are concentrated mostly in Den Burg, De Koog and along the beaches. There are 3 biological restaurants all situated in Den Burg: Restaurant de Luwte, restaurant de Kern and Drank & Spijslokaal Het Schoutenhuys.


Wellness [5]

1. beautysalons

2. Saunas

3. Workshops wellness

4. Massagesalons


Free of charge [6]

1. Sommeltjespad 
Nature track near De Koog in the Texel forest has been specifically designed for children

2. Indoor playground De Krim Holiday Park
Showing the trampolines as one of the attractions.

3. Pirate ship 
32 meter play ship that is waiting to be scrambled and climbed on.

4. Oudeschild’s marina
A mud-flat water play area, zip wire, giant swing, pirate ship, panna pitch for football and basketball, and a small mud-flat beach.

5. 'Leven van de vis'
Interactive exposition on modern fishery above De Oude Vismarkt in Oudeschild.

6. Viewing tower 
In the forest near Fonteinsnol, another one on the Molenlaan in De Cocksdorp, and one at the spoonbill colony in De Geul

7. Street Art project ‘t Skildermuurtje
A work of art covering 300 square metres of wall at the Waddenhaven estuary in Oudeschild.


Events and festivals [7]

1. Sarasani pop music festival, yearly 3 days in September.

2. Lange juni Cultuurmaand, yearly in June with divers program.

3. Struûn Texel culture event, yearly 2 days in November.

4. New Years dive, yearly on 1 January.

5. Texel Blues, yearly in October.

6. Texel culinair, yearly in September.

7. Ronde om Texel, biggest catamaran race in the world, June 2015.

8. Texel halve marathon, yearly in September.

9. Free events such as: Lifeboat day (open day at the boathouse in Oudeschild), National Park Day (acoustic performances in the forest), Bird Watching day (camp site by the lighthouse), Klifhanger (art exhibition in Den Hoorn), Sommeltjespop (free pop festival in De Waal), Horizontoer (street theatre and music in Den Burg), HavenVistijn (fishing festival), Sheep Breeding Day (sheep market and competitions in Den Burg), Open Monumentendag (free access to the Lighthouse, Kaap Skil( museum) , Luchtvaart- en oorlogsmuseum (War and Aviation Museum) , Walvisvaardershuisje (Whalers Cottage) , Cultuur- historisch museum (Antiquities and Cultural Historical Museum)). 


Knowledge Field

On the island there are also knowledge institutes such as the NIOZ. But also schools are included in the list. Knowledge institutes that also have a leisure factor are listed in the last field. The main function of the institutes and the schools are to educate and to gain knowledge. 


Research and knowledge institutes [8]

1. NIOZ 
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) is the national oceanographic institution for the Netherlands. NIOZ has its base at the south part of Texel and the researches, which are being carried out, include dust-collection of a buoy, tracking of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria and many more. Students are involved in the research as interns or within special courses of Dutch Universities (Amsterdam University).

2. TexelEnergie
The energy company TexelEnergie is not from itself a knowledge institute, but the role they play in Texel you could argue that they are a link between the consumer and the knowledge about sustainable technology. They give information about different ways of production, mainly solar energy, but also Biodegesting, wind energy, biomassa, etc. 


Primary schools [9]

1. OBS Durperhonk Cocksdorp 

2. De Vlietkotter openbare basisschool (fusion of de Akker en Jacob Daalder)

3. Basisschool Timótheüs Oosterend

4. Vrije School Stella Maris Den Burg 

5. Jozefschool Den Burg

6. PCBS De Fontein Den Burg

7. OBS Jac. P. Thijsseschool Den Burg 

8. OBS De Bruinvis Oudeschild 

9. ABBS Lubertisschool De Koog 


 Secondary schools [10]

1. ROC Kop van Noord-Holland VAVO MBO 

2. OSG de Hogeberg 


Knowledge&Leisure Field

The combination of education and fun is listed below. Ecomare is a good example where fun and education about the nature and animals on the island come together. Ecomare is not only popular with tourists but also primary schools have every year excursions [11]. Next to that also museums and the famous Texel beer brewery are combinations of knowledge and leisure. The main goal of this field is fun and education. 


Education and museum [12]

1. Ecomare
At the west side of the island Ecomare is a nature museum, seal and bird sanctuary and sea aquarium in a dune park. The main goal of the park is to provide information and education in order to protect the Wadden and North Sea. The region of Wadden Sea is a meeting place for scientists from Netherlands and other countries, administrators, policy makers and management agencies. All together, they develop sustainable and innovative solutions based on interdisciplinary knowledge. By 2020, the area will be the best monitored and studied coastal area in the world.

2. Cape Skil museum 

3. Lighthouse 

4. House of antiques 

5. Cultural museum 

6. Shipwreck and Beachcombing Museum 

7. Museum of Aviation and War 

8. Whalers house 

9. Beer brewery Texel 

10. Life of a fish 




Texel has a lot of activities and institutes to give the tourist and its inhabitants fun and also to educate and entertain them. Some activities take sustainability already into account and see it as impartant, such as Ecomare, NIOZ, Texel's beer brewery or activities as wadd-excursion, jutters-experience or nature excursions. Other activities or instittutes do not see it as very important, but do not harm the nature or do not have a negative influence on the goal of the island to become energy neutral, such as surfing, playing golf or hayrides. These activities and institutes should be empowered in what they do.

The most interesting field of activities and institutes for the researchquestion How leisure and knowledge contribute in making Texel 60% self-supported? are those who have a negative influence on this. For example the sauna's, restaurants, café's and actually all buildings that consume a lot of energy. This is the interesting target group. How can we make them more sustainable without losing its quality and the fun, how can we make them change? These questions will be discussed in chapter 3 and 4.

In the next subchapters the current Leisure and Knowledge activities and institutes are analyzed what the major unsustainable mechanisms are. Next the current trends and developments in the transition to Texel 60% self supported. And finaly the actors and its interests are analysed in chapter 2.3. 






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[10], visited on 11-12-2014, visited on 11-12-2014
[11] interview by telephone with director of the Jozefschool on 10-12-2014
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2.2 The current unsustainable mechanisms

“For the business enterprise, sustainable development means adopting business strategies and activities that meet the needs of the enterprise and its stakeholders today while protecting, sustaining and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future.” [1]

Whereas Texel is heading towards a sustainable development, most companies and businesses haven’t still applied any sustainable strategies. All the future strategies must be applied while considering both the economy and the environment in order not to cause any constraints to the opportunities of the businesses.


The current unsustainable mechanisms on the island of Texel are interesting to analyse in order to make a plan to improve them. Some Leisure and knowledge activities and institutes that have unsustainable mechanisms are already mentioned in the summary of the previous chapter. An inventarisation is made of the full list and devided between 4 field: Businesses that produce big amounts of waste, Buildings that consume a lot of energy, Activities that consume a lot of energy, Buildings or activities which have limited unsustainabilities. The activities and institutes that don't have any unsustainable mechanism, according to the inventarisation, will be listed in the end.


Businesses that produce big amounts of waste

At the moment, businesses like restaurants that produce a big amount of waste and consume a large amount of energy are considered to be one of the major unsustainable systems. In addition to this, according to the group ‘Materials and Waste’ the current condition of Texel can be described as follows as far as it concerns the waste management:

 Waste disposal - Glass, compostable waste, paper, plastics and other wastes are collected separately or policy to collect it separately has been passed. The percentage of separation in Texel is about 50% compared to 61% in comparable districts.
 Waste re-usage - Texel aims to re-use 70% of its waste in 2020, which is lower than the general Dutch aim of 95% by 2020.
-  Waste water disposal

List of activities and institutes that produce big amounts of waste:

1. 162 cafés and restaurants



Buildings that consume a lot of energy

In the meanwhile, the houses and all the buildings with poor insulation need to spend a lot of energy in order to keep the interior environment comfortable for the inhabitants. Only few of the houses have been refurbished according to new regulations. Most local people refuse to change, as they lack the education and knowledge about the benefits of energy saving.

List of buildings that consume a lot of energy:

1. Toekomst Dance Factory

2. Café De Wijsneus 

3. Other (160) cafés and restaurants

4. Saunas, beautysalons and massagesalons 

5. Museums: House of antiques, Cultural museum, Shipwreck and Beachcombing Museum, Museum of Aviation and War, Whalers house 


Activities that consume a lot of energy

Institutes can also have activities that consume a lot of energy, for example a sauna that needs energy to warm the water, or festivals for the light and music installations. 

List of activities that consume a lot of energy:

1. Toekomst Dance Factory, Café De Wijsneus, Café De Slock, Eetcafé de Twaalf Balcken, Brasserie de Compagnie and Café 't Kombuis

2. Saunas

3. Sarasani pop music festival


Buildings or activities with limited unsustainabilities

There are also some institutes or activities that do not have sustainability as a high priority but also do not consume a lot of energy. Some primary schools already have some PV panels on the roof, but not enough to produce a substantial amount. 

List of buildings or activities with limited unsustainabilities:

1. Primary and secundairy schools: OBS Durperhonk Cocksdorp, De Vlietkotter openbare basisschool (fusion of de Akker en Jacob Daalder), Basisschool Timótheüs Oosterend, Vrije School Stella Maris Den Burg, Jozefschool Den Burg, PCBS De Fontein Den Burg, OBS Jac. P. Thijsseschool Den Burg, OBS De Bruinvis Oudeschild, ABBS Lubertisschool De Koog, ROC Kop van Noord-Holland VAVO MBO, OSG de Hogeberg 

2. Indoor playground De Krim Holiday Park


Sustainable activities or institutes

1. Cycling and walking

2. Ecomare


5. Texel beer brewery

6. Going to the beach, Wadd-excursion, Kite surfing and windsurfing, Blo-karting and power kiting, Fishing, Golf and midgetgolf, Shopping, workshops wellness, Hayride, Searching for oysters with the Texel Oyster Man, Treasure hunt at the beach area, Jutters-Experience, Pirate ship, Oudeschild’s marina, Viewing tower 

7. Street Art project ‘t Skildermuurtje,  'Leven van de vis', Lighthouse



Proposing new systems is a great challenge for Texel, therefore a sustainable development strategy is needed to form a framework for systematic thought and empower the island to limit rationally the resources and set a timetable for actions. Texel will benefit from such a strategy both directly and indirectly as it will help to:[2] 

-define the actions to be taken

-analyze all issues (economic, social, and ecological)

-identify and evaluate options for addressing priority issues

-harmonize the policies and strategies

-encourage and facilitate institutional and behavioral change for sustainable development.




1. Business strategies for sustainable development:, visited on 19-11-2014

2. “Guidance in preparing a national sustainable development strategy: Managing sustainable development in the millennium”:, visited on 19-11-2014

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2.3 The current trends and developments

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2.2 Actors, technologies and interests


To come up with a suitable solution for what we are trying to achieve, first the actors, technologies, interests, organizations and industries are analyzed. Most likely there will be relations between these aspects, so also these relations should be looked at.



For this problem there are a couple of main actors involved: Texelaars, tourists, hospitality industry and the knowledge institutes on Texel.

1. Inhabitants of Texel

The inhabitants of Texel live on Texel and are there to stay. So they will be the ones living with the solution an probably running it, if necessary. The inhabitants are a decisive stakeholder and factor, since any change must be accepted if it is have a future.  


2. Tourists going to Texel

The tourists are the ones tot visit the island and a major target. Tourism stimulates local economy, but at what costs? A research on why people visit Texel shows that more elderly tourists visit the island than younger tourists. There are different reasons to visit Texel [2], including:

-A lot of walking and cycling opportunities

-A lot of nature

-There are a lot of activities on Texel

-The tranquility

There are, however, also reasons why one would not visit Texel. However, the reasons to visit the island outweigh by far the reasons to not visit Texel. The most common reasons for this seem to be:

-Youth nuisance

-Only accessible by ferry

-Busy and touristic


3. Entrepreneurs on Texel

With the entrepreneurs, the owners of businesses within the leisure business are understood. They are part of the industry which attracts tourists and are an important hub. Businesses especially targeted at tourism can be split in nightlife [3], (water) sports [4], restaurants, sightseeing [5][6], shops and tourist accommodations. Most businesses are focusing on the tourism as their main customers and obviously there are a lot of entrepreneurs on the island.

For entrepreneurs on Texel there's a platform: TOP [7] . This organisation represents the interests of Texel enterprises on a local level. This is a non-profit and independent organisation which informs the entrepreneurs and is a first contact for government and social organizations.

Other organisations are Recron (Association of recreation entrepreneurs Netherlands) and more locally foundation Duurzaam Texel ("Sustainable Texel"), which initiates and stimulates activities for a sustainable Texel and have some financial means for this.


4. Local knowledge institutes

With the local knowledge are understood institutes like NIOZ, the Wadden Academy or the Marine Innovation Centre (ECN). These institutes hold knowledge and do research, which will be important if Texel is to be a knowledge island. Transferring this knowledge will be a challenge and will most likely be combined with the leisure activities on the island.


5. Government

Obviously, the politics also is a major actor. For this there are several levels of government. First is the local politics: the municipality of Texel. Changes on the island should always comply with the policy of the local public.[1] One scale larger is the province; Noord-Holland. The focus for this is mostly financial. Next is the central (national) government of the Netherlands (the State), which seats in The Hague. From The Hague come laws and regulations. Even larger is the European Union. The EU has a lot of regulations in a variety of area's. 

sometimes different laws or regulations give comply with each other. In this, rare, case the order to follow which rule or law is as follows: European law > National law > regional/local regulations. 



While leisure isn't the first thing which comes to mind when thinking of new technologies, there are some breakthroughs on this area. And since a large part of the emission and energy consumption comes from leisure activities, it certainly is an area in which there is much to improve.

Energy generating dance floor

On Texel there's one disco; Toekomst Texel. While disco's might not be the first thought for technologies focusing on sustainability, there are some developments in this area. One is an energy-generating dance floor. Movement is converted into electricity using electro-magnetic generators. This technology doesn't change much for the lay-out of the dance floor, as it uses modular floor panels. So it can be installed rather simple. [8]

Waste management

For restaurants there are a number of areas to improve. First is the waste management, like oil recycling. This is not really a technology, but more a management program (using technology). [9] There's also improvement in food recycling, since there's usually quite some food leftovers or waste from restaurants. This, however, isn't either a technology but more of a management program. Alternatively, the food waste can be turned into biomass [10].


While museums and other sightseeing locations don't have a lot of new technology and even less innovation in this area, the experience of the visitor can be improved. With the increasingly popularity of smartphones and available apps, it was only a matter of time until also museums use these apps to enhance the experience of visitors. These apps can use augmented reality and virtual reality [11], for example, to enter a database and extract applicable knowledge. It also enables for a more interactive experience of improve the social aspect. If this will also be applicable for museums on Texel, will depend on the museum and its board.

Embedded in the culture




Relations for leisure are quite basic, actually, since it consists mainly of the leisure industry. The relations between the actors is shown in figure 1.

Figure 1: Relations between actors
















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3.1 Description of the proposal – Overall principles


The future plan of Leisure and Knowledge for Texel has to be applied in harmony with the culture and mentality of the inhabitants so as to embrace it and contribute to its further development. This means new initiatives shouldn't change the identity of Texel and its inhabitants. It also shouldn't scare off tourists, which are a main source of income for the Texelaars. To achieve this each initiative will have to be checked for the expected impact on the culture and identity.

The aim is to develop and promote the sustainable concept of the island and contribute to its economy in the same time. The overall program of development includes four main steps/actions. Each one will be analyzed for the technologies, the actors and the interrelation between them and with the existing situation. Every action needs more or less effort to be implemented, fact that can form a complete time schedule for the overall Texel’s development program.

Texel is currently preferable for quiet vacations close to nature. We want to highlight this fact by actions that will give to tourists more fun, without disturbing the local people. More specifically and in accordance with our research question and ambitions, the actions of the program are:

1. Creation of the “sustainable route”

2. Active role of schools

3. Make all businesses sustainable

4. Creation of the “Center of Innovation”


Few more details about the actions to be taken:

1. The sustainable route is quiet easy to develop. It needs programming and designing of the whole route and the different stops as well, but it is based on simple techniques and technologies. It works as a game with the actors playing and learning. The route has to go all around the island and through the stops/points of interest the players will collect hints to form a complete story about sustainability and the local techniques.

2. Schools are the center of education. Through the classes and educational excursions, the pupils will be able to learn from an early age how to behave and protect the environment.

3. In accordance with the sustainable character of the island, the businesses have to move towards this direction and renovate the buildings, recycle their waste and follow some guidance and consultancy.

4. Nowadays, the island has three centers of interest; the city center, the touristic area of De Koog with the beaches and the lighthouse (see picture). Our main goal is to create a fourth center; the ‘Center of Innovation’, which will be of main importance for the economy and the character of the island.


All these different actions have to be combined not only by creating one program, but also by connecting them with paths and routes.


Last but not least, the time is very important when designing a strategy. As we can see from the picture below, the four actions are integrated in a unified program, where as we move from step 1 to 4, we need more time for programming, testing and evaluating. The sustainable route needs the least time and effort, while the creation of the center of innovation needs the most as it involves the design and construction of a whole building complex as well as its operational strategy. 


Implied effects

The combination of these four principles will result in a more sustainable leisure industry, while providing knowledge regarding the changes toward a more sustainable Texel. The route is an interactive (and low cost) way, focusing on tourism, to spread related knowledge. It also includes the Center of Innovation, which will become a major part in delivering and researching 'knowledge' about sustainable Texel.

The schools will provide the pupils of Texel with a solid base regarding sustainable Texel, the importance of it and a certain level of understanding about the subject. 

Finally the current leisure activities will undergo certain structural changes, where possible, to provide for more energy neutral leisure activities. Not only will this result in a contribution of a sustainable Texel, but the lower energy consumption and waste production will affect the entrepreneurs in their wallet, positively. Last but not least, it will be another selling point of the industry, giving it advantages over competition and providing the opportunity for free advertisement in (local) news. 

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3.2 Creation of the “sustainable route”


The goal of making a sustainable route on Texel is to create awareness and is part of the vision to become a sustainable island. We want to think big with our vision and start small with the sustainability route. Since the Texelers do not like big changes, especially not from the mainland, and want to keep the open landscape; we do not add anything new. The route should be started by a local company or inhabitants that knows the island and can integrate existing activities. This way the route will most likely be a reflection of the island and will have the highest 'chance' to have support of local people and people maintaining it.


The route
The route through Texel is a closed loop and can be started from different points. The route go by the different activities and projects/buildings on the island and show what is sustainable about it and why or why  not. The route can start small, visiting some sustainable projects on the island and can expand in time. The adventage is that it can already be started, visiting Ecomare, zelf-pluk tuinen, Texels brewery,  etc.

Periodic updates
The route should be updated a few times a year in order to add the new sustainable activities or projects. Also to evaluate the route, to learn from experience and to think of new innovative ways to reach the tourists.

Interaction game
It is very important how the route is presented so that it will be actually used by the tourists. The idea is to present it simple on the routemarks (billboards and paddestoelen) for the elder tourists, but to make it also fun for the youth, so other technologies should be applied as well. The use of an app is one way to do this, connecting with friends and other groups or connecting with other youth activities on the island. Most important is that it must be fun to use it and to discover the island and see and learn about the sustainable elements of the island.

Facts and fun
Showing with infographics some facts about the island regarding energy, water and food. Also some short facts on the history or culture can be inbedded. Some oneliners to trigger the tourist and the possibility to learn more by reading or by doing and actually visit some interesting spots.   

Sustainability pass
To make it even more attractive to start the sustainable route and to be a 'sustainable tourist', the sustainability pass is introduced (maybe integrated in the app). Reference is the Rotterdam pas, giving discount to different cultural activities and showing what can be done in Rotterdam. The sustainability pass can connect different sub-systems with each other. Getting discount in a sustainable restaurant when you also stay in a energy neutral appartment, or getting discount for activity B when you have done activity A, etc.



In order to make this possible technologies are needed. The way the route is presented to the tourist is very important. Technologies in communication and giving information are the key to succes. The use apps for mobile phones or tablets is an important digital medium. The sustainability pass can be integrated in the app or can be a real pass. The use of analogue mediums such as route information boards or paddestoelen at cross roads, showing on it the sustainable route.



1. Tourists
The main actors are tourists that will make use of the sustainability route.

2. Leisure companies 
The museum, restaurants, activity company, research institute, campings and sustainability department  are important since they can participate in the route.

3.  VVV tourist information
The central place for tourists to find information, it is important that the sustainability route takes into account the different activities that are present on the island.

4. Inhabbitants
To create support, the inhabbitants should stand behind the idea and start the initiative. 


Expected effects

There are several effects which are expected with the introduction of this route. First is the increased awareness of participants about Texel as sustainable island, while giving the participants a possibility for a tour of the island on their own. 

Second is the increased visits of participating businesses, which will result in an increased competitive position. This will be an incentive for companies to join for this tour, requiring them to have more sustainable businesses.

Since it is a more or less stand alone tour, it won't have an effect on the culture on and identity of Texel. 

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3.3 Active role of schools


The primary schools on Texel can play an important role in the vision to become a sustainable island. The pupils from now are the working generation in the next decades where sustainability will be an important subject, also for Texel. Pupils learn by doing and by good examples. To start the building and the teachers should make the change. The school buildings should be energy neutral and have a display where pupils can interact and learn from their own building. Teachers should be a living example how to be sustainable on the island, organizing excursions to nature and sustainable projects.


Sustainable education program
Sustainability should be part of the education on every primary school on Texel. If they want to become a sustainable island, than they have to know what sustainability is and what is happening on their island. People learn by seeing and doing, so not only theory but also practice. Excursions and trips are a good way to show sustainability. Go through the sustainability route or visit the centre of innovation.


Energy neutral school
Giving a good example by starting to make the primary schools energy neutral. To be an example for the pupils but also for the inhabitants of Texel. At the same time the school can improve the indoor environmental quality so that sustainability is linked to health and happiness. The municipality send with this a signal that they are serious about their ambition to become an energy neutral and sustainable island. They should start with the two worst schools to make them energy neutral by 2020 and plan to make all 7 primary schools energy neutral by 2040.



In order to make the school energy neutral allot of technologies are needed to reach this goal, but there are example projects that show that it’s possible. The Burgermeester Waldaschool on the island Ameland is a good example of an energy neutral and fresh school, applying techniques as: high insulated façade, triple layer windows, good air tightness, heat recovery in ventilation, CO2 sensors, heater on waste woods from the island, pv cells, graywater for toilets, sun shading and light sensors. These techniques can be used to make the school energy neutral.  



1. Municipality
The municipality should invest in the schools to make them energy neutral. They also need to support the sustainable education program.

2. Schools
The schools should apply this in their education and the teachers should be motivated and have hearth for their sustainable island.

3. Inhabitants
The inhabitants go to the schools and will see the positive changes to their school.


Expected results

With this implementation in the schools the awareness of pupils (and thus in the future, the inhabitants) about the importance of sustainable Texel and how everyone can participate. With increased knowledge about the subject, people can start changing some habits of theirs on their own with a clear goal. 

The effects regarding the complete school program will be minimal. The main change will be local trips and excursions, which will cost a couple of days on year base.

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3.4 More sustainable leisure activities


While there are many different leisure activities on the island, trying to make each one of them is very time and cost consuming. Mainly for this reason we will focus on larger branch of activities, the hospitality industry. Second reason for this focus is that businesses in this branch are open all year, while water sports, for example, is only available in high season. Focusing on hospitality industry will thus have the largest effect for the available time and effort of this course.

The third action will be to make current leisure activities like restaurants, bars, beach huts and the disco. This isn't the main reason why tourists visit the island, but they do make use of it quite extensively (78% of the tourists participates in this branch and it had a growth of 66% in ten years [1]). If the focus would lie on activities which attract most tourists, it would mean to change the beaches, nature and beach. This is a limited selection of all leisure activities on the island, since trying to change all (even a little) will cost considerably more time and effort. The hospitality industry also is a large selection, in contrast to the wide range of different other leisure activities like bike/boat rental, galleries, sports etc.

So the aim of this action is trying to make current businesses in the named branches think and change into more sustainable technologies and habits. Not only environmentally, but also economically since businesses will be businesses. And reaching an environmentally more sustainable change is easier achieved (and will last longer) with an economic incentive.



First let's address the actors in this specific branch. There are a couple of groups to take into account if this is to be successful.

Business owners

First is the business owners. These people run their restaurants/bars etc. for a living and changes should ideally not result in a negative result for their income, otherwise they'll probably won't cooperate. In 2013 there were 88 businesses in the tourism services, a growth of 44% in 7 years. In the beginning of this chapter it was stated that the growth in this branch is huge (66%). So businesses are growing and starting, which is an ideal moment for a more sustainable continuation of these businesses. Also if Texel becomes a sustainable island, this will be a unique selling point, having a positive effect on tourism.


Next is the government, where the legislation comes from. This includes the municipality, the province (Noord-Holland), the state (the Netherlands) and the European Union. All these agencies have some sort of regulations and laws which have to be taken into account.


One other group is the touristic group. Since the businesses are mainly profitable due to their visit, their wishes should also be taken into account. Earlier this chapter was seen that the hospitality industry is a strong growing industry on Texel, so the current policy should be taken into account as much as possible.


Finally there are the inhabitants of Texel, in specific people working in the hospitality industry. In 2013 there were about 1856 people employed in this branch [1].



New technologies for the branch can be split up in structural changes (for the buildings and inventory), changes in products and ingredients and behavior (like waste management). There are not really ne groundbreaking technologies at the moment, so changes should come from elsewhere.

Structural changes

Obviously pretty much all businesses are based indoors and use water and energy. In most businesses improvements in water and energy consumption will most probably be possible. This can consist of small changes, like multiple layer windows and improved air tightness, but also more profound changes like better insulation, solar cells (pv cells) and improved use of greywater/sullage (water from wash hand/kitchen basins and showers). Together this will improve the energy neutrality of the building, while also lowering the long-term costs for the business owner.

Specific for De Toekomst (disco) the use of energy generating dance floor panels [2] is an interesting possibility. While being quite a star-up investment, this will probably pay off in the long term in costs and definitely in energy consumption.

Products and ingredients

Besides the structural changes, there is also some improvement to gain in the use of products and ingredients. Using local products not only lowers used energy for transportation, it also increases the incentive for tourists ("local specialties") and decreases delivery complications. While probably not all used ingredients are available on the island, using the available products on the island is a great way to improve on quality of the food and promotional possibilities.

While the idea is clear, the current situation is not, however. It is highly likely local restaurants are currently already using local products, not in the least because of the added "Texel experience" of the food and drinks.

One specific product is the use of so called 'buggy burgers'. These are burgers made out of insects. Currently these products are not specifically allowed by law, but in the current transition period they are allowed and in the future they will probably be completely allowed.


Next is a change in behavior. This is mainly how to deal with the waste produced by cooking and leftovers from restaurants and is quite recyclable.  All organic waste can be used in compost or biomass [3]. Other products require a more management-like solution, for example oil [4].



Applying (all) these improvements might be a challenge. Keeping in mind the style of Texel and the stubbornness of it's inhabitants, a solid plan of action is required. For this a couple of "tools" are available. Since the rules can't simply be changed local entrepreneurs should be convinced to change their businesses. 

Beside the persuasion there should also be a (direct) available consultancy for people wanting to change their businesses into more sustainable enterprises. 

Entrepreneur organisation

On Texel there are some entrepreneur organisations, which also have sustainability in their agenda. These include TOP, Recron and Duurzaam Texel. This will be the first contact when contacting restaurants and bars.

logo Horeca en Recreatiebeurs Texel

Also there is a yearly hospitality fair/convention [5]. This is like the HoReCaVa, but specified on Texel. This will be a great place to get new technologies, products or other changes for the hospitality industry to the business owners.

In this way we can spread the idea and initiatives in a already established way. These organisations will likely help convincing local businesses of the importance of structural changes, since the results are also in their policy. And while the result will be an increasingly sustainable Texel, the savings on energy and water will be a great incentive for business owners to actually make the changes.


As stated from different government agencies there are some rules and regulations. However, they can also be used for subsidies. More sustainable changes in local businesses are likely to be suggestible for extra support. With this extra support could an extra 'mark' be introduced to test whether the benefited businesses are actually sustainable enough to some requirements.



With the stated changes the rather large branch of hospitality industry will become a more sustainable industry. The impact of this will not go unnoticed, since this industry can be rather wasteful and both tourists as inhabitants use them all year long. So a rather large part of the tourist industry of Texel will become more energy neutral and produces less waste and pollution while not decreasing its attraction of its consumers and visitors. This will have a major impact on a more sustainable leisure system.









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3.5 'Center of Innovation'


The last but most innovative action of our proposal consists of the creation of a fourth center on the island. The new “Center of Innovation” will be a complex of new buildings and uses combined with the existing at the south part of the island. This center will be dedicated to education about sustainability, technology, local sea life and research. In this way, we give a special meaning to the area and we spread the different uses all over the island, in order to create more interest and encourage the local economy. We considered all possible locations for such a function, ending up developing and highlighting the south part of Texel, which includes the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and is quiet isolated from the city center and the rest of the island. Our goal is to develop and expand the area of NIOZ and connect it with the rest of the points of interest of Texel creating an attraction point.

The center of innovation will include a building complex of: a sustainability department, an innovative factory for children and the establishment of a base for Wadden Academy. The new departments will be combined with NIOZ creating a knowledge core. More specifically, the sustainability department will have the role of consult for the inhabitants, in order to propose different ways to become sustainable (energy efficiency, generation, storage, or even simple actions). The innovative factory will integrate the technology with science and design in a playful way, like “De Ontdefabriek” in Eindhoven [1], but with a focus on sustainability. And finally, the Wadden Academy will contribute to the research on sea life in combination with NIOZ and Ecomare. Gradually this fourth point of interest will contribute decisively on the characteristics and the fame of the island as sustainable and educational.

pic 1. Chilren's activities in de Ontdefabriek.



The main technologies that have to be used for the implementation of the proposal refer to the construction and operation of the building in order to be sustainable. Energy generation, energy storage, good insulation are only few of the building technologies that have to be used. In addition to this, the operation of the building can be easier by using smart systems that can control e.g. which energy resource is available at a certain time to be used, which unused devices can be turned off, etc. Furthermore, the sustainability department should create an application through which tips can be given to local businesses and building owners for actions that they can take to make their facilities sustainable.

All departments have to have access to internet and use screens and sophisticated equipment for their research and communication (between each other as well as with the visitors).

Finally, the center of innovation must be integrated to the sustainable route. The final destination may even be the sustainability department which will check the progress of the players and give an extra ‘award’ to the participants (information about a topic, free entrance to a museum, etc.).



The design of such a plan has to take carefully into consideration all the actors involved. In this case the tourists are of great importance, as we try to develop a new center for them in order to educate and entertain them. This new area will be one of the main destinations on the island, a place that want to be, a reason to visit Texel and a way to learn about technology, nature and sustainability.

In the same time, we will not disturb the inhabitants as the proposing area is not in the center of the island and the goal to be achieved is in agreement with their profits. New working places will be created and the whole economy of the island will rise. Professionals of a higher educational level will need to work there, which means that the general mentality of Texelaars will be of higher level and open to innovations.


Expected effects

With the construction of this center, there will be some effects. Since the emphasis of the project is about educating people on Texel and offering some knowledge to the tourists it will affect the tourist industry. The center will provide some job places on the island for the entire year. There is, however, minimal change to the identity of the island. It will also provide a site for tourists to visit, when interested.

Since there are already similar institutes (while not focusing on communicating the knowledge), the people on Texel will most likely not be against the building of the center. 



We understand that this part of the proposal needs the most careful planning and design not only for the building complexes but also for the interrelation of the different departments and their role in the local economy, the inhabitants’ life and the tourists’ activities. Thus, more time will be spent on the preparation and planning than the others actions mentioned, as you can also see from the time schedule showed before.

For realizing this initiative, the support of the municipality or higher governance is required. Through initial subsidies and private funding the center can be financed until it becomes more self-sustaining. This can also be combined with similar initiatives from organisations like Urgenda to start a transition for spreading more knowledge about sustainable Texel and how this is achieved.





[1] De Ontdefabriek:

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3.6_a How are these actions connected?


So at the moment there are four different actions regarding leisure and knowledge. 

1. A "sustainability route"

This touristic route across Texel has a sustainable island theme. By visiting different activities and projects one can gain the knoowledge of Texel as a sustainable island.

2. A more active role of schools

 Knowledge is the key to sustainable development, and the best way to start is at the start: primary schools. By showing students the importance of sustainable development and the role this plays in their island Texel, kids will be enthused and educated about all the initiatives, possibilities and importance of a more sustainable future.

3. More sustainable leisure

Since leisure is an important part of tourism and income, improving on this area gives quite an improvement to Texel as a sustainable island. By using new techniques, improving buildings, using specific products and having a positive attitude will improve the environmental as well as economical aspects.

4. A "Center of Innovation"

As the most dramatic change there's the idea of a special institute or center promoting sustainable innovation , focused on children, and a Texel department of the Wadden Academy. Combining this center with the current knowledge institutes on Texel, it becomes a center of innovation and knowledge for Texel and its surroundings.



Of course some of these ideas are interrelated. Most obvious is the possibility of the primary schools to make a common program with the center of innovation. This directly improves the awareness with the students in a more playful way.

Also an important link exists between the available sustainable route, the more sustainable leisure activities and locations and the center of innovation. Including the restaurants and bars which are 'sufficient sustainable' will certainly boost their publicity and patronage. It also gives (free?) advertisement, which is always nice. Besides the leisure part, the center of innovation will of course be included in the route.

A combination of all will increase not only Texel as sustainable island, but also the reputation of Texel as a sustainable island. This will be a unique selling point of Texel in the future and thus stimulating tourism.

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3.6_b How tourists and Texelaars will be like, after the implementation of our proposal?


Every new program has its receivers, which are some of the actors. In our case the actors are the players of a 'game' (the game of sustainability) that includes different activities and areas on Texel, which are all connected and related with each other. The game can be directly experienced through e.g. the proposed sustainable route, which aims at giving information to the participants about sustainability in a playful way. It is like a treasure hunt, in which the treasure is the knowledge. It can also be indirectly experienced through the schools’ activities, the museum visits etc. Even the different companies can participate in the ‘game’ of who will collect the best label of sustainability from the department according to their behavior and activities.

After the implementation of our proposal, e.g. in 2065, we believe that the new program will have been completely integrated with the everyday life and culture of local people. The businesses would have started making changes in their behavior, buildings and activities as well as the inhabitants to their houses. The children have already started understanding the meaning of the environment and its protection and this will be even more developed. These aspects are going to be parts of their everyday life.

On the other hand, the sustainable route and the center of innovation are addressed to both Texelaars and tourists. Texelaars can of course visit and participate in all activities, but most important for them is the positive effect on the local economy, the creation of new working places and the fame that their island will gain with these unique selling points. For the tourists, we create a funny and playful complex of activities and education. Their stay on the island will be much more interesting and all these diverse actions will be a good reason to visit Texel in the first place.

Changes may take place as the years go by in order to achieve the best result and integration with the landscape and local behavior. Of course that is something that works in favor of our program, because we need the feedback from the people, the players, to improve and develop further Texel’s character.

So, let’s get the game started…!!

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3.6_c Rules and regulations


In the Netherlands, there are a huge amount of rules and regulations to which almost everything should comply. Not only on national level, but also local and European. Next to the rules and regulations by law (deontic) there are the more moral 'rules' (normative). In this chapter, first the rules and regulations are split up in orders of magnitude: from European to local. Next moral rules -if applicable- are discussed.


Rules and regulations by law

In the EU there are European, national and local laws. In rule European laws overrule national, which overrule local laws and rules. So let's start with applicable European rules and regulations. These are recorded in regulations (binding in its elements and directly on each member), guidelines (binding as to the result for each member), resolutions (binding in its elements, on specified members) and recommendations and advise (non-binding). Some European laws are already integrated with national laws, since European laws overrule national laws.


European rules and regulations

Applicable European laws are mainly regarding the state aid and public tender. Since the center of innovation will most likely receive some kind of aid from the government and it's construction will be commissioned by the government these rules apply.

1. Public tender (guideline)

If a government (local/central) does a large investment (procurement) it is usually required to make a public tender. There are some exceptions, however, these do not apply here. Regarding the threshold, procurement must be done from €5.000.000,- for work contracts [1]. When this applies the procedure should be transparent and non-discriminatory. This will most probably apply to the Center of Innovation.

2. State aid (regulation)

When applying for state aid, there are also some regulations. Applicable rules are to be found in article 107 section 1 of the TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) [2]. This is to make the aid compatible with the internal market and not affect trade between members.

In this there are some exceptions (article 107 section 3 TFEU). Also there are subsidy regulations which have to be examined by The Commission. One of these regulations is the "Subsidieverordening Waddenfonds" [3]. If the monetary expenses are within the border of this regulation and the goal is in line, there is no need to make a notification of the state aid at The Commission.


National rules and regulations

Within the Netherlands there are some more specific rules applicable. These involve construction laws, laws for hospitality industry, safety laws etc. For convenience the leisure and center of innovation are split.

Besides the specific applicable rules, the Wadden is also a national park, listed in the UNESCO heritage. [4]

1. Sustainable leisure

For the (minor) changes of the hospitality industry, there are some laws. The most important one is the Drank- en HorecaWet (rules regarding beverages, catering and such) [5]. This is quite a extensive collection of rules which these businesses have to comply with. Changing something in current restaurants of bars etc. will always have to be checked not to conflict these regulations.

There are also extra rules for the buildings in which restaurants/bars/disco's are. These can be found at "ondernemersplein", specially for entrepreneurs [6].

2. Center of Innovation

Since for the Center of Innovation a completely new building is almost certainly required, there are certain national rules to comply with. For example the building should comply with the construction regulations [7]. These include rules about safety, energy performance, environment etc.


Local rules and regulations

Finally there are some local rules and regulations. These include local policies [8], local protected areas regarding flora and fauna [9] and and local rules for bars and restaurants. Also the national regulations are enforced by the municipality. 


Moral rules

Besides the deontic laws, there are also the normative moral rules to keep in mind. although there are no legal consequences when 'breaking' guidelines like this. Breaking them would most likely affect the relationship with the people on Texel in a negative way.Staying within the limits of the law doesn't automatically mean that it complies with moral rules.

Moral rules involve aspects like (good) employment, relationship with Texel(aars), respect etc. In each decision one should consider if there are any moral implications involved. 



While stated rules and regulations are mostly objective statements, what does this mean for the project? Well, first of all one should consider what is possible and especially not possible in legal aspect. If something is implicitly not allowed, there is no point in continuing with that idea. For the four initiatives, there are no regulations obstructing the realization of the ideas. Complications may arise within the municipality regarding public tender and state aid, but this is just something to take into account.

There is, however, policy and zoning of the municipality. If these do not allow certain changes it will become a longer process to realize the ideas, if it even will be possible. For Texel, this will not be a direct problem, since the municipality has sustainability in high regard in their policy. This will also be the focus, since if new initiatives are in line with the policy and zoning, it has a high chance of government subsidies.






[4] Beleidsnota natuur en landschap op Texel, beleidsinventarisatie november 2003






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4.1 Comparing sustainable route


To achieve the sustainable route on Texel certain steps had to be made to realize this. The current sub-system is different from the future sub-system. In this paragraph these two are compared to see what the differences are and to identify possible obstacles.


1. Technology

At this moment the technology of apps are pretty far developed. Apps for museum or events present you information or the program and are already applied. Serious gaming is also a market that is rising and can be used for the sustainable route. If we compare the current with the future technology, there are little steps to take. Connecting the current technologies and actors would be enough to create the platform for the digital sustainable route. 
Also for the sustainable pass there are already existing examples, such as the Rotterdam pas. Also for this no complex obstacles has to be overcome.


2. Actors

The actors fulfill the key role in this ambition. The VVV tourist center and the leisure companies have to change and incorporate the sustainable route into their existing way of doing. But the actors or their culture and way of life do not change, only a new actor will come upon the island; a company (preferably started by islanders) that firstly gains widespread support, make the route and updates the route. An external company can make the technology of the apps and the sustainable pass. A possible start for this company is through the local entrepreneur organisations like TOP, RECRON and Duurzaam Texel.


3. Culture and behavior

To make the sustainable route a success the behavior of the tourists and the inhabitants has to change from a consumer driven to a sustainable-consumer driven actor. Comparing the leisure companies their culture and behavior it can be concluded that they have to make a change in the way they do and present sustainability. In cooperation with the sub-system food&more and materials&waste a plan has to be made to change the culture of restaurants. 


4. Rules and regulations

The sustainable route does not ask for change in the regulations and can therefore be already applicable from the start.


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4.2 Comparing sustainable schools


In this chapter the current schools and the future sustainable schools are compared with eachother. The transition from normal primary schools to a school that are examples of sustainability for the pupils and the inhabitants.


1. Technology

To make a school energy neutral is not simple and innovative technology is needed to accomplish this. There are some examples that show that it is possible, but this is achieved with subisies of the government (NESK program). Burgemeester Walda school on Ameland is such an example. To incoorperate the education about sustainability is more part of the culture and rules than of certain technologies.


2. Actors

In order to achieve this ambition the most important actor is the government and the municipality. To make all the 7 primary schools on Texel energy neutral there should be made certain agreements with the government in order to make this transition feasable. There are no new actors involved in this ambition. 


3. Culture and behaviour

The education culture of the schools on the island should make a (small) change for the future sub-system of sustainable schools. It could be possible that current schools already teach this, but some may not. The 7 schools together should make a transition from working on their own small islands unto working together on one island and put together a sustainable program for their pupils. The schools are the learning place for pupils and are their role models.


4. Rules and regulations

The rules for subsidising and building permits for schools is a long and complex process. For this reason it is important to make an early start with this process. 


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4.3 Comparing sustainable leisure activities

Texel prospect.png

When comparing the current and future sub system of leisure, there are some changes. Important to mention is that the expectation of future tourism is positive [1], so it is there will be more tourist each year. Now let's compare on four levels: technology, actors, culture and behavior, relations between elements and rules and regulations.

 Effect of five main development directions for the Wadden regarding recreation and tourism [2] 

1. Technology

For technology there are some differences. First of all is the energy generating dance floor. If this is proven to be economically positive (or acceptable losses), De Toekomst will generate energy from dancing people. Next is the use of more sustainable ways to decrease the waste of energy and water, like greywater, and overall better insulation and leak-preventing structural changes. These changes don't have to be drastically, but will turn out to be decreasing energy and monetary expenses. 


2. Actors

When looking at actors, there aren't many changes. The business owners are still the same, just like all organisations and tourists. Except that the future prospect will be more tourists, as mentioned.


3. Culture and behavior

Culturally there might be some changes. When looking at the products and ingredients being used, it might change the reputation of restaurants. This will for example be the case if bug products are used for example. 

Also there will be a change in handling waste (mainly organic). Improved recycling programs may initially cost more effort and time, but will improve the overall efficiency of organic materials due to recycling. 

A larger change, however, will be the structural changes which require conviction and insight of all parties that the changes will result in a more sustainable activity, while not having a negative effect (in the contrary, it will be positive) resulting in a win/win situation. If this point is across, people will be more inclined to cooperate. 


4. Relations between elements

There will be some changes in the relations between business holders and certain organisations. This will mainly be for (a) recycle program(s). The lack of relations will mainly be because most changes will be individual and no specific interaction is required. There is, however, a link with the materials and waste sub-system and food & more sub-system.


5. Rules and regulations

Regarding the rules and regulations, there won't be many changes. However, in the future the legislation about bug products will change and this will most probably be positive. So these kind of products will then be legally approved, although the current sales already isn't a problem. [3]



[2], page 63, table 6


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4.4 Comparing Center of Innovation


If the Center of Innovation will be a future 'campus', there obviously will be some changes. Since there currently is no 'center', the whole center will have to be built from almost nothing. Building it from nothing gives certain advantages, mostly in efficiency and economy. The downside is also that it will have to be built from nothing, so initial costs and effort will be high. Now let's look at what's will be different from the current situation.


1. Technology

Since this will be a center of innovation, the techniques by which the campus will be built will also be innovative or at least sustainable. Being able to build it from scratch gives the opportunity to design the whole system as efficient as possible. This will result in a environmentally and economically friendly set of buildings while giving enough room and possibility to facilitate the departments we have in mind, with a possibility to expand.


2. Actors

There will be some new actors involved in the center. These actors already exist, but not in this fashion. New participating actors will include all departments who will be housed in the center, like a department of the Waddenacademy, NIOZ and a place for children to learn in a playful way, in a similar way of 'De Ontdekfabriek". Most departments are already present on the island or in the vicinity of Texel, but are at the moment solely focused on research, monitoring and similar activities. Through the education of the public of the activities of these institutes more public awareness and improved public opinion can be achieved by presenting results, necessity and course of action of these institutes. Combining this in one location will reduce individual costs and may prove to be beneficial for all parties, and this does not only involve revenues.

Besides the new players present on the campus, other people will be involved in the whole idea. Schools, for example, will regularly visit the site to learn about the innovation, environs and sustainability aspect of Texel. Also the municipality and national government will be involved in financing and subsiding the project. Last but not least there are the tourists, which will be able to visit the center and learn more about Texel, Texels' environment, the sustainability aspect and a collection of research.

Last but not least it will provide employment on the island where employees (most likely inhabitants) will work with Texel and its surroundings. This will speak to the pride and involvement of people living on Texel, looking for an (extra) job.


3. Culture and behavior

Being a completely new set of buildings, it will be a somewhat drastic change to the scenery and culture of the island. While institutes like Ecomare and NIOZ are currently present, this will be more focused on educating local population and tourists. Thus it will require them to split their attention somewhat to also support named Center. This does not come at the expense of current research, but provides possibilities for more public support for little more effort. And, the main goal, to educate people about the research and Texels' environment.


4. Relation between the elements

There will be some changes in relations. First of all there will be a strong cooperation between the center and institutes like Ecomare, NIOZ and the Waddenacademy. Since it will be a center for innovation, research and learning these institutes will contribute to the facilities located on site.

Also an important relation is with the tourist information. This center will be a unique selling point of Texel, so promoting it will most likely increase the touristic position of Texel.  Also important is the relation with the (local) government. Since (initially) the government will be funding the project it also has a large decision power. This will also most likely result in the maintenance being in the hands of the municipality.


5. Rules and Regulations

No rules or regulations need to be changed to build and maintain this campus. The goals is namely also to be completely in sync with all regulations (especially regarding the environmentally impact). For the municipality the European guideline of public tender will be respected and the building should comply with national construction laws, but besides this it will not be in conflict with laws.

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4.5 What does all the above mean for developments in the desired direction?

From all the above, we can realise that there are some changes that have to be done in order to develop the proposals. First of all the mentality of the inhabitants must turn to being more open to innovations. For that the new center of innovation will be of great help. Furthermore, the buildings need some extra care so as to become sustainable and consume less energy (insulation, PV panels, etc.). However, the businesses are the most difficult factor to change, as they won't risk without feeling secure enough. Therefore, we must ensure that tourists/customers will accept and promote the new actions (more sustainable cafes, restaurants, etc.) so that the businesses will realise the necessity of changing and will find a cause in being sustainable.

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5.1 How to achieve the proposed changes

In order to have a successful Leisure&Knowledge system we have to make a short-term and a long-term program for transitions in all our proposals.

Sustainable Route

There not many steps that need be taken for the sustainable route as it will basically start from the current attraction points and sustainable activities and gradually expand.

  • Technologies 

The creation of the app and the 'sustainable pass' can start directly and they can be built up including the current sustainable businesses, institutes and activities, like NIOZ. Later on, more companies and activities can be involved as more and more will switch towards sustainability. Until 2020 the the whole program of the route should be complete and until 2065 it will have created a network with companies from the mainland gaining more and more fame and support.

  • Actors

The actors are the companies incorporated and the tourists. The sustainable pass will motivate the tourists to be involved while the tourist offices should promote the participation in the route game. A main company should be in charge of upgrading and informing the game with new data as well as maintaining it in good condition. Ideally, the company must be from Texel and not from the mainland in order to be easily accepted from Texelaars. 

  • Culture and behaviour

The local businesses must change behaviour and consider sustainability in a matter of food imports and waste disposal. Being sustainable means being integrated in the route and the sustainable pass, which will lead to more customers and more income. Initially, everybody should be informed of the benefits of taking part in the route so until 2020 all the current activities would be willing to contribute.

  • Rules and regulations that organize the system

There is no change in the rules and regulations needed.


Sustainable Schools

Making changes to the public system is a complicated process because it involves the approval of different services before proceeding to the transformations.

  • Technologies 

Innovative technology is needed to convert the buildings of the schools to energy saving. Some schools have already PV panels, so in these cases it will be easier to negotiate what further changes need to be done. The program needs some time to be finished so it has 2065 as a goal but the changes can start before 2020.

In addition to this, sustainability should be integrated to the subjects of the classes for the pupils to get to know the meaning and importance of sustainability. Whereas this would need a national change that may take a lot of time to be considered and approved from the national institutional of education.

  • Actors

The actors are the pupils and teachers. Especially the teachers must have some lectures in order to understand the way of teaching a new subject like sustainability and how to integrate it to pupils' everyday life. The changes at the buildings may cause some inconvenience but they can also take place during vacation time. The changes can start until 2020 and go on in a slow pace for actors' convenience.

  • Culture and behaviour

There is no need of great change in the matter of behaviour. Teaching and integrating sustainability in their everyday life will gradually be achieved.

  • Rules and regulations that organize the system

The building plans have to be approved as well as the changes at the teaching program. Both actions need a lot of time as they depend on public national institutions and regulations.



Sustainable Leisure Activities

The leisure activities include owners of different businesses but with the same goal, earning more money by spending less. In order to make changes in this area, one has to come into agreemant with the respective people. It might be time consuming but if we have in mind their interests and address the right points, then the discussions can be faster. 

  • Technologies 

The first action for the activities, should be for the restaurants and cafes to take care of their imports and their waste. Be more careful of the quality of the products they are using and start recycling their waste instead of just getting rid of them. For the water management, a system of greywater would be of great advantage for the environment. What is more, by using energy generating and saving systems (PV cells, heat exchangers, etc.) they will also benefit economically from the lower bills.

  • Actors

The actors remain the business owners and their personnel.

  • Culture and behaviour

Culturally, the behaviour of the leisure activities should adapt to the sustainable profile, where people should be more careful of the products their serve and of the treatment of their waste. This can start immediatelly but it will take until 2020 to fully integrate to their everyday life.

  • Rules and regulations that organize the system

The regulations can be also changed in order to include the sustainable waste treatment. This may force some people to comply with the new profile, but it might be not necessary to take drastic actions.



Center of Innovation

Currently in the area where the center of innovation will be built, there is the complex of NIOZ and a campus. So, the new center has to be created based on the existing complexes but it is almost from scratch. The goal is to be ready until 2065, but new plans, design drawings, approvals and the construction itself may take more or less time depending on the whole coordination.

  • Technologies 

The building should be built with up-to-date technological equipment and according to all the sustainable criteria, as it will eventually be an example to follow by the rest inhabitants of the island.

  • Actors

The actors in this case will change. New departments will be built and thus new personnel is needed. In this way highly educated people and mainly inhabitants can find a job, improving also the mentality on the island. 

What is more, the tourists will be involved in the activities taking place and learn about sustainability, Texel's actions and the results from the researches of the surrounding institutions.

Last but not least, the departments may be financially independent but at the beginning they may need a financial support from the municipality, thus the municipality can be a temporary actor.

  • Culture and behaviour

The culture of the island will become more educative and the existing institutes, even though they will not change role, they must adapt to these innovations. There won't be any influence at the current researches, but a network of all the institutes and the educative departments will provide knowledge and information about them.

  • Rules and regulations that organize the system

No changes are needed for the rules and regulations. The buildings and their activities will be according to all regulations and especially the ones about the environment. Whereas, some regulations may come up for the local companies by the sustainable department so as to start switching towards a sustainable behaviour.

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5.2 Required actions

For all these changes, there are actions required. Here we'll name each action, who should do the action and a short explanation on the results and effects. While the actions are divided in the four ideas, many of them are linked and almost all will affect each other.


1. 'Sustainable route'

Since the sustainable route is a non-guide touristic route the main action required is setting it up and maintaining/controlling it. The local VVV (tourist information) will be the most ideal organisation for this and the initiative should lie here. Setting up this themed tour requires (regular) controls to check whether the participating actors satisfy the requirements

Second is the creation of a 'sustainable pass'. Like the Rotterdam pass, or Iamsterdam pass, this pass will give discounts and other advantages for people buying the pass. This can be set up with an individual company organizing everything about the pass (like

For local entrepreneurship the action will lie in making the business more sustainable. This way they can be involved in the plan and profit from the extended marketing. This can be done before implementation of the route and pass, to profit from the beginning, or later. But later entry might result in less participation in comparison with early entries.

With a more technology based society, an mobile phone application is a wise investment. When the initial route and pass is finished, an app should be developed to support the route and pass. Developing it afterward reduces development costs, since it will be known what the complete content will be.


2. Sustainable schools

For the more sustainable schools the action lies with the board of the schools, who make the program and the combination of the board and the municipality for structural changes of the school. The board should implement a sustainable program for students, which can be started right after the elaboration regarding the contents of this program.

For structural changes in the school buildings themselves, these should be initiated by the municipality and the board. Timings wise, it might be some trouble, since larger changes require more time and can only be implemented in the summer holidays. Smaller changes, like greywater reuse and PV cells, don't require a time without school and can be started as soon as the financing is done.


3. Sustainable leisure activities

For more sustainable leisure activities, these are little more actions required, from somewhat more parties. For a more efficient transition several steps should be taken.

First of all it will be helpful if there's some form of subsidies available for changes toward more sustainable leisure activities. These subsidies should come from the municipality and local funds (for example Duurzaam Texel and the Waddenfonds). These subsidies lower the (financial) bar for businesses to participate in the transition toward more sustainable leisure.

Next is the promotion and persuasion for this transition. With organisations like TOP, RECRON, the municipality and the financial incentive of the potential subsidies the bar to implement changes will be lower and changes are more attractive. For the entrepreneurs financial incentives will be strongest and this should therefore be the focus next to the intended results. The already named 'sustainable route' and pass will also be used as incentive, since they will provide additional advertisement and thus customers. Combined, this leads to the final action;

The final action is of the business owners itself. They should obviously start the changes, leading toward the more sustainable leisure businesses. Depending on the already existing level of sustainable initiatives these changes may vary from serious structural changes to a different habit for example of waste-treatment.

Finally the company of the sustainable pass should include the participating companies in the sustainable route and other promotional benefits.


4. The Center of Innovation

The biggest idea of all is the 'sustainable campus', of the Center of Innovation. There are a lot of different actions required and the combination will take the longest. Especially regarding EU regulations regarding public tender and state support.

First is taking the initiative to contact potential organisations who are the target to be in the center. Without their consent, it won't be a very successful center. If this step is positively taken, the construction of the center should be initiated. All necessary paperwork for building on the designated location should be performed, which will mainly be a task within the municipality and province. 

Regarding the design and construction of the center, European rules should be respected. This means a public tender must be addressed to the European Commission and should be made public. This must be done by the municipality and will take some time.

After tending the construction (and possibly the design), the construction can be started. The awarded company will start construction, which will most likely take quite some time. Afterwards the (departments of the) organisations which will be housed in the center will be transferred or set up.

Finally the center will be included in the sustainable route and pass and school trips will be available.

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5.3 Linkage with other sub-systems

Since the Leisure and Knowledge is only a small part of the complete sustainable Texel project from ESD course, these is most likely to be potential interaction with other sub-systems which might be positive but can also create a tension or be contradictory. Here potential interaction are summed up. In the week on Texel it will become clear how much will overlap and if there are contradictory ideas.


Food & More

Since one ambition was to make hospitality industry more sustainable, there will be a connection with food. More specific food which is produced locally and in a sustainable way. Not only the food used in restaurants but also the knowledge where this food comes from will be used; Also in the sustainable route, there will probably be points along the route where local food is produced in a sustainable way. Maybe even special (sustainable) ways to produce the food on Texel.

The knowledge of the production of named food can also be interesting for the Center of Innovation. Showcasing or researching such processes will contribute to the knowledge and perception of visitors.

Health and Happiness

Since leisure is linked with happiness, there will probably be a overlap here. This will probably be in the way of the Center of Innovation, which can influence the health and happiness of the inhabitants with the knowledge presented there. Furthermore the leisure activities will influence the happiness of the tourists.

Since knowledge also contributed to a more happy population, the improved education with respect to sustainability will have an effect on the overall happiness of the population of Texel.

Materials and Waste

As stated in chapter 3.4, the hospitality industry should handle their waste with more care (if possible). Therefore there will be a direct link with the materials and waste sub-system, mainly in the behavior. Depending on the ideas of materials and waste the advice towards the restaurants (via TOP) will be changed to suite the materials and waste sub-system. This is changeable since it is mainly an advice for the business owners, which is fairly easy to change.

Public Space

With Public Space sub-system there will be quite some overlap. The sustainable route will almost everywhere be in the public space so there will be changes in the public spaces on Texel. For a touristic route this will mainly consist of the typical 'info mushrooms' along the roads. These are to be updated and new signs may be placed on specific locations. 

Also the emergence of the Center of Innovation will have a small effect in public space. The location of the center will involve direct public space in ways of lighting, public transport and roads for example. This should be considered when combining the Public Space with Leisure and Knowledge.


With Mobility, there is almost no link. But if there is to be research on transport, it can be linked with the Center of Innovation. If this is the case, there can also be some play activity in the Texel version of the "Ontdekfabriek".

Texel as Host

Texel as Host potentially has quite some overlap, mainly in the leisure part. Since the sustainability route is focused on tourism, it should be promoted towards the tourist. An extra dimension for this may lie in the ideas of the Texel as Host group. While tensions are not likely due to the independence of the route, the initiatives of the Texel as Host sub-system should be tekan into account. Maybe they can even be combined and strengthen each other.

Water Cycle

With the Water Cycle sub-system there is the possibility for the Center of Innovation to showcase or develop new techniques in water recycling or water saving. Especially water saving technologies will be useful to display, so that the inhabitants (and tourists) can be educated on ways to lower their water consumption.

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What we have learned on Texel

Things we have learnt during the time we were on Texel (Monday until Wednesday) which have influenced our design proposal for the sub-system Leisure&Knowledge:


1. Monday afternoon presentation to the whole group and discussion with Carolin: we got some critical questions about our proposed design (4 points). The focus should be on either the sustainability route or the innovation centre, but making it more clear. The idea for schools and the improved sustainable leisure activities are not concrete or relevant enough for our system, so they were eventually eliminated. 

Therefore, we decided to go for the creation of routes with different themes and the development of a center that will exhibit the results from the local researches (from places that tourists cannot visit, like NIOZ).

2. Monday night there was an interaction with the locals and we realised that we need to give them options instead of absolute solutions. Show them their strong points and let them develop them instead of giving the smart technology TU Delft wonderful ideas. We were also amazed with how many things and innovations are happening which can be used for the proposed design for the route and centre.

3. Until going to Texel and really working as a whole big group, every sub-system was more or less working individually. However, we evaluated the evening with the locals and talked all together to share our ideas and we found out that we are all overlapping in some points and we are creating a unified system. So, the route that we decided to proceed with is converting to a route that will include all the other groups.

What is more we realised that Texelaars need a meta-design (instead of a clear design), which means that we will give them a design with options and decisions that THEY will make and not us. The route and the research center, which we call Texel Lab, will be the expression of our design in combination with their decisions.

4. On Tuesday the interview with Hanneke Keijser of the VVV tourist information centre gave more insight in what tourists are interested in why they come to Texel. It seems that tourists don't know where to start when they come here, there is so much to do and so many routes, so they like a 'theme' route to start with. For example the 'Jan Wolters route' (writer who lived on the island) is very popular, you visit spots where the writer was. The lamb-tour is also a popular route in spring. We can also integrate our route in this theme, such as a knowledge route (kennis route) or green energy route (groene energie route).

5. Tuesday we wanted to visit TexelEnergie, but this was not possible for them. On the website we found however some more interesting information regarding energy on Texel (reduce, reuse and produce), where we learnt a lot. For example: Texel slim, zelfvoorzienend. Balance between energy produced and energy consumption creates a value according to which the fees to paid decrease so one should use energy when it is available. You can save energy by washing the laundry at peak production moments, when there is a lot of sun or wind. In 300 households on Texel this is tested with the Kiek display that gives feedback on your consumption and the current energy price. Also there is a lot of communication towards each other online. Information about this can be presented in the TexelLab and integrated in the groene energie route.

6. Folder 'Echt Texelse producten' shows what is already locally produced and sold by the local leisure institutes. Also activities that show how this is locally (and most of the time also sustainably) produced. What stand out for our sub-system are: Labora (ice-cream farm, very popular with the tourists), Novalishoeve (biologic care farm), 

7. Future plans for Solar parking place at Paal 9. Maarten of Staatsbosbeheer told us that they have the plans to contribute to a sustainable Texel. If this is realised this can be part of the groene energie route and people can combine this with a visit to the beach. 

8. Future plans of 'Solar Village Texel'. Deheer Zoetlief from TOP has a plan for a Solar Village Texel: an energy neutral park for tourists to stay. We had a talk with the initiator of this plan. He already has funding from Waddenfonds (240.000 euro) to start the initiative. The park has 10 houses where energy is produced with solar panels, heat pumps, smart grids, smart homes, etc. Also an exhibition is added to learn about the technology of renewable energy. This can be part of the kennis- or groene energie route. 



At this moment we mainly focus on:
1. The sustainability route, on the question how to connect and showcase all the great stuff that is already here on the island and the ideas of the other sub-systems. Connecting all the beads with a wire to make a wonderful neckless. The route is closely related to the sub-system Texel as Host (connecting restaurants and farmers) and Water Cycle (the complicated and innovative water treatment).
2. Secondly the idea of TexelLab: making sustainability, a place for kids to interact with sustainability. The TexelLab can be part of the research centre (saline research of Marc, seaweed centre of NIOZ and TexelEnergy) and the place to showcase innovations of the island.

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Interviews on Texel

Tourist Information

On Tuesday 13/01/2014 we intervied local people on the island to understand their interaction with the tourists, their main interests and activities and ask about what they think of our proposal.

Hanneke Keyser is working at the VVV tourist information point at Den Burg and was willing to answer our questions:

Q: What is the age of most tourists?

A: We have tourists of all ages. From young people around 20 to older people.

Q: What seems to be most interesting for tourists about the island?

A: Through discussions with the tourists and the website that we have and tourists describe their feelings about the island, it seems that they mostly prefer Texel for the peaceful environment and the nature. They forget about the stress and the life in the city and relax on Texel.

Q: What directions do you give to the tourists when they first come here?

A: There are a lot of visitors that don't know exactly what to do and he help them by describing the possibilities and then they choose to start with an activity and then more can follow. But there are also people that have heard of a specific thing and they ask for it.

Q: Do you organise any special activities? 

A: There are a lot of events going on on Texel depending on the season, for example last year we dedicated June to culture, so artists located pieces of art around the city having sheep as concept.

Q: Are there any cycling routes of different interest?

A: Yes. There are a lot of routes that a cyclist can follow and each has a different focus. There is the route for nature, for the dunes, for local food and products,etc (she also gave us a lot of leaflets and maps). Most of the tourists rent bikes and choose to follow some routes from the program. There is not an organised group every time, so it can be a couple, a small group of friends or a larger one. All streets have different number so one doesn't even need a map. He can remember the numbers and just look at the right number at the junctions.

Q: How much time do visitors spend on island?

A: Many visitors come every year at the island and spend several days. They use it as a way out of the routine. There are also others that have a tour to all the islands, so they spend one day on Texel and then they continue with the other islands. For the ones coming and wanting to visit all the attractions, they mostly can go around all the island in two or three days



Tuesday 13/01/2015 there was an interview with Bart de Witte of Staatsbosbeheer (Forestry commission) Texel in an old bunker on a hill in De Geul. There was a lot of talking about different subjects like the physical changes of the island, Staatsbosbeheer itself and their activities and the nature of Texel. From this we also learned about the link of the nature, Staatsbosbeheer and tourists. 

Most tourists on Texel come for the nature and tranquility. While most of these just go on cycling or walking on their own throughout the dunes, beach or island itself, Staatsbosbeheer also organizes some guided tours and activities. With these tours and activities they fund the personnel which in turn maintain the nature on Texel, even though this is not an opulence. If the budget allows it they also improve current paths. Halfway through 2014 some paths were improved to make them accessible for wheelchair users and buggies for example.

Regarding tourists it became clear that the participants of these tours and activities are from all age groups, not only elderly people. Also, since the participants of these tours and activities are not particularly numerous, they are looking on new activities to keep the income to pay for the maintenance. For this they are open to new initiatives (like GPS tours), also from the mainland. Staatsbosbeheer Texel has the mindset, the nature knowledge and the experience. They mostly miss the technical knowledge, for which they are open from others than Staatsbosbeheer.


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Final Proposal - detailed scheme


To sum up, we propose a part of the meta-design that will include all sub-systems.


In our system we propose the construction and exploiting of TexelLab, which is based on the idea of de Ontdekfabriek in Rotterdam and somewhat like the Science Centre in Delft, in order to mainly involve children and let them make their own sustainability. Constructions, small systems, games, etc will make the visitors understand their contribution to the ecological footprint and how to decrease it and save/produce energy as well as why it is so important to have such knowledge. And all in a playful and attractive way.

This mind set will be taught to the children in a young age, which will leave its spores in the future. These children will grow up with these habits or ideas, appreciate the sustainable way and possibly spread them. Or like the Dutch saying goes "Jong geleerd, oud gedaan" (learned young is done old).


Besides the learning experience the facilities will host an exhibition for NIOZ, texel energy, individual entrepreneurs and others that cannot accept visitors at their working place. So that will be a great chance to show what they are doing and share their outcomes. It will be a 'showcase' of knowledge, researched on Texel, giving Texel an extra incentive for people to visit Texel.

From a Texelaar we heard there are many 'little inventors' making quite high-tech stuff in their garage or barn. They want to do this for their own use, but may also show it. This TexelLab will give them the noncommittal opportunity to show these inventions or constructions and make a little name for themselves. 


Next to the increased awareness, especially among children, and the exhibition which are intended with the TexelLab, the Lab will provide Texel with additional employment. Providing up to dozens of jobs will not only increase the incentive of younger people to stay on or return to Texel, but also have an positive influence on the local economy.


The TexelLab will probably be a new building being constructed near the south harbor of Texel. This way the tourist coming from the ferry will immediately see the lab, increasing it's publicity. Besides the location, the TexelLab will be actively promoted within the tourist information. This area is currently not used for anything and quite an ugly first sight of Texel for the tourists. Combining the TexelLab with other ideas for the current ferry landing harbor will have a positive influence on the charisma and character of the location where tourists arrive. Since there currently is not much, it could become more of a business card for Texel.



Specific touristic routes

We also create the planning of touristic route system with the 'green energy route', the knowledge route' and we add on the 'local food route' that already exists. These routes are similar to the named touristic routes named in the current situation. With their specific theme they'll focus on the, in this case, sustainable part of Texel and link them together. This will have a positive impact on participants on these tours, not only in recreational values.

An additional consequence of these kind of routes is that people interested and participating in these routes might have some innovative idea of their own. When they'll visit relevant locations they might share these idea(s) with the Texelaar on location, who then can adopt this idea and improve the business/location/action on its own. So it works both ways. These routes can in theory act as a knowledge catalyst.

Along with the tourist routes, there will be an application. This application will be supporting the routes by providing additional information. When visiting a location, for example, it will be possible to obtain additional information on the location, but also on related (sustainable) elements on the island. This will give Texel as an island a common identity as a sustainable island.

The 'green energy route' has elements like the TexelLab, the wind mills, a PV panel parking that is being build now at the south part of the island, the 'Solar Village Texel' when it will be ready, the bio-digester and as final stop the Kaap Skil in Oudeschild that will show how Texel will look like in the future after the implementation of all the energy innovations.





The knowledge route' will have stops like the TexelLab, Ecomare, the saline testing and the other relevant educational elements named in this book. The focus will lie on educating participants on high end technologies developed on the island in a playful and recreational way as much as possible.





The 'local food route' will combine elements of the existing route with new from the sub-system 'Texel as host'. So it will include elements like saline agriculture, abalones and the seaweed centre if possible.






For realizing these initiatives, the TexelLab and the touristic routes, there's a clear difference between the current and intended future system. While the required action for the TexelLab will be much more, the tourist routes can be implemented a lot earlier, but initially with less elements.


Transition on TexelLab

Since the TexelLab is currently non-existing, there are quite some actions to take. The concrete plans should be constructed after a solid business plan. Since the goal of the TexelLab is creating awareness regarding sustainable technologies as well as local initiatives, the chances are high to receive subsidies from, for example, the Waddenfonds. This will decrease the load on governmental institutes for financing the project. One can also think of partners and private funders.

Getting the Texelaar along

Since the TexelLab will involve a somewhat rigorous change to the life on Texel it is important to get the inhabitants of Texel along with the project. There were some thoughts which crossed our minds regarding this. One was the involvement of inhabitants themselves in the development, construction and exploitation of the project. While the main construction of the Lab will involve public tending, smaller services might be granted to local contractors to stimulate the local economy and gain support along Texelaars.

Besides this stimulant to the local economy, it will also be stimulated with the prospect of new jobs, required to keep the Lab working. The exploitation of the Lab will lie somewhere between the municipality, the community Texel and TexelLab as a company. This means TexelLab will most probably handle in the interest of Texel. Also the possibility to show the rest of the world what can be accomplished on Texel, without showing off, might have an interesting incentive on Texelaars.

Possible problems which may arise are mainly financial and possible (dis)approval of plans the plans.


Transition on specific touristic routes

In contrast to the TexelLab, the touristic routes don't require much action and don't involve many Texelaars. In cooperation with local entrepreneurs and businesses the routes will be finalized and produced for the VVV tourist information. First the VVV should comply with selling/handing out these route maps and providing additional information with it. This will be just like the other already consisting routes.

Next every element of the routes should comply (if possible), since they will probably be getting more visitors from tourists. This may also be a way to get them involved, since this is likely to positively reflect on their financial situation. It will not have an extra impact on the lives of Texelaars, since it will be a shift in participants of already tourist routes towards these routes.

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