The future of a peatland meadow

  • Spatial Development

The Hegenwarren is an approximately 400 hectare polder (reclaimed land) in the Low Middle of Friesland. A new perspective for this peatland meadow is necessary because it is sinking. Every year the peatland settles a bit further. In the lang term, this cannot continue as it is increasingly difficult to maintain the polder. There is also unwanted CO2 released from settling peatland.

What is the optimal social planning for the Hegenwarren? The province of Friesland (Fryslân), Wetterskip Fryslân and the municipality of Smallingerland deliberately choose to first pose this question to the neighbouring community. A team of local people developed different scenarios for the future of the polder. Open Kaart guided this co-creation team.

Design Brief

The co-creation team develops different variations on the designs. One prerequisite is raising the water table, which is essential to prevent further sinking of the peatland.

The opportunities and consequences of each design variant are catalogued for nature, recreation, and other relevant aspects. This allows lawmakers to carefully weigh the results from the co-creation team in their decision making for the future of the Hegewarren.

Project Details

Hegewarren, Friesland

Provincie Fryslân, Wetterskip Fryslân and gemeente Smallingerland

2020 – Present

Spatial Development

Project Team
Hanneke Stenfert and Jurrian Arnold

In Partnership with:
H+N+S landschapsarchitecten and Royal HaskoningDHV


Collective calculation and charting

A team of 17 stakeholders from in and around Hegewarren charted the possibilities. Within this group, each person views the challenges through their own lens. One looks at the Hegewarren as a resident or entrepreneur; the other brings the perspective from the surrounding area. Themes such as agriculture, economics, the environment, and recreation come together in this discussion.

The team examines, sketches, and calculates different possible solutions, together with landscape designers from H+N+S and the expertise of Royal Haskning DHV. In this way, we discover step by step which possibilities exist, or don’t. Open Kaart facilitated this co-creative design process.

Insights about opportunities and consequences

In addition to maps, the team creates a framework to compare aspects of the different design possibilities. The framework consists of the goals from the client together with factors deemed important by the co-creation team. There is a clear mapping of the opportunities and consequences of each design variant.

'Inverted Perspective'

Normally, as a citizen you express ideas about decisions made by lawmakers; in this process it is the reverse. Lawmakers and administrations weigh in on the work done by the co-creation team. They can contribute focus points during the development process of the design variants.

The end results from the co-creation team are handed off to the administration who ultimately decide what the future of the Hegewarren will be. The co-creation team delivers design variants and their unique considerations.

Project Location

Related to
de Hegewarren

Projects, news and articles related to the future vision for Hegewarren.

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