Amsterdam Science Park is a leading European hub of research, education, and entrepreneurship, housing universities, research institutes, and businesses. Here, T-Factor explored the potential of green and urban ecology practices to reconnect people to living ecosystems and contribute to ‘more-than-human’ ways of shaping and making urban environments.

/meanwhile missions

WILD
AND CULTIVATED
SPACES

Exploring a diversity of green and wild spaces that foster people-nature everyday’s interactions, protect and preserve biodiversity, and contribute to cultivate ‘more-than-human’ urban environments

DO IT
TOGETHER
ECO-PRACTICES

Cultivating bottom-up engagement in urban ecology practices and actively shaping thriving ‘eco-communities.

ALTERNATIVE
MASTERPLAN

Promoting new ways of valuing and organising natural assets through more participatory, collaborative, and democratic design and development tools.

/Prototypes

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/Pilot emerging themes

Collaborative approach and Urban Ecology vision 

Collaborative approaches and a shared vision provided a consistent reference throughout the pilot’s journey. They underscore the importance of long-term collaborations that were established after the initial programming phase, enabling simultaneous focus on eco practices and the development of both wild and cultivated spaces. These partnerships were crucial in engaging stakeholders in ecological practices while also nurturing cultivated spaces.

Stakeholder engagement and green initiatives

Examining the project’s focus on urban ecology reveals a multifaceted approach aimed at achieving a cultural shift in urban ecology. The strategy involved engaging a diverse range of stakeholders, from local community members to scientific experts, in the process of developing and implementing green initiatives. This engagement was characterised by a gentle approach, allowing the experiences and outcomes of the initiatives to naturally demonstrate their significance, rather than overtly emphasising it. This underscores the importance of inclusive and collaborative efforts in fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of sustainable ecological practices.

Bold experimentation and community needs

Bold experimentation in response to community needs centres on altering perspectives and creating immediate tangible interventions. This approach emphasised the importance of both shifting viewpoints and implementing practical ecological initiatives. Events like the Landscape Festival highlighted this focus, demonstrating the pilot’s commitment to innovative ecological solutions while addressing community needs and interests. This captures the essence of marrying transformative ideas with concrete actions, illustrating the project’s dedication to ecological innovation and community engagement.

Governance Complexity

The complex ownership and management structure posed challenges in navigating the intricacies of project implementation. Difficulties arose in aligning the Science Park’s vision with grassroots ecological initiatives. The park showed resistance to embracing hands-on, grassroots methods, instead favouring a polished, high-value image over improvised structures or organic biodiversity efforts. This highlights the intricacy of harmonising diverse visions and the governance structures that influence them. It emphasises the challenges of discovering common ground, merging distinct approaches, and cultivating a more inclusive and ecologically aware environment.

Community-centric interventions and cultural shift

The shift towards a more community-focused approach in urban ecology projects highlights the importance of engaging with local communities and understanding their unique needs and aspirations. The pilot demonstrated how fostering community trust and involvement can significantly impact the success of urban ecology initiatives. By prioritising local engagement and tailoring interventions to community needs, the project aimed to achieve a cultural shift, emphasising the value of collaborative, inclusive, and sustainable environmental practices.