1997-2000, The Green Heart, The Netherlands

As part of the EU-VISIONS project (Integrated Scenarios for a Sustainable Europe) RIKS developed an interactive tool and the associated procedure for building integrated spatial (land use) models based on qualitative scenarios and verbal stories resulting from participatory sessions with stakeholders. The tool was applied to the Green Heart area in the Netherlands in collaboration with RIVM and ICIS. The tool, applied to the Green-Hart, was given the name Baby-LOV: it is a light version of the Environment Explorer (LOV) system and makes use of the data and quantitative scenarios available from LOV.

The aim of the case was the development of an interactive tool and a stepwise procedure supporting the interactive creation of a Cellular Automata land use model capable of presenting the spatial outcomes of a variety of integrated scenarios. Baby-LOV demonstrates how the kind of model can be developed mainly on the basis of information that is obtained from qualitative scenario exercises resulting in verbal descriptions of potential future developments in the study area. As such, the case demonstrates how Cellular Automata models can be equipped with tools that render them useful in policy and planning exercises involving sessions with stakeholders and end-users. In particular tools enabling the translation of qualitative inputs into a quantitative model rapidly and interactively have been demonstrated to be of great value.

Three different development scenarios were created, each of which was visualised and analysed by means of the Baby-LOV model:

  • [b]Technology rules:[/b] In this scenario the economic growth continues; technological innovations in the field of ICT, bio- and nano-technology take a high flight. The influence of the national government diminishes; more is left to the forces of the market, where business and NGOs become important players. The income gap between social groups widens; there is a spatial division between the rich and the less fortunate people in society.

  • [b]Europe leading:[/b] Europe plays a dominant role: legislative power is transferred from the national to the European level; The EU is expanding with former East European countries; EU environmental policy is intensified; European agricultural support decreases. Agriculture disappears from the Green Heart. The Green Heart gets more and more fragmented due to a weakening of the restrictive policy for the Green Heart. A European revitalization program has to turn the tide.

  • [b]Water guiding:[/b] Climate change, especially global warming, is responsible for rising water levels. Safety becomes an issue; companies and people leave the Green Heart area. Traditional measures to control the water are no longer effective. A solution has to be found in a new way of thinking; follow, not fight the water. Parts of the Green Heart are flooded; new forms of housing and infrastructure emerge, farming is replaced by fish-farming. But unforeseen problems pop up: vector-born diseases.