- Reinventing Holland - A call for region based knowledge development    click here to open paper content242 kb
by    Bomas, Bart & de Vries, Walter | bomasb@pzh.nl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The Province South Holland (Zuid Holland) aims at six hotspots for innovative knowledge clusters. The specific regional circumstances of a deltalandscape offers the possibillity of an internationally competing knowledge environment.
Reinventing Holland
Using knowledge to develop knowledge

Concept: abstract Isocarp congres Bilbao, 2005-04-28
Ir. B. Bomas en ir. W. de Vries

The province South Holland lies in the urban southwestern part of the deltaic Netherlands, several meters below sealevel. The provincial authority wishes to climb into the European top 20 of knowledge-based service and into the top 10 on the European Scorebord. To achieve this, the authority aims at nine recognizable knowledgeclusters, e.g. the maritime and logistic cluster around the port of Rotterdam, cultivation under glass in the glass-city between The Hague and Rotterdam (Westland), bio- and lifesciences around Leiden university, and design and architecture around Delft university.

In a world where the Pacific gains importance and Europe could diminish to the perifery, knowledge-economy and creative class are of vital importance, but hardly effectuated. Creativity is the driving force for innovation and innovation at its turn for competing development. How, and under which spatial-economic preconditions the initial creative spark can be a lasting fire? We think Europe’s cultural capital can be the attractor for creative economy, innovation and knowledge-development.

The province South Holland, in one of the most densely populated regions of Western Europe, has an important trumpcard: the agelong tradition of building a livable delta. Look at the remarkable Dutch waterlandscapes like polders, canals and open meadowlands. Look at the watercities like Delft, Gouda and Dordrecht in the South Wing of the conurbation of western Holland (Randstad). Check also coastal The Hague and harbourcity Rotterdam. With historical delta-knowledge and delta-skills South Holland could distinguish itself, even internationally. This knowledge and skills were and can be an exportproduct and brandingstrategy. As a result, its spatial qualities attracts tourists, (foreign) companies and eventually the creative class.

Therefore we propose a spatial strategy: attract all sorts of knowledge by using and triggering the regional specific deltaknowledge. To do so, develop high-quality (international) work- and livingspaces for the ‘cultural class’ near the centres of knowledge by designing innovative waterlandscapes and watercities in the Dutch tradition, combined with carefully monitored experiments.

One of the concrete projects in the province South Holland is the improvement of settlement-climates for knowledge-based companies. According to the nine knowledge-clusters certain hotspots receive special attention. For instance the knowledge-boulevard along the highway A13, the ESA spacepark at dune-area Noordwijk or Legal Capital The Hague. These hotspots need a careful (super-)regional design to be of healthy quality. There lies a grand opportunity for the future if the provincial authority makes use of the worldfamous Dutch knowledge on architecture, urban- and landscapedesign combined with deltaic knowledge and skills.

Holland, delta, knowledgecluster
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