Step 4: Select and combine


  • A map of spatial solutions for the ecoprofiles
  • Local knowledge about the attainability and spatial requirements of other functions that are to be achieved


  • Spatial solutions integrated per ecoprofile per ecosystem
  • A map of spatial solutions per ecosystem, ranked according to ecological  profitability, feasibility of being combined with other functions and  attainability
  • Integrated spatial solution for a combination of ecosystems

What does this entail?

In this step, the spatial solutions devised in step 3 for each ecoprofile are integrated per ecosystem. This delivers sustainable spatial solutions for all the selected ecoprofiles that have a habitat in that ecosystem. The solutions are ranked according to their ecological profitability: Where is the biggest ecological profit to be gained for the least effort? They are assessed on the basis of ecological criteria and social feasibility (e.g. environmental quality, linking up with other functions, etc.) The criteria may differ per project; they are drawn up by the design group.

The solutions for various ecosystems are then compared and combined. Solutions may reinforce each other (e.g. laying out heath and forest corridors next to each other), or may weaken each other or be mutually exclusive (a patch cannot simultaneously be water and heath). To come to a well-balanced selection, the various combinations are scrutinised and analysed systematically.


This step takes place in a workshop attended by the critical decisionmakers in the planning process, representatives of the most important area functions and those involved in earlier steps in the design process.


a) Rules for selecting and combining:

The overlapping spatial options for ecoprofiles are integrated per ecosystem. Using a multicriteria analysis, the remaining solutions are assessed and ranked according to desirability and feasibility. An integrated map is compiled, showing networks of the selected ecoprofiles that satisfy the nature conservation objectives chosen in step 1.