The Dutch horticultural sector is of international economic importance. Every day huge amounts of fruit, vegetables and plants are harvested, traded and transported.

To stimulate this sector, the government has designated five so-called "Greenport" areas in the Netherlands. In these areas, additional space provided for horticultural, floricultural and bulb. This applies not only to production but the entire "agricultural cluster": suppliers, and logistics knowledge. However, also private initiatives are being taken to establish Greenport like area in the Netherlands.

Greenports are metropolitan landscapes, where red and green features are hardly distinguishable. This research project focuses at the spatial consequences of the development of Greenports. We want to know how the concept Greenport can be and is being used for the spatial, economic and social development of regions.

We invite graduate students interested in regional development to work from their own knowledge and interests on the subject Greenports. We offer support from Wageningen University and access to an extensive network in various regions.

Greenport Venlo

The region Venlo is one of the five national Greenports in the Netherlands. Until now, the Greenport development is led by government, research institutes and agricultural entrepreneurs. But Greenport Venlo wants more than developing a horticultural expansion area only. The region strives for integrated area development, with attention to many other actors and functions in the area. Relevant spatial planning questions are:

  • What are the requirements of the spatial organization of the region for the development of the Greenport area?
  • What are the possibilities for combinations of nature, space for water, tourism and energy?
  • Which actors should be involved and how can the region organize such a process?
  • What do people think of their changing environment?
  • What is the role of the government? Who is responsible?

The concept Greenport: how does it work?

The areas designated as Greenport use the concept in different ways. At the same time there are areas with own initiatives, where similar developments are put in motion (e.g. the region Wieringermeer and Betuwe). This leads to questions such as:

  • How has the concept "Greenport" originally been defined by the government, and how is it being used by the regions?
  • What are the differences between the regions?
  • Is there a difference between the "designated areas" and "own-initiative-regions?
  • What are conditions for a successful development of a Greenport?
  • Can the concept of Greenport be embedded in an urban environment?
  • What similar developments are taking place internationally?
  • Are Greenports a sustainable answer for feeding the world population?

Interested? Contact Gerrit-Jan Carsjens (Land Use Planning group)