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Reconnecting Business parks: towards an integral and functional part of the landscape

The Environmental Systems Analysis Group provides the possibility for students to do their thesis in collaboration with our group. This is one of many possible thesis subjects. Please feel free to contact professor Leemans (right) for more information.

Business parks in the Netherlands are usually not connected to the surrounding landscape – they are mostly isolated from their surroundings. The effect is that these areas no longer contribute to landscape functions they could fulfil. In a densely populated country as the Netherlands with the challenges climate change and a general decline in biodiversity deliver this situation is not the desired one. This is a missed opportunity because the business parks can deliver important ecosystem services with respect to biodiversity, water management, heat island prevention, appreciation by owners, workers and visitors and recreation.

In cooperation with Parktrust (a company that manages about 60 business parks) and the province of South Holland we are working on a project that delivers solutions for ecosystems services that can be delivered by business parks in relation to their surroundings. Specifically we are looking at the possibilities for various generations of business parks (60s and 70s complete covered with buildings and roads, 80s and 90s where green is usually present is short mowed lawns and the more recent developments where there is more space (still) available).

We are looking for one or two students (for a thesis and/or working experience position) who are enthusiastic to start working on this challenge where ecological skills, thinking about specific measures to be applied and where there is a connection to the surrounding environment are key elements. You will work on and in cooperation with Parktrust, some individual entrepreneurs on the business parks, and an ecologist from the province of South Holland. Supervison will be provided from WENR in cooperation with Naturalis.