Climate change mitigation calls for a transition towards more sustainable energy sources. However, allocating the space for renewable energy technologies like PV systems in complex and dense metropolitan regions is no easy task. This is the case for the IJmeer between Amsterdam and Almere as well. The IJmeer is also an ecosystem under pressure. The objective of this research is to design an energy transition in the IJmeer that aligns with the way that ecosystems change, such as through the process of succession. A method of research through designing is used to come to useful design principles and guidelines.
The use of concepts like succession and ecosystem change was analysed in literature, both in ecology and landscape architecture. This literature analysis was then synthesised into workable design principles. Design principles for ecosystem change and succession include notions of working with non-linearity, indeterminacy and complexity in ecosystems under pressure by humans. A dual analysis was carried out of both large landscape projects as well as an assessment of the ecosystem status for flora and fauna. Technologies and measures for improving ecological quality and renewable energy systems were analysed as well.
A design for the IJmeer was made using a modular approach. Two modules are presented that combine both renewable energy generation as well providing an infrastructure for succession to occur. Multiple stages of succession simultaneously present in these modules allow for more habitat diversity for flora and fauna. The modules performance is based on constant working principles but include variables as well to provide different system responses. The modules variables and composition can adapt to the characteristics of multiple areas of the IJmeer, while also supporting other metropolitan functions like infrastructure and urban expansion while providing renewable energy. The resulting design guidelines were evaluated together with the principles in the conclusion.