The Hunze of the future is a Hunze that is reconnected to the city, as a backbone for ecology and climate adaptation. A Hunze system that functions well for people and animals is more than creating a continuous water connection, but requires the development of a robust green structure based on natural systems. A natural and robust green structure not only provides value for ecology, but also explicitly adds value for the city's residents. It provides a place for recreation and relaxation, offers a cooling effect in the warming climate and improves the quality of the air that we breathe. This connection is dimensioned to allow flora and fauna to move 'undisturbed'’ between natural areas inside and outside the city, but also provides space for recreational paths and areas for human visitors.
To develop the Hunze as a landscape structure that adds value to the ambitions of the 'living city', it is important to ensure it functions at system level. Not only for ecology, but also with regard to the water system and human experience. Three principles are central to the development of a robust Hunze system:
- The Hunze as a Robust Green Structure
- The Hunze as a Flowing River
- The Hunze as an Experiential Line
The principles do not stand alone, but constantly interact with each other. For example, a flowing water system is essential to provide a place for certain species and also enhances the experience of the Hunze for recreationists. Vegetation builds on the abiotic characteristics of the landscape, such as water, soil and geomorphology. This provides space for characteristic flora and fauna on the one hand and enhances the experience of the Hunze as a natural course on the other. The diversity of biotopes along the Hunze is exploited, integrating resting, spawning and foraging areas for different animal species.
Commissioned by the municipality of Groningen, in collaboration with Landscape Collected, new nature, climate proof cities, design research, Flux landscape architecture, 2023