On December 17 2014, the City Council of Texel reached the unanimous decision to adopt the complete output of the IABR–2014–PROJECT ATELIER PLANET TEXEL, including the Texel Principles, as a guideline for development, as was advised by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Now Texel, the largest island to the north of the Netherlands' mainland, can begin implementing the proposed pilot projects, starting in the coastal village of De Koog.
PLANET TEXEL 2013-2014
The municipality of Texel, keen to sustainably develop the island, stands to take crucial decisions on a wide range of issues and policies, all of them with spatial reverberations. Therefore the IABR–Project Atelier Planet Texel was founded in 2013 by IABR and the municipality Texel together. Its main focus was on how the different ambitions of Texel –principally the further growth of the mainly tourist-oriented economy, the aim to realize energy neutrality and a higher level of self-sufficiency, and the sustainment of the unique natural environment and high quality of living of the inhabitants– can be optimally integrated in a wide-ranging spatial plan.
How can the flows of water, waste, traffic and tourists be optimized, preferably in conjunction with each other? By which means can the development of the natural environment and the landscape drive this process? And how can the island’s ecological and economic agendas, in particular with regard to the further development of the touristic-leisure product, strengthen instead of obstruct each other?
For a period of eighteen months, islanders, entrepreneurs, community organizations, different municipal departments, City Council and Board participated in the Project Atelier Planet Texel, giving their input, discussing the results and working together with the designers and experts that the IABR brought to Texel.
The Atelier has resulted in a vision for Texel embraced by all stakeholders. This vision of a sustainable future which the islanders can gradually work towards offers a productive framework for current plans and projects. The so-called Texel Principles, developed by the Atelier, provide clear guidelines for action and offer tools to make abstract concepts such as 'quality' tangible.
The proposals for pilot projects in a.o. De Koog, Nieuweschild and Polder Waal en Burg, elaborated in the Atelier by the design offices FARO Architects and LA4SALE, not only demonstrate the effects of the vision in specific locations but can also be implemented immediately.
Therefore, after the research by design trajectory and the presentation of the plans and proposals in the main exhibition of IABR–2014, the ball was in the City Council’s court. The unanimous decision reached on December 17 implies that implementation of the plans developed by the Atelier can now indeed begin.
Project Atelier Planet Texel is a collaboration between the IABR and the municipality of Texel. The Dutch offices LA4SALE and FARO Architecten have been commissioned to do the design research and to develop pilot projects.