A project by Studio Marco Vermeulen: Cradle to Cradle principles applied to a dynamic zone (clover shaped) of logistics and agrarian activity.
Description of the Process
Venlo and the surrounding area want to be the first region in the world to apply the principles of Cradle to Cradle (C2C). Floriade 2012, the forthcoming world horticultural exhibition, serves as a precedent, but the existing (production) industry, logistics and agribusiness is pre-eminently suitable for the successful application of the C2C principles. Klavertje 4 (K4) is an area approximately 5,000 hectares in size to the northwest of Venlo, situated between the A73 and A67 motorways. A dynamic zone of logistics and agrarian activity should be developed in this extensive area without this leading to irreversible damage to the natural environment in which these activities are embedded. The new development should merge with the landscape giving rise to a harmonious and sustainable balance in the fusion between economy and ecology. In the master plan the various functions are geared to one another wherever possible, thus creating added value: the Agro Business Park. This combines a large number of logistics functions (distribution, trade, storage) with facilities for production and processing. The objective is not only the transportation of goods but also to add value, to trade this directly and to develop expertise in these areas. This means that combinations are created between auction and knowledge-intensive companies that are expected on the Floriade site. In addition to programmed combinations, other combinations can, of course, be sought in water management, energy systems and infrastructure. The smallest building-block in the master plan is the clover leaf. This appears to be purely metaphorical, but it is not. After extensive study into the possible configurations for the extremely large units involved in the logistics sector, the configuration of a clover forms a good basis in which C2C objectives can be applied simply. The clover configuration makes it possible to optimise the traffic flows by means of a one-way system. The clover leaf has 70% land for issue and 30% as a collective area. We make these green zones functional for the infiltration of rainwater from the large roof planes of the warehouses and from the infrastructure. Because the built-up leaves of the clover are unfolded, the green area can penetrate deep into the working area, to the benefit and pleasure of the employees, but also for the realisation of a slow traffic network. The stem of the clover has a broad, green zone that is deployed for the purification of the polluted water from the surrounding buildings. Clean water that infiltrates into the soil can, via underground passages, serve as irrigation water for the glasshouses. This preserves the natural balance in the area. A central biomass energy plant in the intervention area converts waste from the glasshouses and the processing industry, pig manure and green waste from the landscape and surrounding villages into biogas. The biogas is fed into combined heat and power plants that supply electricity and heat to the work clusters via the warm water system.