PBL plays Oosterwold

10 October 2013

During their vision to Almere, the section Urbanization and Mobility of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving – PBL) played a short session of Play Oosterwold

After getting an introduction on Almere’s idea’s for bottom-up development and an explanation of the Oosterwold plans, the people of PBL were ready to play the game and seewhat this could mean in practice. During the first round they came up with the following proposals:


1 City Center Services

A centrally located hub for the services Oosterwold requires, such as a shopping center, medical services and a sportsschool.


2 Multiplex

A twenty screen multiplex cinema, including a cafe restaurant with an outdoor terrace, drawing moviegoers from the entire region. This plot also includes city apartments around an urban farm.


3 Evening Sun

A proposal for collective housing for elderly people, including a public wellness center. The green space contains woods and a pond with a fountain.


4 Taking Care of the Neighbors

This initiative contains facilities for the elderly living next door, such as a hairdresser, a restaurant, and allotment gardens intended for the sons and daughters who come to visit their elderly parents.


5 DIY Cooking

This is an open kitchen restaurant in which people cook the food themselves, aided by the skills of the elderly living nearby. Ingredients are locally grown; the site contains livestock, agriculture, an orchard and a vineyard.


6 #Agriculture

A marijuana plantation hidden is hidden inside a cornfield. Contains its own composting facility and wind turbines. It stays hidden through its location on a different game table far away from other teams and by transporting its produce over water.


7 Ecoyoga Bed and Breakfast

This is an initiative focused on rest, relaxation and the outdoors, containing a yoga school, lodgings, urban green and a vegetable shop selling their products. The location is a quiet corner of the game table, next to the woods, so they can provide firewood to nearby initiatives.

When the teams started to calculate their money and came to grips with the very low density planned for Oosterwold, many proposals had to be scaled down. #Agriculture and Ecoyoga could do this without a major impact on other teams. However, having less customers coming from other groups hindered the teams focused on providing services to each other. The City Center Services and Multiplex teams pooled their resources to create a smaller center with a wider appeal. The elderly home became a catalyst for Oosterwold’s growth. This second round resulted in the following changes:


1/2 Oosterwold’s Coat of Arms

The two teams wanting to realize a center for services have joined forces. By offering more specialized services selling local products, a two star restaurant and a coffeeshop, they want to attract people from a wider range.


3 Evening Sun

This proposal for housing for the elderly has downscaled a bit. There will be many green facilities for them to enjoy: an allotment garden with a greenhouse, horses, and much more. As one of the few residential projects they receive subsidy from their neighbors, who depend on them.


4 Taking Care of the Neighbors

In addition to the facilities previously planned, this initiative now also contains a general practitioner’s office. In addition, housing has been planned for the nursing home staff, generating their own energy using solar panels. With their leftover money their realize more beds in Evening Sun.


5 KnowWhatYouEat

Not only do the elderly come in at dinnertime to transfer their cooking skills, during the daytime the school gardens will be tended by kids, who will also help serving lunch here.


6 #Agriculture

This team has expanded their marihuana production capacity with greenhouses. They use the leftover money to buy off potential future neighbors.


7 Ecoyoga Landall Easternwoods

The lodges will be temporary buildings with high comfort levels. By utilizing solar power, wind power and wood from the forest people can live completely autarkic. The flowers from their flower field are sold through a kiosk. Easternwoods is made possible by contributions from anonymous donors. This project was chosen as the winner during the final voting session.