The Dutch are well known for their strong and protective legislation in regard to spatial planning and environmental issues. This good quality has too side effects: people are sometimes lost within the labyrinth of laws and offices they have to go by; and sometimes the strict regulation stands in the way of the possibility to change for the better. Therefor the Dutch government introduces a process where a great deal of departments and specialists look for a new and more adequate environmental law. This law will replace the immense growth of former laws and departments into one law. This is tested for implementation by a set of pilot projects, where regulation and change are complex. The transformation of the industrial district of Binckhorst, a stone’s throw from the centre of The Hague, into a high density, mixed-use expansion of the inner city has all this complex issues of environmental restrictions that do not allow transformation to mixed-use and high end living environments. Stijlgroep’s contribution to this process, was to trigger the experts to think out of the box, and turn thinking in separate rules into reaching for collective goals. We set up a clear balance scheme where every initiative is put along the bar of positive transformation. Where they happen to fail on one or two disciplines, they can balance that by excelling on different themes, that neutralize the effects of “underachieving”. This opens a whole different world of possibilities for private initiatives to collaborate and reach together for that ultimate transformation.

Location: The Hague, The Netherlands
Client: Municipality of The Hague
Date: 2016
Category: Strategy, Urban Design