Model for a more resilient suburbia

Berkel en Rodenrijs, NL

This project is an investigative project part of a series of LAB projects, developed on own innitiative by Dutch Urban Solutions.


Dutch Urban Solutions developed LAB to present innovative integrated urban solutions to market leaders and design peers. LAB is a vehicle to question current changes in society, economy and environment through an integrated design approach of the built and unbuilt.

How can we create a suburban neighborhood that is more resilient to the changing social, economic and environment parameters of today?


With this question in mind we developed a speculative design for a new neighborhood community in the suburban village of Berkel en Rodenrijs in the Netherlands. Our aim was to create a neighborhood that fosters informal care between different generations and to re-establishing the elderly & children in the center of the suburban community. In addition we aspired to develop an urban plan that is responsive to the environmental challenges of the future and in particular the anticipated increase in annual precipitation and periods of heavy rainfall. Creating a green suburban community orientated around a series of water squares, where nature & water management can become an integrated part of suburban life.

Creating a community where elderly & children are placed at the centre of neighbourhood planning.


With over one third of marriages ending in divorce and more than two thirds of elderly feeling lonely and alienated from society, our aim was to create a neighborhood where single parent and multi-generation families can become an integrated part of suburban living. We believe that the elderly can play an important role in supporting single parent families and mutually we believe that children can contribute in a positive way to the lives of the elderly. The plan aims to place the elderly & children at the center of the community, through an efficient pedestrian orientated plan that is strongly connected to the surrounding neighborhoods, park and local bicycle routes. 

Creating a community that allows for two generations to bundle their financial resources and mutually support each other.


In the Netherlands there is a significant gap in accumulated wealth between generations. With the elderly benefiting from a large positive property equity and the younger generation suffering from the recent recession. Our aim was to create a neighborhood that allows for two generations to bundle their resources through shared ownership and allow for a transfer of equity between the two generations. In addition we believe that the suburban community should be responsive to changes in the work life balance and create an environment that fosters creativity and productivity. Therefore we have integrated flex-work spaces, urban workshops and glasshouses for community urban farming in the fabric of the neighborhood

Creating a community that anticipates on climatic changes through smart urban design, establishing a basis for a more resilient suburban community.


The anticipated increase of heavy rainfall provides a significant challenge for a country where most of its land is under sea level. Water management has always been at the center of Dutch culture and indeed of each local community. Through a series of water squares we aim to create a community where water storage is an integrated part of neighborhood planning and becomes part of the identity of the place. The storm water is collected and filtered through a reed bed eco-system, providing clean water for the greenhouses in the suburban community.   


Our aim is to create a suburban environment that is responsive to Social challenges of today.....
Our aim is to create a suburban environment that is resilient to Economic challenges of today.....
Our aim is to create a suburban environment that is responsive to the Environmental challenges of the future.....

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