Alex van Spijk

​Trained as a landscape architect, I have had my own advisory and design consultancy, specialised in sustainable development, for about 15 years.

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Alex van Spijk Projects have included development feasibility studies (including master planning) for biomass power stations, energy neutral housing and factory sites in England, South Africa, Thailand, China and the Netherlands.

For the past few years, I have been guest lecturer at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. I also undertake research as part of the project team Energie+Dorp, in which we attempt to facilitate and understand the process of energy transition within rural communities.​ 

I have a fascination for the natural world and the historic cultural environment. Creating the circumstances and conditions for people to live more closely in community and in balance with the environment is implicit to my profession as landscape architect and essential for our common future. Within Energie+Dorp I develop and implement parts of the “practical program​”. I also undertake personal research into the reliability of physical indicators within a cultural landscape’s (management) history for the prediction of potential for energy transition.

Contact with community initiatives often proceeds from my professional network and involvement with education. I develop and provide education for Bachelor and Master students in the field of sustainable development (Sustainable Cities Minor, Atelier Energie Transitie: Academie van Bouwkunst and Renewable Energy - and Society- Masters for the Energy Academy Europe, Groningen) and actively bind their project and research experience to “real-life” assignments. This approach also creates the mirrored effect of student projects initiating real projects for local communities and municipal authorities. Both instances result in invitations to assist people and organisations to explore the potential for energy transition and to develop feasible visions of their social and physical landscapes. 

I am currently researching the potential for energy transition within the municipal area of de Marne in the north of the province of Groningen. This region is experiencing a decline in population, many economic challenges and yet is seeking its own renewal from the “grassroots” level. I have also worked with students from the Da Vinci Minor at HUAS, together with my team mate Heico van der Blonk , to provide advice for Westerbork in Drenthe. 

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