The Inverted Estate

Reimagining inverse town planning to stimulate an improved human-nature connection, a case study for the Haagse Beemden

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The Haagse Beemden in Breda is a neighbourhood that is designed towards the concept of the ‘’inverse town planning’’. In this concept, the underlying landscape structures the layout of the neighbourhood, resulting in an urban area with the landscape at its core. In the case of the Haagse Beemden this means that the neighbourhood was built around an old ‘’estate zone’’ and old green structures and waterways are still present in the design of the area, making the neighbourhood very green. The green character of the Haagse Beemden together with the used ‘’bloemkoolwijk’’ structure are focussed upon creating a neighbourhood with good social values and liveability. However, times have passed since the creation of the neighbourhood and nowadays its liveability and social values are under pressure. This thesis focuses on analysing what spatial aspects and characteristics could possibly cause these problems and how the green structure of the neighbourhood could be improved to stimulate a better nature connectedness, as nature connectedness can act as a catalyst for better social cohesion. The result is a design proposal for an ‘’estate park’’ that connects the neighbourhood to its core identity. This design is based on four created typologies (Central Green, Selective Collective, Connecting Green and Semi-Collective) that are funded by the findings in the theory and analysis phases.