QLE.20.026 – Unifying people, planet and prosperity: preparing for a liveable future through simulation and experimentation

Route: Quality of the living environment

Cluster question: 030 How can we keep our densely populated country liveable?

The Netherlands is a densely populated country facing major challenges that threaten the quality of our living environment. We postulate that addressing the complexity of this challenge requires a transdisciplinary transformation approach that integrates ecological, geological, sociological, psychological, philosophical, economic, political, governmental and technological approaches. Key to our transdisciplinary transformation approach is a continuous connection between present and future. By visualising and simulating potential futures that can be experienced and reflected upon in relation to nowadays practices, we are able to develop mechanisms to move closer to a desirable and sustainable future based on knowledge and experiences. These mechanisms can thereupon be tested by the consortium partners, through experiential living labs or directly in their current practices. Through this project, the consortium will develop a broad integrative framework, including a set of mechanisms, methods, tools and example scenarios, that supports transformation by unifying people, planet and prosperity. Over the last years, the partners have separately researched new ways of collaborating, simulating and visualizing data to explore potential futures (e.g. the Netherlands in 2120 and Expedition RWS 2050), in dialogue and co-creation with the quadruple helix (university, industry, government and public). However, developing such a new framework requires an integrative approach bridging several di-/trichotomies: next to people – planet – prosperity, it aims at bridging 1st – 2nd – 3rd person perspective, system – lifeworld, reduction – complexity, vision – reality, and nature – technology. Throughout the entire project, the quadruple multidisciplinary consortium will research the factors that contribute to the quality of the living environment by focusing on one dedicated region in the Netherlands that will act a massive living lab. This way, the societal outcome/impact will go hand-in-hand with the scientific outcome/impact. The output of this research will have different forms, including publications, a set of scenarios, as well as an integrated regional living lab.


complexity, futurity, living lab, people, planet, prosperity, simulation and data-enabled development, transdisciplinarity, Transformation

Other organisations

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Fontys Hogescholen, Maastricht University, Telos and Provence of North Brabant, Utrecht University (UU), Wageningen Universities and Research (WUR)


Organisation Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
Name Prof. dr. ir. C. (Caroline) Hummels
E-mail c.c.m.hummels@tue.nl
Website https://www.tue.nl/en/research/researchers/caroline-hummels/