At the end of May, groups 1 and 2 from local secondary schools visited the Tygron office in The Hague as part of the GeoWeek 2018. Thirty first year students had the opportunity to work with the Tygron Geodesign Platform.
During the GeoWeek 2018, students could get acquainted with geo-practice in their own environment. Professionals from the soil, water and geo-information sector usually organize a company visit, fieldwork or guest lecture to share their expertise. With a ‘do it yourself’ approach, students can discover the fun side of geography as well as its technical and professional practice.
At the Tygron office in The Hague, the students worked in pairs on scenarios that could occur in practice. First of all, they loaded an area they were familiar with into the Tygron Platform. Then they were allowed to make adjustments to housing, infrastructure or landscaping, or to whatever they really wanted to, which is what we expected!
Most groups chose their own residential area or school location. Initially there were rigorous demolitions. The school building was demolished surprisingly too often. In their own residential area, the parental home was spared and the surrounding buildings had to make way for more greenery, or in some cases ‘a huge outdoor pool’. Others pushed the limits of the engine and built huge apartment buildings or towers.
After changing the environment, the consequences were looked at. For example, what did the construction of an outdoor swimming pool the size of a residential area mean? It turns out to work wonders for heat stress. But where should all those families who have lost their homes from the demolitions go? Also, in the case of the newly built apartment buildings, it appeared that the neighbourhoods in the back could no longer see the sun because of the cast shadow. The roads were also no longer sufficient for all the increased traffic of the residents.
This way, the students were shown that every change has its consequences, and that urban planning is a constant balance between economic and ecological interests. Most students described their experience as ‘very nice’ due to the realistic 3D visualization and the ease of use of the Tygron Platform.