AMS The Future of Amstelland

Citizen group Beschermers Amstelland (Protectors of Amstelland, SBA) have requested the Wageningen Science Shop to carry out a study aimed at the area’s future perspectives. The Protectors expect that a strong economic base is a prerequisite for preservation of this peri-urban landscape. Amstelland is still a beautiful open, traditional Dutch meadow landscape, so far spared from Amsterdam’s expansion through strong spatial planning. However, times are changing, and the Protectors want to be prepared for different scenarios. AMS Institute supports the project because of the quality of life aspects the project is offering Amsterdam citizens and visitors. This project is about the relation of the city with its rural areas, where agricultural products are produced. This project includes mutual agreements between farmers and restaurant owners about local products on the menu in Amsterdam.

The landscape is made and maintained by farmers, many of whom are involved in subsidized collective landscape management and protection of meadow birds. Their plans for the future may have a large impact on the quality and sustainability of the landscape. Citizens and tourists who enjoy the landscape, express their economic relationship with the landscape through their spendings in restaurants, hotels, and paid activities. Agriculture and tourism/ leisure are therefore the main economic sectors that are related to the landscape. Although the tourism and recreation sector depends on the landscape for its economic activities, there is very little collaboration with agriculture. Likewise, although the brand Amstelland is a common pool resource to the leisure and tourism businesses, it is not jointly developed and managed. The project aims to promote collaboration between businesses in these main economic sectors in the area.

In addition, the study supports the Protectors in developing their future strategy. To this end, scenarios will be developed together with key stakeholders, including the board of SBA.

Project duration
March 2015 – January 2016

Partners 
SBA, Wageningen Science Shop, AMS Institute

Contact person(s)
Judith Westerink, judith.westerink@wur.nl

Related information
So far, four student reports have been prepared on collaboration between local tourism and recreation businesses, attractiveness to international tourists, Amstelland as collective brand, and farmers’ strategies and considerations for the future. They are available at the project website