For Witteveen+Bos, Wageningen Campus is a logical business location

Published on
April 28, 2021

In 2018, Witteveen+Bos opened a pop-up office on Wageningen Campus. This temporary accommodation was exchanged for a permanent office in Plus Ultra II in September 2020. Bart Schalkwijk of the engineering office on this decision: “We want to remain structurally close to research and education in order to stay ahead of the market.”

From the offices in Wageningen, Witteveen+Bos focuses on four themes: Environmental Technology, Biobased & Circular, Sustainable Use of Land, and Urban Environment. “It is very valuable for us to have a permanent office on campus,” explains Bart Schalkwijk. “From there, we work on themes that are also relevant to Wageningen University & Research (WUR). We can translate scientific knowledge into concrete applications. On the other hand, we have 1,300 employees who can provide interesting practical knowledge to the sciences groups on campus. It is also an enormous advantage to be located close to each other. Our bond with the campus has been very strong for years. Our office always has many interns and graduates from Wageningen, many of whom also come to work with us.”

Nature-Based Solutions

In a recently initiated top-sector project, Witteveen+Bos is working with Wageningen Environmental Research and four Dutch cities on the development of nature-based solutions to make cities more resilient to climate change. “We do a lot of research into the influence of climate change on the city,” explains Marjolein Sterk of Wageningen Environmental Research. “Cities are experiencing more and more flooding due to peak rainfall. On top of that, it is getting warmer. Construction and pavement only increase the heat and prevent it from properly escaping. Adding greenery in the city is one of the solutions, as trees and bushes provide shade. Due to evaporation, they also have a cooling effect. This greening is best done in specific places in the city. In this project, we are working closely with Witteveen+Bos on content. They can translate our scientific knowledge into solutions that municipalities can work with.”

“Greenery and living work well together”

One of the projects the office is working on with many different parties, is the Floriade next year in Almere. Bart: “During the Floriade, we want to demonstrate that greenery and living can work very well together in the city. However, good intentions sometimes fail in the implementation stage. If we have a better picture of the societal benefits and costs of green space in the city, we will also have a better story to tell clients, such as municipalities and project developers. That is why collaboration with research institutes such as Wageningen Environmental Research is so important to us.”

This collaboration took place entirely online last year. “Bart and I have only ever met through a screen,” says Marjolein. “Later, when we are physically around the corner from each other, it will be easier to spare an hour for a meeting.”