Long Duree of WEF in post-extraction landscapes

The reclamation of post-extraction landscapes is a global issue and intertwined with the WEF nexus. This project proposes the concept of ‘ecosystem participation’, which is explored as a combination of Longue Durée and Reversed Engineering with Nature, as a tool for highlighting, preserving and repurposing post-extraction landscapes.

Stage of the project




Starting Up





Why was this project started?

The project advocates for the reclamation of post extraction landscapes using the concept of ‘ecosystem participation’ (Hooimeijer et al., 2020) as a tool for highlighting, pre-serving and repurposing post-extractive - mining wastelands and infrastructures - in relation to the WEF nexus. The concept ecosystem participation indicates a new perspective moving away from considering ecosystems as a service towards placing back the humans into the system as a participant. It gives the natural systems of water, energy and food a better position as a stakeholder in urban development, it also acknowledges the fact that it is about a process that needs to be understood contextually and requires tailor made solutions. Understanding water, energy and food’s changing roles and relations in these landscapes allows for reactions to the history of extractions, its present impact and future transitions away from it. By mapping the spatialised relations of natural and cultural conditions, historically informed design acts to inform and reconnect users with former extraction sites, while fostering a greater understanding and awareness of the intertwined nature of mining, landscape and the history of WEF resources into the proposition of new innovative and sustainable futures.

The results of the project so far

The aim is to create a research and design community in which the spatial dynamics and longue durée interactions between water, energy, and food are analysed in extractive and post-extractive contexts, to inform an interdisciplinary vision for sustainable futures.

What are specific, distinctive, strong elements in this project?

This proposal departs both from research done into the WEF nexus on ‘ecosystem participation’ in general as on local (current) rehabilitation work by adding layers of comparative, fine grained and historical research to existing techno-scientific approaches used in Mine Closure consultancies to the WEF nexus.
Historical research is necessary to produce a sustainable future. Untangling today’s complex challenges through historical studies is hindered by the professionalization and separation of knowledge fields.

Which specific lessons, do's and don'ts would you like to share? What would be suggestions for others when preparing or implementing the project in their own city?

The project is starting.

Have others adopted, or shown interest in adopting, your idea in their own area?

The project is starting.

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3. Could this project be shared to - and implemented in - your own city?
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