learning to regenerate the land we live



SUMMER SCHOOL: The Regenerative Cities Program

July 7-14 & 22 2023

Place as our Curriculum

The program takes place as teacher and research agenda. It's dynamics and relationships dictate our curriculum. We spend as much tame in place to get to know the land and community. Place is inherently transdisciplinary. Everything is related, and nothing remains abstract. Here we are all students, asking how to understand and make place better.

Living Community

The development of the New West Estate as regenerative development zone not only requires land restoration, food forestry etc. but ask us to see this land in its broader function for the whole city ecosystem. A catalyst for regenerative living, an inclusive social fabric and an honest economy for future generations.

Regenerative Practice

With the realisation that the modern project brought forth ways of producing knowledge, wealth, and relationships that threaten the existence of most life on Earth, we seek new orientations and practices that can allow all life to thrive. This demands a rethinking of ourselves and the city with new human and non-human relationships. What are we sustaining with sustainability, and how do we move beyond it?


All places and initiatives we study embody the whole of the city's complexity, and are seen in the light of their ecological, cultural, economic, and social life. That said, to give an impression of challenges we will encounter, here are three themes that run through the initiatives.

Commons & Community

How can local communities secure their wellbeing and good affordable housing in a growing, gentrifying, and densifying city? Exploring the potential of Community Land Trust, governance of communal land, and the conditions for collective action.

Food & the City

Shortening the distance between our food and our lives is essential for a resilient and sustainable future. The city does not end at its concrete borders, so how can we connect to- and sustain nature inclusive food production for Amsterdam?

Nature & Transition

How do we live with and as the natural world in a globalising city? How do we develop and maintain the regenerative capacity of the polders in the Scheg for future generations? What can be their function in nourishing the wider city's health and wellbeing?

Summer School Program

In this summer school students and practitioners work together to explore a series of key challenges to understand and develop the Tuinen van West Amsterdam as a regenerative city. Strengthen relationships, slow down to speed up the transition to a more regenerative city.

What to expect

A deep drive into regenerative leadership and our stewardship for a thriving city. Nature, fire, food, and conversations that matter. The city as our curriculum, with learning journeys, meeting key players, different kinds of knowing, unlikely allies, and places of potential. Creative and social interventions, dialogue, and reflection to liberate the potential of our communities and places. Mapping, probing, and sensing. Public programs and events to delve into what can make the city thrive.

Information summer school


  • The physical Summer School lasts from Juli 7th to juli 14th , with a manifestation on July 22st.
  • Online prep meetings on June 29th between 18h-20h. Here we tool up, and get the necessary background, start our action research, and build our community.
  • Intake takes place Online June 22nd 17.00 – 19.00 hrs.
  • Deadline registration June 22nd 2023
  • 6 ECTS
  • 3rd year Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD and Honours students from TU/e, WUR and UU are welcome.
  • The language of instruction is English.
  • The week consists of workshops, fieldwork, community life, action research, team projects, personal growth, transformative learning experiences, nature connection, public programs, and closing manifestation.
  • You will stay on a campsite (clamping safari tents, or your own tent if you prefer) in the area we study in the Amsterdam countryside, more info upon registration.
  • There is no tuition, only the costs for breakfast and lunch, dinner is arranged.
  • The program starts with an intake that will prepare you for the program. Let us know if you cannot make it on these days.
  • UU students can register via Osiris. TU/e and WUR students register via EduXchange. .
  • If this does not work, send an email to t.besselink[at] for registration


Day 1: July 7th - collective start

Getting to know each other, the place, and challenges.

Day 2: July 8th - seeing

Workshops and first field work at pioneering initiatives in the city.

Day 3: July 9th - sensing

Field work sensing and mapping. Public program on the Ecological Turn

Day 4: July 10th - mapping

Various ways of hard and soft mapping

Day 5: July 11th - reframing

Reframing insights with experts

Day 6: July 12th - reflecting

Probing fieldwork. Nature Quest

Day 7: July 13th - designing

Interventions, making, preparations, and sense making

Day 8: July 14th - probing

Interventions, making, preparations, and sense making

Day 8: July 14th - integrating

Integrating all experiences

Day 10: July 22th - Exhibiting

Final integration, public exhibition & talks

July 22th at Stadslandgoed Nieuw West - Osdorperbovenpolder

Meet the growing community of hosts & collaborators


Dr. Thieu Besselink

Program Lead UU

Wiendelt Hooijer

Mentor & Story Lead

Claudia Rodrigues Ortiz

Terragon Nature Lab

Dimitra Mousa

Alliance Coordinator UU

Prof. Stephanie Rosenkranz


Minne Belger

Terragon Nature Lab

Charlotte van Leeuwen

Host. Nature Quest, Bord&Stift

Sanne Kruijt

Regeneratie Academie

Antoine Heideveld

Groene Brein - Coöperatie SNW

Rense Bos

Yes & More

Godfrey Lado

Mentor & ASKV

Prof Zef Hemel

TU Delft

Karin Selbach

Directie Stadswerken Gem Adam

Background Inspiration

The Gardens of West

The Wester Scheg