After the more than 80 participants received a warm welcome by Guido Enthoven, professor Gert-Jan Nabuurs started off with an introduction about forests in the Netherlands. The estimated value of the services that forests provide is about €2500/ha/year. Forests can moreover play an important role in achieving the climate goals. Trees store CO2 and retain water, wood can be used for bio-based construction and planting forests promotes biodiversity. Despite its value, the area of land covered by forest in the Netherlands has been declining for years. The relative decline is equal to that in Brazil. That is why it is important to develop new forest and implement climate-smart forest management.
Marjolein Jonker from Tiny House Nederland subsequently provided an overview of recent developments of the Tiny House movement. The group of people interested in tiny houses is diverse and is growing steadily. Many of them ask their municipality living in a tiny house is allowed and whether the municipality can make a location available for this form of living. Municipalities often lack specific knowledge which is why it has become one of the themes we want to clarify with the Testlab. Guido Enthoven then spoke about the background and focus of the Testlab. The key drivers behind this Testlab are the immense housing task we will face in the coming ten years and the climate agreement we have to comply with. The overall goal of this trajectory is to utilise the opportunities with regards to regulation, resolve challenges, and to use these insights in order to develop sound business cases. Daan Groot closed the general part of the meeting with a talk about connecting business cases. The main conclusions were that the business case looks promising, on the condition that new forms of living and nature development will also become linked in terms of policy and that such initiatives do not have to compete with regular housing.
Then the roundtables started where all participants could choose to participate in 1) business cases, 2) forest, 3) combinations of functions, 4) Tiny Houses, and 5) regulation. Knowledge was shared about the various opportunities for realising new forest in combination with tiny houses as the economic backbone. Furthermore, a first overview has been created about the types of questions, uncertainties and dilemmas that exist around this topic.
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