News - December 7, 2017

Iconic Bijlmer prison as location for Student Challenge

Linda van der Nat

Students participating in the WUR Green Student Challenge will be developing the greenhouse of the future in the former Bijlmer prison. One of the towers has been assigned a ‘green’ future.

Artist’s impression of the Bijlmer dwelling. © OMA

The Green Challenge is Wageningen’s answer to student competitions such as the World Solar Challenge, iGem and Field Robot. The assignment is clear: work in multidisciplinary teams and design a sustainable urban greenhouse that involves the citizens in the sustainable production of healthy food.


The location for this sustainable urban greenhouse has been announced: the Bajes Kwartier (Prison quarters), the grounds of the former Bijlmerbajes (Bijlmer prison – or, more literally: Bijlmer slammer). The prison complex closed its doors in June of 2016. An environment-friendly neighbourhood is currently being realised on the location, with energy-neutral buildings and lots of green. Five of the six towers will be demolished, and the last will be given a green future with opportunities for a vertical park and urban agriculture.

The Student Challenge turned out to be very popular, says coordinator Rio Pals. ‘There were initially 33 teams registered, originating from nine different countries. Of these, 23 teams have been admitted into the challenge. Six of them are WUR teams.’ They can count on support from the university in the form of workshops, coaching and housing in Atlas. To get that, they will have to pitch their project plans to a special committee on 14 December.

The official launch of the challenge will be in January, with events including lectures by the project developer AM Real Estate and experts from the field. Whether the plan of the winning team will truly be realised is not yet known.

In the video below, the various teams introduce themselves. The members originate from Austria, Brazil, China, Croatia, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands.

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