Students help Lidl to become greener and more sustainably orientated
The green ideas that were proposed by students of Garden and Landscape Architecture were much appreciated by Lidl Nederland, the representatives of the city council of Rheden and the inhabitants of Velp. First and second year students were asked to come up with green ideas for the development of the new car park of the Lidl supermarket, at request of local residents. These residents were hesitant to the development of too much asphalt and concrete, so they got in touch with Van Hall Larenstein, which is located only a few hundred metres from the supermarket. Tutor Jack Martin divided his students into five groups and asked them to do practical research on the matter. Together with members of the real estate department of Lidl the general terms were discussed beforehand. The research led to practical and realistic plans. Students presented these ideas to representatives of Lidl Nederland, Rheden councillor Ronald Haverkamo and the inhabitants of Velp.

The students came up with a broad range of ideas. Their suggestions included the realisation of green walls, green fencing, and green roofs for the car park, as well as creating flower beds with perennials, placing flower pots, hanging plants from the roof, planting a selection of hedges and creating picnic spots for customers and local residents. These adjustments will turn the supermarket in Velp into an attractive location. These low maintenance ideas will not only help improve air quality, as particulates will be filtered; its surroundings will also be cooled, noise will be subdued and biodiversity will be stimulated.

Low maintenance ideas

These arguments were much appreciated by Lidl Nederland. The students also integrated Lidl's recent campaign to save the bees, 'Nederland Zoemt' (the Netherlands are buzzing) into the project, by suggesting to plant flowers that attract bees. Lidl is becoming more sustainably orientated, and is in the process of greening its different locations. Lidl complimented the students for thinking outside the box. Councillor Ronald Haverkamp also praised the students, and noted that this collaboration between Van Hall Larenstein, Lidl and the inhabitants of Rheden was a wonderful example of the Triple Helix: a collaboration between the local government, educational institutes and commercial companies. The residents of Velp made it clear that they hope that the presented ideas will be further developed at short notice. At the end of the meeting, our tutor Jack Martin thanked the local residents and Lidl for putting their trust into Van Hall Larenstein and its students. He suggested that the members of the local council and Lidl not only use the presented ideas for just this location, but that they try and apply them wherever possible.

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