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The coevolutionary relation between Dutch mainport policies and the development of the Seaport Rotterdam
Volume: 10, Issue 2
This article approaches the spatial development of the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands from a coevolutionary point of view. We use two main concepts within coevolutionary framework; bounded instability and punctuated equilibrium, to understand the relationship between Dutch spatial policies and actual developments in the port of Rotterdam. We observe that the actual port system is generally more diverse than the public policy that governs it, and that the policy appears to simply follow and codify port developments. This result negates the assumption that spatial developments in the port of Rotterdam are steered and planned through public policy and raises several questions on the role of such policy initiatives.

Innovations in the Dutch polder
Volume: 8, Issue 1
Recently, a new initiative has entered the Dutch policy-arena of spatial planning, water management and nature preservation: the so-called Community of Practice (COP). Within such a COP actors with very different backgrounds (experts, inhabitants, officials, stakeholders) participate to try and find creative solutions for persistent political and societal problems by combining conflicting spatial functions in specific areas. From a complex adaptive systems point of view, we analyze the logic and functioning of such a COP. From the literature on complexity and innovation we can learn that staying at the edge of chaos for COPs mean that they not only have to maintain an internal process of coevolution between the very different actors involved, but also have to maintain relations of coevolution with their wider environment. After an in-depth case study ‘Gouwe Wiericke’ we conclude that COPs can produce innovative policy results, but reaching ‘bounded instability’ through sustainable coevolution requires careful balancing acts between extremes.