Team composition and introductions
Co-creation in contracting for bridges: that does not happen often. The municipality of Almere and the province of Flevoland did it. They launched an open innovative challenge for the Floriade Expo 2022 on 2 April 2019. Three mixed teams of contractors and experts worked separately on the designs for two innovative, circular bridges for the Floriade2022 terrain.
Under the guidance of the Noorderwind and Zeewaardig Service Design bureaus, the teams met up on July 11 for the fourth sprint of this open innovation procedure. On this day, the teams were challenged once more to come up with new ideas for their designs to incorporate the ‘benefits of the Floriade’ in their concept. Then the teams were given two hours to work on their designs with their teams.
Designs becoming more concrete
In the previous sprint the teams consulted with experts about their designs to get a better idea of the different criteria and conditions. Since then, a lot of work has been done: the teams discussed again with the members of the Q-team (team of experts safeguarding the quality control of the Floriade) to corroborate their designs. The teams also worked together on their designs in the intervals between the meetings. At the start of the meeting, each team took time to talk about the status of the development plans and discuss findings of studies conducted in the interim.
In these discussions, just like through the entire process, a contrast is evident between those who see possibilities and those who see limitations. One envisages limits – derived from years of experience of being confronted with a problematic reality – and the other – searching for innovation and change – envisages possibilities and wants to explore the boundaries of what is realistic. The contractors must find a balance in this: what is ambitious enough to win the contract but also: what is feasible?
Benefits of the Floriade
A major challenge of this contracting procedure is that participants are being asked in this innovative, circular bridge concept to look beyond the bridge itself, and consider more abstract matters, like the influence of the bridge on its environment, because points can be scored here in the contracting procedure. It concerns what added value a bridge brings, e.g. how can you see the bridge as a source of knowledge and education, or an employment opportunity?
To assist the teams to remember this awarding criterion in this last session before the designs are presented at the beginning of September, the teams conduct a short “braindraw” exercise based on the “Benefits of the Floriade”. These benefits are defined from the “Growing Green Cities” vision as the Floriade wants to contribute to solutions for issues concerning food, the green environment, energy production and health.
These benefits include economic effects, like the money spent by visitors during their visit to the Floriade and commissions for Almere companies, the flywheel effect that the Floriade can have to attract more green initiatives to Flevoland, or investments in infrastructure as a consequence of the Floriade. In addition, the city district with 600 new residences that will be built partly before and after the Floriade and the benefits for young people who get possibilities to learn everything happening around and concerned with the Floriade: innovation, health, food, etc. The first feedback from the teams is that – despite their tendency to elaborate the concrete concepts first – interesting ideas were derived that could be incorporated in the plans.
Submitting development plans
The deadline is approaching: on September 3 the innovation teams must present their development plans in the form of two posters and a document of at most 25 pages that explains for each bridge design how the conditions and awarding criteria have been met.
There is a vacation period before then, and the participants are feeling the pressure to submit something worthwhile in the limited time they have available. What are the contractors going to present? What benefits for the Floriade will the teams have found, and how are they incorporated in their two innovative bridge designs?