Bekebrede, G., Mayer, I., Chin, R., Verbraeck, A., Schuijlenburg, M. van., Meijer, A.K., Koeman, J.W. (2005) Second Maasvlakte, practice, planning and design through simulation-gaming. Paper presented at the International Conference on Port-Maritime Development and Innovation on September 5th to 7th 2005, World Trade Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
After long negotiations with central government, it has been decided to proceed with the construction of an offshore land extension project in the North Sea, the ‘Second Maasvlakte’. This is a project of great socio-technical complexity, with many uncertainties and dependencies. The responsible harbour authority, Port of Rotterdam, therefore wishes to take a flexible approach to construction and land allocation. Choices made in the early stages must not restrict later developments. A simulation-game has been developed to ensure the independence of choices made at the start of the process, such as where and when construction will commence and which site is to be allocated to the first paying customer. In the simulation, Port of Rotterdam staff are assigned various roles which represent the departments involved in the decision-making process for the development of the Second Maasvlakte. The simulation covers a period of thirty years, the objective being to achieve a fully functional Maasvlakte, with maximum commercial profitability. This paper regards the construction of the Second Maasvlakte as a socio-technically complex project and describes how the gaming simulation can assist in the decision-making process.