Atlantis magazine 29.4 Emerging Appropriations

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#29.4 August 2019

Emerging Appropriations




We could not be as visible as we are without the great effort of a lot of active students. With their help and the support of our partners and sponsors, we can organise excursions, lectures, workshops, drinks and events. The Polis board wants to thank all the people involved for their great efforts and positive input.

Dear Polis Members,

In keeping with the latest advances in our disciplines’ discourse and building upon last year’s theme of “Action/Reaction: Exploring Challenges in Practice”, we are now shifting our focus to the ‘object’. The object, though, is understood not as a ‘thing’, but rather as a ‘field’: the area where actions and actors come together in a unity and, in essence, is created by and through that unity. An abstract and absolute space is constructed and transformed through activities, actions and practices that give it shape, content and meaning into a ‘territory’. Is this ‘real’ or ‘imaginary’, small or big? Does it conform with pre-existing conceptual and concrete borders? Do they pertain solely to human activities or to the untamable natural forces? Or both? These questions are, of course, relative. The important issue is that we are talking about the kind of processes that form the very notion which guides us in our understanding, approach and intervention.

POLIS BOARD Tapasya Mukkamala - Chairman Sankarnath PM- Secretary Mark Scholten - Treasurer Ingrid Staps - Atlantis Tanvi Gupta - PR Oumkaltoum Boudouaya - PR Outreach

JOIN US We are always looking for enthusiastic people to join. Interested in one of the Polis committees? Do not hesitate to contact us at our Polis office (01.west.350) or by e-mail:


SUBSCRIBE Not yet a member of Polis? For only €12.50 a year as a student of TU Delft, €30 for individual membership, or €80 for professional organizations you can join our network! You will receive our Atlantis Magazine four times a year, a monthly newsletter, possibility to publish and access to all events organized by Polis. E-mail to find out more.

The academic year has come to an end and with that the board is happy to present this final issue of Atlantis, 29.4 Emerging Appropriations. The board is working hard to get everything ready for next year, we have a lot of amazing activities coming up so keep an eye out. Next year will be very special because we will be celebrating the 30 year anniversary. The guiding notion for the year 2019 is “Genesis” which translates to inception, birth, beginning of something new. Our vision through this theme is to turn the spotlight on the various pathbreaking innovations and reforms that are being worked upon across the world, within BK city and the faculty of Urbanism for a better and brighter future. It will commemorate the new beginning of another amazing 30 years. This years board aims to build and strengthen a platform for alumni, professionals and students to stay connected and share knowledge. Our first board of advisors meeting went well and we have a fresh perspective on how to work on this and all the other challenges ahead. Lastly we would like to wholeheartedly congratulate all graduates! Warm Regards from the Polis Board 2019 Tapasya Mukkamala, Sankarnath PM, Mark Scholten, Ingrid Staps, Tanvi Gupta and Oumkaltoum Boudouaya

Hence the word: “territor(e)alities”. This year, “Atlantis | Magazine for Urbanism and Landscape Architecture” will try to explore the concept of spatiality, focusing on the network of processes that give rise to places: what actions and which networks of them makes a piece of land, however small or big, appear and act (or, at least, according to our view of it) as one. Territories are understood as spaces that are conceptually constructed by an agglomeration of practices (or, even, a single dominating action) and, in effect, become concrete and real. We will be zooming in and zooming out, we will be isolating and unifying, all for an investigation of the content and meaning of Urbanism and Landscape Architecture in the 21st century and beyond. Interested in contributing? Email us at:

Editorial This issue marks the culmination of our journey through territor[e]alities. Volume 29, Issue 29.4 – ‘Emerging Appropriations’, seeks to explore new modalities of living and the way they manifest physically in the form of territories. Through this, we aim to open up new scenarios of future territories. For example, the advancement and innovation in technology and the multitude of forms that it takes continues to transform the way we live today. We expose the effects of gaming and social applications, and artificial intelligence on the formation of new interactions, planning approaches and territories. The effects of new technologies are seen not just on Earth, but in plans for conquering outer space as well. The contents of this issue also speculate shifts in energy landscapes, be it on Earth or space and the future relevance of current spatial components of systems that might one day become obsolete. The articles also open up the possibilities that the past visions of tomorrow have, from reality as well as fiction and the power that the world of imagination has in shaping cities. Following our aim to combine academia, research and practice, we also include various student projects from the Urbanism and Landscape Architecture master tracks of the Department of Urbanism at TU Delft. Our goal is to leave our readers with something to think about in terms of alternate realities, not far from today, that will change life as we know it. Closing this volume, we would like to introduce the new team working on Atlantis. Kavya Kalyan will take over moderating and creating content, Stefano Agliati will be overseeing the visual direction of the magazine and Ingrid Staps, representing the Board of Polis, will ensure that the Atlantis Committee and the direction of the magazine both fit into and forward the vision of our association. Together they have been working on building a new team with students from both Landscape Architecture and Urbanism. We look forward to the next volume and all the new stories they will bring to our doorstep. Editors-in-Chief Sarantis Georgiou (content) Felipe Gonzalez (layout) Introducing: Kavya Kalyan Editor-in-Chief (content) Stefano Agliati Editor-in-Chief (layout) Ingrid Staps Polis Board Representative






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An Odyssey through the Norwegian Arctic by Malavika Gopalakrishnan

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On the move interview with Janneke Derksen by Laura Lijdsman

Rethinking Infrastructures by Lukas Hรถller Hong Kong by Ioanna Virvidaki ULWeek by Jahnavi Bhatt Transitional Territories by Laura Lijdsman, Sarantis Georgiou

Reflecting on reality through fictional cities by Kavya Suresh Urban design for future cities by Gordon Li The Sustainable Monument by ir. Henk Hartzema, Aikaterina Myserli Future Cities from the Past by Oumkaltoum Boudoyaya Dyson Spheres - Ultimate Megastructure by Tapasya Mukkamala Art Page Sonder, stage and serendipity by Ashwin Suresh Can AI make our Cities Better? by Karishma Asarpota Home Away From Home by Kavya Kalyan Geographies of Power by Preetika Balasubramanian PTiB Productive Territories in Between by Jahnavi Bhatt, Elisa Maria Isaza, Rotem Shenitzer Schwake, Rick Schoonderbeek, Yi-Chieh Liao

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New Dutch Waterscape by Sun Woo Kim Resilient City by Georgia Gkratsou, Hei Yi Joyce Fong, Lok Yan Minnie Chu, Matthijs Hollanders, Rohaan Teli, Sun Woo Cassie Kim


2049 Rotterdam Food Fabric by Amina Chouairi, Margherita Ghini Yuyu Peng, Ming Jiang Alia Shahed, Tapasya Mukkamala



An Odyssey through the Norwegian Arctic Words cannot sum up the exuberance of the Norwegian arctic landscape. It is profoundly poignant and breathtakingly beautiful, transitioning from snow-capped mountains and pasture lands to cyan-blue lakes and sandy beaches. The contrast between these landscapes is striking, from the emptiness of the arctic tundra to the dark dense forests, is unique. Nature is all around you, encompassing her arm around, making you feel powerless, and at the same time moving you deeply. It is overwhelming and real all at once. As part of the Infrastructure and Design studio, held at TU Delft, we travelled to the high north – the Norwegian arctic. The project titled ‘Critical Cartographies’ explores the industries of oil and fish in the region and their global impacts on climate. We were received by the AHO


(Oslo School of Architecture and design) and Tromsø Academy of Landscape and Territorial Studies with a series of lectures and workshops. A week-long journey let us experience the astounding arctic landscape and its contrasting forms, and that will always remain an everlasting memory. Before heading to the north, we spent a day in Oslo with the AHO and had the privilege to listen to the eminent professor on coastal morphology, Karl Otto. He was brilliant in capturing and explaining the nuances of the northern Norway landscape and its fishing villages and their temporal shifts. Later, the session was concluded by workshops in which the students explored in depth their findings by critically analysing it amongst themselves. Our stay in Oslo was important in understanding the region and shaping our experiences to come in the next few days. But nothing could prepare us for what we experienced as the plane hovered over Tromsø. It was just an extreme overpowering sensation of beauty and tranquillity, like we had reached a place in another realm, beyond comprehension or any imagination. The next day we undertook a road trip, through the beautiful islands of Senja, Tromsø passing by many extraordinarily astonishing places. The breathtaking deep blue fjords and the snowy mountains on either side just let you in. The journey felt like a spiritual experience rather than an architectural expedition. It was just nature

by Malavika Gopalakrishnan MSc Urbanitsm TU Delft

and landscape putting forth a majestic show and we were merely spectators dumbfounded by it all. We walked along the shores of crystal-clear water surrounded with fjords and hiked atop mountains just to see a waterfall. As we reached on top to the beautiful view, it was just surreal, to the point where I saw my colleague breaking down with tears of overwhelming joy. She said what we collectively felt in that moment, ‘It’s so beautiful, I don’t deserve to see it!’. The following day we were at Tromsø academy, attending the presentation by lecturers and students. The utmost sense of care the students showed in their design approaches, was a realization of how precious the landscape is and how it requires great sensitivity to treat it with respect. Our week-long odyssey along the Norwegian Arctic taught us only one thing and it was the overpowering sensation of having something so remarkable that you cannot and should not let it be altered or played with. It needs to be cherished and preserved with consciousness in planning and most importantly, with utmost context sensitivity. • 1. Scenic Route in Tungeneset, Senja, Tromsø. Surce: Author. 2. Student enjoying the landscape in Skaland senja. Source: Author.

NEWS by Lukas HĂśller MSc Urbanitsm TU Delft

As the 4th biggest city in the United States of America, Houston and its wider metropolitan area are facing many different contemporary pressures. With more than six million inhabitants as well as an important and growing economic hub for various industries, the metropolitan region of Houston has continuously to deal with fluvial and pluvial flooding events. The last significant flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, set large parts of the city underwater and caused harm not only to many inhabitants and the economy but also functioned as a wakeup call for incorporating flooding issues in the city economy, population, and built environment. As part of the growing exchange of knowledge between the TU Delft, RICE University and Texas A&M, an interdisciplinary group of Urbanism, Transport, Infrastructure, and Logistics, as well as Water Management students from TU Delft, visited the city of Houston

June 2019 Rethinking Infrastructures Infrastructure and Environment Design: Houston Workshop

to participate in lectures and a workshop. Dealing with pluvial flooding created by an ongoing development affected by economies of scale and profit, the rerouting of the Interstate 45 separating the metropoles core, creates an opportunity to rethink urban infrastructures and to give new room for development, nature, and water within the city rapidly changing fabric. The first part of this visit was about learning and understanding more about the problems themselves as well as getting an in-depth view of the historical development of the city that created today's situation. The fact that Houston can be seen as a stereotype of an American city makes it the optimal environment for learning about all the illnesses caused by urban sprawl, car-dependency, and the lack of zoning. After various exciting lectures were given by experts from different professions, it was time for the students to explore the three very different areas of Downtown, Midtown, and the 4th Ward all shaped and influenced by large scale infrastructure and

threaten by the flooding issue. As one of the last but most important steps of this visit, the international group of students together with a team of professors and researchers participated in a workshop, where all the gathered impressions and information over the last few days have been transformed into first ideas to set up the framework for a continuing and more elaborated design project. This workshop not only allowed working within an interdisciplinary environment but was also the chance to eventually define and come up with holistic solutions and visions for a more sustainable and resilient future of the city. The final results of three intense but interesting and informative days were finally presented in front of an excited but critical group of experts. • 1. Group picture. Source: Author. 2. Hurricane Harvey floods. Source: Melissa Phillip. 3. Interstate 45. Sourcge: Author




ATLANTIS The smells and sounds of Hong Kong Globalization Studio Trip by Ioanna Virvidaki MSc Urbanitsm TU Delft

Not only an opportunity to explore a completely new environment, but also a chance to work in another continent and broaden our horizons, the field trip in Hong Kong, was undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all the participants. The excursion was part of the course Globalization: Research on the Urban Impact, which tries to create fertile grounds for dialogue, collaboration and ideas exchange concerning urban design and planning between TU Delft BK and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design. More precisely, the course explores globalization within the context of multifunctional regions, on a more integrated scope, linking economic development with both social and environmental factors, throughout urban design and planning. During the experience in Hong Kong, both students and tutors were given the opportunity to look for innovative approaches for the development of contemporary metropolitan regions (in the case of Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area), experiment with design tools and create strategies for dealing with the complexity embedded with this process, without forgetting the economic, social and environmental context. Before flying to Hong Kong, during the first part of the course, we had already gained enough knowledge and built the theoretical background needed. Most of all, this field trip proved that as urbanists, it is valuable to personally experience the area of study and become familiar with the local culture and the atmosphere, what is usually named as “genius loci”. Inputs such as the way of life, the smells and the sounds, can edutate

urban designers and planners to understand the ideology, and the identity of an urban region. Apart from a learnful experience, this trip was also a chance to strengthen our friendship as a group, enjoy in a more relaxing and collaborative environment. Living under real co-housing and coworking conditions was something that brought us closer to each other and led to a lot of fun moments that everyone

will remember in the future. In parallel with work, we had free time to invest on grasping the vibe of this vivid city, explore the beautiful nature which is surprisingly close to this over – densified urban fabric, taste the local food and live the whole Hong Kong experience. • 1. Exhibition panels. Source: Maria Elena Koskeridou. 2. Group picture. Source: Author.


June 2019 ULWeek

by Jahnavi Bhatt MSc Urbanitsm TU Delft

Infrastructure and Environment Design: Houston Workshop

I am happy to introduce you to the ‘Urban and Landscape Week’ 2019, one of the biggest annual symposiums hosted by our department, which is entirely organized by Urbanism and Landscape students of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of TU Delft. The UL Week is an event of intensive discussion, debates and presentations, which focuses on different themes that affect the built environment. It provides a platform

for collaborative and multidisciplinary engagement by inviting students, researchers and faculty members from not just different specialized faculties within the TU Delft, but also from organizations within Europe and overseas. Urbanism and Landscape Week 2019: “(Un)Ctrl+Shift” will focus on ‘transitions’ as our main theme. Cities worldwide are facing socio-economic, ecological, and technological transitions which would affect

the dynamics of the urban environment. The different activities of the event will explore the existing trends that are transversal to the domain of Urbanism and to assess which factors should be reinforced in order to allow positive changes of our cities. The ULW will take place from the 6th to the 9th of November. Save the date and join us! •

(un)ctrl+shift Lectures | Debates | Workshops | Exhibitions | Movies



How will governance systems lead to shift in planning processes?

How will climate change shift urban landscape design and planning?

TOOLS How will technology shift our ways of design and planning?

join us on 6/7/8 November 2019 For Collaborations and participation contact us on:

ATLANTIS Transitional Territories Year-final Exhibition by

Laura Lijdsman, Sarantis Georgiou


MSc Urbanism TU Delft

Closing one academic year (the second of three) approaching, tracing, mapping and designing and planning (for) the North Sea, the interdepartmental graduation studio 'Transitional Territories | North Sea: Landscapes of Coexistence | Altered Natures and the Architecture of Extremes', hosted its annual final exhibition at the BKExpo at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TUDelft. The exhibition is characterized as "a collective visual manifesto on the North Sea as reference territory and common ground for spatial interventions addressing political, environmental, economic and societal questions" and showcases indicative textual and visual material (texts, images, models) from the studio participants.


Under the framework of the Interdisciplinary Research Programme 'Delta Urbanism' and 'Delft Deltas, Infrastructures & Mobility Initiative' (DIMI), the graduation studio invites MSc students in Urbanism and Architecture to re-conceptualize infrastructure and architecture as public works in an epoch of increased fluidity and uncertainty, through the development of radical territorial, urban, landscape and architectonic projects. The exhibition itself was structured through 6 tables displaying 1. the collective work undergone in the beginning of the academic year as a first foray into the territory in question and 2. five (5) tables each representing five reference scales of the individual graduation projects (territory, landscape, city, fabric, and island). The short documentary 'Northbound' by Boaz Peters and Mark Slierings, a part of their graduation projects, was first screened at the exhibition.



June 2019

The exhibition highlighted the heterogeneity of the projects developed within the studio: from territorial visions to concrete programmatic objects, and from landscape design and engineering to architectural interventions within and through the built environment. Each of the graduation projects attempted to envision an alternative future for the territory of the North Sea based on a radical reading of its altered state as a projective (future) condition. The research on the North Sea (reaching through Norway to the Arctic) continues in the next academic year for its final iteration. •

North Sea: Landscapes of Coexistence Altered Natures and the Architecture of Extremes


Notes 1. The exhibition was held from the 18th to the 21st of July 2019 at the BKExpo at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of TUDelft. 2. The participants of the exhibition were: Aleksandra Gwardiak, Boaz Peters, Chang Liu, Cristian Esteban, Danny Arakji, Francisco Monsalve, Fiona Thompson, Jan Gerk de Boer, Jimmy Lei, Junrui Li, Laura Lijdsman, Mark Slierings, Martin Kolev, Michaela Mallia, Nadine Tietje, Philipp Wenzl, Ranee Leung, Ruby Sleigh, Sara Boraei, Sarantis GeorgiouAs A, Sebastian Schulte, Siyuan Liu and Zoe Panayi, under the mentoring of: dr. arch. Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, arch. Stefano Milani, dr. Nicola Marzot, Sjap Holst, dr. Fransje Hooimeijer, dr. Diego Sepulveda Carmona, dr. Luisa Calabrese, dr. Daniele Cannatella and curated by dr. arch Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, ir. Geert van der Meulen, Emily Aquilina and Isabel Recubenis 1-6: Stills from the Opening of the Exhibition. Source: Laura Lijdsman.





Learning from the highway by speculating on ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’

interview with

Janneke Derksen

Strategic Landscape Designer No Purpose Collective


Laura Lijdsman MSc Urbanism TU Delft

Although the automobile in the Netherlands has existed from 1896, the highway network as we know it today started to develop after several decades. After the Second World War – when the car became extremely dominant – the network grew rapidly. This development went hand in hand with the development of ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ (rest places, service- and gas stations) along the highway. With possible future developments like electric cars, shared facilities or other innovative types of mobility, it is difficult to foresee which transitions gas stations will undergo in the future. Janneke Derksen illustrated the moving public space of tomorrow with her graduation project ‘On the Move’. She graduated in Interior Architecture at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague where she developed her own way of research, design and visual, together with end users and experts. Atlantis had the chance to meet Janneke and talk about her project.





When did your fascination for highways and their related ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ start? I think I always had a fascination for the highway and the way we travel. Highways are the connections between cities and villages. Highways and ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ are all cobbled together with asphalt, road signs and lines. They are usually not final destinations, but stops in the journey one is making. When I was young, my family and I also always used to stop at these gas stations during holidays. I saw all these different people using the same space in a different way and I never really understood why I had this fascination until I started my graduation project. I realised that the way we use this type of space and architecture, related to the way it changes by innovation and technology has my interest. Those places are democratic and inclusive, personal and anonymous at the same time. I asked myself the question: “Do we still need to fuel or charge our vehicles in the future?” And if not: “How will those places transform in the future, following new innovations and technology?”. So my fascination is really about this very interesting public space, some kind of nonspace. They are unnamed public spaces, spaces we don’t live in but occupy for a short period of time.

In your project you describe that no\wadays the highway is only seen as a network which transports people from A to B and where the ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ are only used to provide for the needs of travellers during their trip and are not seen as destinations. Can you tell us more about your perspective on the current use of the network and how this is related to the ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’? I think before you can even answer that question, it is important to understand how we used the system of the highway in the past. In the early fifties, there was this phenomena of roadside tourism. Families were gathering along the highway, looking at the newest vehicles. Another example is the oil crisis in the early seventies, where the car-free Sundays offered the possibility to use the highway as a real public space. Beautiful pictures of that time show how people started biking and roller-skating on the highway. We do not see this kind of use anymore. In my project I see the highway and the places that it has produced - the ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ - as moveable public spaces. I speculate how the use will change if those places become possible final destinations. It is also logical that the space is not used like that nowadays, because the network of the highway is designed out of rules and regulations.


What current conditions, characteristics or qualities of the ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ do you use in your strategy? I, as a designer, am always looking for the hidden qualities of the public space and in the way we use those kind of spaces. During my research I discovered that we, as users, are not aware of the spatial qualities the ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ offer. The observations I made at several gas stations made me realise that those places are very democratic. You see different kinds of users: from truckdrivers to families, from couples to business people, from craftsmen to the workers of the gas station itself. I think that is also why the ‘verzorgingsplaats’ distinguishes itself from other public spaces, such as a park in a city centre. Besides that, the highway does not reflect people's individual identity. It creates mass groups, like drivers or commuters. The ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ becomes really inclusive and super personal, in the sense that, from the moment you arrive, you are going to interpret and use the space based on your needs. The car itself is the most domestic element on the highway. From the moment you leave your car, you create some sort of semi-public space, a private circle around your car. I observed, and I also see in my own behaviour, that people are never going to hang out next to someone else’s car, because it doesn’t feel public. Once

atlantis you leave your domestic vehicle, you enter the public space. You become an alien in a non-place, which basically means you can do whatever you want. For example, I saw a guy peeing in front of his car where everyone could see him. Those places are so anonymous, you don’t know anyone, so people start to behave differently. There is one gas-station along the A12 which doesn’t have any facilities, but still, at one point, it had the most registered parking stops. This space is so anonymous that people, mainly men, can meet each other for sex along the highway. The anonymity makes the space comfortable and this also means that the society is asking for these kind of places. Another hidden quality is that the highway is always up-to-date. You don’t see the traces of the past: the signage, roads and gas stations always meet the requirements of today. But at the same time, the highway is timeless. The different user groups stay at the gas station for different periods of time. You can stay there for 1 minute, 10 minutes or a couple of hours. So there is no time connected to the space itself. In your strategy one of the main changes is to consider the transition from gasoline as the main fuel, which might result in a different use of space through time. How does your strategy relate to these changes in mobility? In my strategy I make use of the base and create more flexibility around it that it is able to adapt to future changes. The main function of the gas station, to provide gas and fuel, will disappear, but the canopy in itself is a beautiful structure. It is a square with a roof on legs, but the architecture is so powerful! It is the icon of the highway which everyone recognises. The question is: will the canopy disappear with the gas?. We don’t know how fast the transition from gasoline to other types of fuel or car-use [such as car-sharing] is going. It is sure that there will be a change in the highway system, but travel in all forms will continue. There is already a shift towards the use of electric cars, and a gradual shift in the use of self-driving cars, but technology goes so fast that in some years we might not even have to stop during our travel to charge. People now have their own car, or even two, but if I speculate about the future, we might use a shared system where no one owns it. That means that the amount of vehicles decreases and the use of the highway system will change accordingly. At the moment, there is a lack of investments for the ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ as the future is too uncertain and the innovation and technology goes fast... So that is why my strategy is to make use of this phase of uncertainty, to ensure that the current qualities can be experienced in the future as well. Designers are used to design the

final product, but from when the design is finished on paper to when it is ready to be implemented, the technology has already changed. My strategic design and research is a proposal to show how we should design with the time and not over it. I think the highway system is the right location to design with temporary phases in order to provide conditions for the time when the technology is ready and the money available. The aim of my strategy is to both spark the public discussion and act as a tool for further development. It consists of several temporal proposals which function as guidelines for a final design. Before, you named five hidden qualities of the highway and gas stations: democratic, anonymous, personal/inclusive, up-to-date and timeless. How do you use these qualities in your strategy to adapt to the fast changes in mobility we are facing? My proposal ranges from small additions and alterations to bigger interventions along the highway to work towards a long-term strategy. The questions I used to come up with the concept for the interventions are: “What is the quality or the value the space is offering at the moment?”, “What do I want to research?” and “How do I translate this quality into a design intervention?”. I realized that the only two things which are fixed on the ‘verzorgingsplaats’ are the asphalt and the canopy (gas station). The rest of the space is continuously in transition: cars and trucks are coming and leaving and they create temporary spaces in between the vehicles. During the weekend the ‘verzorgingsplaatsen’ turn into little truck villages. In one of the interventions I turn this into a quality and interpret the trucks as movable walls. What can be the optimal space in between and how to activate the spot itself in a temporary way? The sub-spaces can for example be used as a camp fire place or to screen a movie on the walls of the trucks. Another intervention is related to the white lines on the asphalt, which nowadays guide the vehicles, but what if there are no lines at all. What would be the spaces the people create by themselves? As soon as the vehicle leaves, you basically mark the spot. This makes that the users build up the parking lot and the spaces by themselves, which strengthens the democratic identity of the space. You can start with small scale interventions and when it appears to work, it can be scaled up. So you can start with adding small


domestic elements to a sober picknick table, start with a carpet, add plants, maybe a lamp, a wall. It creates a small living room on a parking lot and you can just observe if people are really going to use it. Maybe at one point, people are going to organise proper dinners there instead of going to the city centre. People might really meet at the ‘verzorgingsplaats’, maybe going there by bike, and create their own temporal personal space. Within my strategy I’m not looking for a final solution or design, it is more a research by design project, where the design is flexible and grows together with the use and technology. What is very typical about your project is your way of representing your thoughts and ideas, namely by using narrative and interactive mapping. Can you explain why you chose for this type of mapping? I actually started with the narrative mapping, because I’m not good in writing, but in the end I developed a method which fits perfectly with my project and strengthens it. In the beginning I used the method to express my story, my ideas and thoughts in a visual way. It is about how to translate your observation into a visual representation This makes it understandable for all kinds of people and makes it inclusive, so you can reach a wide audience. I really want to make people think critically and the drawings are a way to inspire them and get their attention. It is a way to activate people’s brains and use their thoughts for the further development of the project. I also used the map in an interactive way a few times, where I designed together with the visitors, for example at the Dutch Design Week. The drawing doesn’t show a final result, but is a way for me and the visitors to communicate as we inspire each other. I created a base

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that shows enough to inspire people, and activates them, and then together we come up with new ideas so that the drawing can grow. I try to take people with me on my own journey, make it democratic, just as the quality of the highway. Since the summer of 2018 you graduated with this project, but I understood the project is still ‘on the move’. What are your future aspirations? There are several things I hope to realise with my project. I want to celebrate the highway as a public space and one way of doing this is by organising the first highway festival of the Netherlands, which can be related to the former use of the highway on the car-free Sundays. It would be great to bring back those car-free days. It can be a music festival, with food and culture, or people organising their own activities. Also the Future Architecture Program invited me to give a masterclass during the Summer School at the University of Copenhagen which is mainly about the narrative mapping. With these kind of opportunities I hope to keep developing my project. Learning from the highway is

my way to speculate on a possible future for the highways in the Netherlands, by understanding their system and the spaces they produce. It is an invention to follow and to participate in my personal journey. ‘On the Move’ doesn’t show a final result, it is just the beginning! •

1. The Gas Station's Canopy. Source: Janneke Derksen 2. Communicating with Interactive Narrative Mapping with Users and Experts. Source: 3. Narrative Mapping with Final Interventions to Spark the Public Discussion. Source: Janneke Derksen




Reflecting on reality through fictional cities by

Kavya Suresh Msc Urbanism TU Delft

Fictional worlds - A distorted mirror of society From the magical Middle-Earth to the medieval Westeros, from the inter-planetary regions of the Galactic Empire to the technologically advanced New port city, literature Is filled with fictional cities of every kind imaginable. These worlds are not only interesting for their complexity and rich story telling qualities but the details of their inner mechanisms such as welldefined governance systems, geographical configurations and social structures. These descriptions aren’t created in vacuum but are often drawn from perceptions of our own world, acting as commentary on the predicament of society and the direction its headed in. As postulated by Jung, the nature of art and its symbolism is a part of the collective unconscious that is shared between a larger society. Certain reoccurring themes and notions found in art from a certain period can be reflective of the society at that point. (Jung, 1969) Fiction is a means of reflection or reimagination of the real world, often times extrapolating into the future consequences of the current situation both in the form of projected conclusions as well as stark contrasts. Therefore, looking at fiction from various points in time can help understand the pulse of the society, revealing the frustrations of the real world, the hope for a better future or fear of the headed direction.

Conversely, science-fiction has also inspired and predicted the evolution of cities, technology and discoveries of the future. The city of Trantor as depicted by Isaac Asimov in the Foundation series in 1940’s is a city that sprawls the entire surface of a planet as a result of constant urbanisation. It then deals with the nature of systems required to service a population of that scale. This is what Doxiadis would come to term “Ecumenopolis” in the 1960’s, a concept of an endless city and the idea of megapolis. (Doxiadis, 1968) Interpreting the undertones of a narrative Narratives of society that linger through different works of fiction are revealed through various aspects of story-telling, often times forming the undertone rather than the primary narrative. The worldbuilding in stories, which refers to the backdrop against which the story is set in, reflects upon the nature of larger forces that shape society such as religion, governance, morals and technology, at the time. The catholic values that influence “Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R Tolkien, belief in the futility of war to the common people that frames the narrative in “A song of Ice and fire”, by George R.R. Martin, and the commentary on the effects of a patriarchal church state in “The Handmaid’s tale” by Margret Atwood are examples of this. The position of the protagonist in the social structure of the world is often a stand in for how the author perceives a large number of their readers relate to the real world. A clear contrast can be seen in the Sci-fi works written in the space race era of the sixties where the protagonists were mostly


"The purpose of fantasy is not to immerse yourself in another world so as to forget your own, but to reflect on your own society, to gaze into its gaping holes"1 -Terry Pratchett pioneers and high-ranking officials, as seen in the Star trek series, as opposed to the underdogs and lone individuals alienated in the larger dystopian cities during later periods, at the height of capitalism and distrust in the system. (Burnett, 2011) The setting for interaction between the main characters, in other words the depiction of public space, can indicate the writer’s perception of the relationship between the individual and the collective. One of the most powerful instances of this is the depiction of public realm spaces of interactions in Orwell’s 1984. Serving as a warning against Russian communism, the lack of communal spaces, surveillance in streets and parks that are isolated and empty gives the sense of the loss of the individual identity and the dismantling of a collective one under a controlled police state. Cities as subjects in fiction Futuristic fiction often has urban settings not just as the backdrop, but as characters




themselves. This is because cities are dynamic, everchanging entities that reflect society. They are the result of the accumulation of human intentions and are a symbolic way to show the predicament of society. The portrayal of cities has ranged from futuristic, bright and optimistic to bleak, ugly and dangerous. This tone of portrayal is always inextricably linked to the time of the writing. Cyberpunk is a particularly interesting sub-genre of sci-fi that depicts dystopian cities in the future. Originating in the eighties and shaped by the fears of the effects of late capitalism, cities in Cyberpunk were often portrayed as post-national entities of the globalised world, where large corporations rule through the possession and manipulation of data, a notion not very unfamiliar in today’s reality. The isolation of individuals with the break down of society and the acceleration of this phenomena with evolving technology or “Hi tech-low life” was a central theme, resulting in the protagonist being a lone individual, a “punk”, all alone in the big city. It reflects a lack of community and a loss of control felt by the people, in an alienating city. The juxtaposition of new technology with existing culture and city fabrics in these imagined futures is an important concept. It is not about building futuristic cities on a clean slate but the gradual shift in culture, due to technology. This notion of the old and the new can clearly be seen today in contemporary Asian cities like Tokyo and Hong Kong. The Neuromancer by William Gibson and

the Blade runner by Ridley Scott (inspired from the book “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” by Philip K Dick) were two of the defining works of this genre. Blade runner depicts neon lights of the city as a symbol of corporate power, while the smog covered filthy streets, overpopulated with the poor was a reflection on the serious social and environmental problems that were anticipated because of the focus on economic and technological development of large modern cities. Contemporary takes on future cities While the classic Cyberpunk genre reflected society, its hopes and fears in the eighties, it is interesting to note that some of the projections of the future have proven to be true, while others haven’t. The depiction of technology taking over our bodies and virtual reality becoming a coping mechanism for a broken society haven’t precisely come to pass. However, the effects of social media and technology in the restructuring of social interactions and the reduced role of public space is a reality. Looking at contemporary fiction and its take on cities, certain patterns emerge. There’s a re-emergence of Cyberpunk, in a more dystopian form, after a brief period of optimistic worldviews in the nineties. There are several depictions of cities in urban Scifi and urban fantasies by acclaimed authors like China Mieville, and Neil Gaiman. Specifically, exploration and mistrust of AI and technology, climate change and sociopolitical commentary seem to be the driving themes in contemporary fiction. These trends show that as a society, there is a bleaker and more pessimistic view towards the future, with exacerbated differences


in the perception of reality between the government, the powerful and the people. However, these dystopian predictions for the future aren’t proclamations of hopelessness, but a warning of what is to come, if we as a society are not proactive enough to prevent it. Fiction as a tool Engaging with stories and worlds filled with rich detail, well defined characters and thought-provoking themes is a beautiful experience by itself. However, as designers and planners, these fictional cities have even more to offer. Going beyond the story and understanding the reoccurring undertones of socio-political commentary, sometimes unconscious, and imagining worlds with redefined relationships between people, places and technology can be a freeing exercise that allows us to open up our minds to new possibilities. •

References 1. Burnett, B. (2011, July 15). Lost in space : The decline of the American spirit. Retrieved from Huffpost: https:// 66?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ 29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAALoh3OB_ tYOjTuWf0w6_6eSvTTqVbGxl4t_LkYF9MkceuQmkohMLMW3tjA4lRp3nU1GZ4ZgapfmqPsKrey5zDmTTGEvVNmLvqj-3W-ipYmP1 2. Doxiadis, C. (1968). Ekistics: An introducti9on to the Science of Human Settlements. London: Oxford University Press. 3. Jung, C. (1969). The archetypes and the collective unconscious. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

1. Cyberpunk city Author : Artur Sadlos aRetrieved from artwork/o1yKJ


Urban design for future cities


Exploring the possibility of floating cities by

Gordon Li

Urban Environments Design Student School of Design The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

A CITY FOR FUTURE Ivy, an urban designer, set foot on a floating city built near Tokyo Bay, Japan in 2040. In front of her is an urban system that is vastly different from our common sense of what cities might look like – a city buoyed up in the middle of water bodies. People live in highly restricted disaster-proof houses, and the city runs on the wind, solar and other new clean energy sources. All modes of transportation are intelligent and fast shared transportation. A large indoor farm appears right there in the centre of the city, with a number of vertical farms surrounding it. Flexible corner spaces of the floating city are also used as platforms for food production. All of the kitchen waste and wasted food are delivered by pneumatic tubes to the underground energy generator to reprocess. Beneath the platform, they can cultivate algae, scallops, clams, and others clean the water system and improve the ecosystem renewal. While Ivy’s experience might seem like a surreal movie scene, it is in fact gradually

becoming a topic of discussion in our real world. The illustration (fig.2) envisions one type of future city – known as floating city. Floating city is an urban system concept whose meaning is rather self-explanatory: an urban environment that is created to float above water bodies, creating permanent dwellings at sea. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has embraced the concept of floating city as a solution for housing and climate change.   Floating cities in context - Japan The reason why this illustration is specifically positioned in Japan boils down to the major risks Japan is currently facing. According to the data published by Climate Central, among the countries that will be exposed to sea level rise and coastal flooding by 2100 by number and percentage of people impacted, Japan came in third for total population to be impacted (12.751 million people) and fourth for percentage of its population to be impacted (10 percent). As an island nation, Japan is already confronting the threat posed by climate change-induced flooding. Based on the Union of Concerned Scientists, the economists estimated that coastal flooding could put almost $1trillion of Tokyo Bay’s assets at risk by the 2070s – as a result of global sea-level rises. Japan is also facing severe issues with its


food system – which can be broken down into two major problems. Firstly, food wastage is a serious concern. Japan throws away 6.21 million tons of perfectly edible food every year. Known for being “picky” about the freshness of food and having strict food hygiene laws, the expiry date of packed food follows a stringent standard and a huge amount of food is thrown away for passing the expiry date. Secondly, Japan lacks self-sufficiency in its food supply. The modern Japanese healthy diet cannot be maintained without the import of large quantities of food from overseas. Statistics by the Japanese government have shown that, based on the amount of calories consumed, around 61 percent of the food consumption comes from imported food – which makes Japan vulnerable to any external shock of the food supply. Focusing on these two issues in particular – disasters caused by climate change and concerns with food system – Japan is a good site for illustration, where the concept of floating city might shed light on how urban environment could be built for better living. Through her adventure in floating city 2040, Ivy has found that infrastructures floating city are built to adapt to changing sea levels. Building structures are at lowlevel – predicted to rise around 4-7 stories high – in order to keep the centre of gravity and produce disaster-proofing housing

atlantis that can withstand floods, tsunami, and hurricanes. These housings are also offered at affordable prices, especially catering towards those being displaced in coastal cities. Ivy also learnt that pneumatic tubes beneath the soil could gather the food waste, recycle it for more constructive use. The basic flow goes like this – the food waste is first “pressure cooked” in the tubes, creating a crude liquid that be turned into a biofuel. Then, what remains is broken down into methane that can be burned to create electricity and heat. What goes to waste is turned into precious resources. Additionally, the indoor farming and vertical farming she saw were meant to increase the farming area and to produce more domestic food supply, reliving Japan from the susceptibility to an external food supply shock. Floating city here, as Ivy has come to realize, means a more sustainable and resilient food system for Japan. Better living for its people.   TO THE FUTURE AHEAD Undeniably, there are still many controversies around the topic of floating city – “Fantasy or the Future?” as the BBC News put it. While UN partnering with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and private firms claim that floating city might be one of the solutions to sustainable urban development, many others remain doubtful about its practicality and the resultant technical challenges. However, what matters is that Ivy in the story – and many other urban designers including myself – or just common public who care about the future could realize the responsibility upon us to design a more resilient urban environment to live in. “Design” here is by no means simply sketching and drawing for aesthetic appreciation. After all, in two decades time when every stroke of drawing can probably


be done by artificial intelligence, what is left for human designers to do has to be more profound than the drawing itself. To me, the true value-add by urban designers lies in the ability to think for the future. Just as the designer, architect and film director Liam Young (2015) has elegantly summarised in his film works - to ask more "what if", which is not a future, but futures. Coming up with multiple possibilities of futures for consideration, instead of just taking future for granted. Pre-empt potential challenges before any of those becomes reality. Most important of all, we should not be afraid to dream big – to come up with creative, wild and controversial ideas like the floating city described above – and spark debates and discussions which eventually might bring us to better understand how to address urban challenges in the future. •

References 1.nextnature.Net (2015). https://www.nextnature. net/2015/03/interview-liam-young/ Interview: Liam Young on Speculative Architecture and Engineering the Future. 2.Holder, Josh, et al. (2017). “The Three-Degree World: Cities That Will Be Drowned by Global Warming.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, cities/ng-interactive/2017/nov/03/three-degree-world-citiesdrowned-global-warming. 3.Japan Daily (2018). Japan throws out 620,000 tons of food a year, while 3 mil kids don't have enough to eat. 4. Nunez, Christina. (2019). “Sea Level Rise, Explained.” Sea Level Rise, Facts and Information, 27 Feb. 2019,

1. Ocean farming beneath the Floating City platform (Source : 2. water system and improve the ecosystem renewal. (Illustration of The Floating City in Japan 2020. Source: Students' assignment by Anubhav AICH,Kim INHWAN,Phillip CHEUNG,Kitty TONG,Cindy YUEN and Gordon Li from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.) 3. The City in the Sea. Source: Liam Young, Tomorrows Thoughts Today.)

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Founder & Managing Director, Studio Hartzema

Dipl. Eng., ir. Aikaterina Myserli

Architect & Urban Planner, Studio Hartzema


In the light of climate change, ecosystem derangement and weakening of local economies in the name of globalization and free trade, contemporary urban agglomerations seem to be better linked to the planetary network of supply and production than to their surrounding contexts. In view of this global “upscaling” of socio-metabolic processes - or, of what Neil Smith (1993) called “jumping scales” of the capitalist urbanization - a new conceptual framework for architects and urbanists emerges: the scale-less nature of the urban in the Anthropocene.

and metabolic flows. Almost 50 years ago, Superstudio had already started to address the issue of globalized urbanization, illustrating a world rendered uniform with a Continuous Monument shaped by “technology, culture and other inevitable forms of imperialism” (2003) [1971]. Today, reversing the idea of a monumentality associated with extreme urbanization, this project offers a different vision: the image of a uniform landscape defined by a sequence of interlinked, uninterrupted interventions shaping a sustainable monument for the 21st century.

Put in this context, future architects and urbanists will need to address globalized urbanization as a united, multi-scalar field of cascading resource streams, materials

Planetary Transformations What appears to be unprecedented for humanity today is that, for the first time,


the majority of human population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to reach 66% of the world’s population by 2050 (UN, 2014). Undoubtedly, this abrupt socio-metabolic up-scaling towards global supply chains reduces nature to an extensive operational landscape and brings about a series of severe environmental problems: low-oxygen zones, global warming, sealevel rise and contaminated crops are just a few of these urgent issues parading in contemporary urban agendas. Despite the fact that these problems can be seen across multiple spatial scales and locational contexts, theorists and professionals within the field of architecture and urbanism still seem to not fully understand the required arsenal of tools



with which to embrace today’s world of hybridity. The current disconnection between policies and actions taken, as well as the lack of a market for renewable energy and the limited receptiveness by various representatives of the business and the political world constitute considerable obstacles towards a more sustainable future. The biggest obstacle of all, however, is the lack of clear image of what this future would look like. Although fragmented versions of smart cities, wind parks and solar farms are offered generously by various design agencies, municipalities, energy companies and governance institutions worldwide, the gap between high-level decision-making and processes of self-organization at a local scale is wider than ever.

Revisiting Superstudio The key to imagining a sustainable future is to understand the complexity of the problem as a whole. Critical challenges arising from climate change problems require a radical reconfiguration of our socio-economic structures and a redefinition of our way of living; thus, fragmented actions could only prove relevant if they become part of a wider plan or an integrated network of actions. By superimposing a single gridded monolith on a series of urban and rural territories, Superstudio managed to reveal the image of a uniform, neutral space on colossal scale, which eradicated any pre-existing conditions and stressed the need to explore


the intersection between global abstraction and local specificity. The same way Superstudio’s Continuous Monument provided space for a new democratic and egalitarian society, contemporary societies ask for space that will accommodate the desired energy transition and will facilitate the necessary systemic and spatial changes. Although at first glance one might argue that there is sufficient space (at least on a global level) to allocate all the necessary interventions - food production, solar farms, wind parks, forests etc. - it is crucial to understand that the discussion does not revolve (only) around the quantitative aspect of space; it primarily hinges upon the definition of space as a landscape that entails legal systems, emotions, cultural values and symbolic meanings.


According to this theorem, this neutral and non-ideological common ground of available rural and peri-urban land will dominate the modus operandi of theorists and practitioners and will allow for large-scale interventions that span across administrative boundaries, distinct land uses and contrasting spatial configurations. The sustainable monument will serve then as a field for interventions that feed our cities, offer energy and matter for the continuation of our own future and provide a fertile ground for new legislative entities, wider administrative boundaries and intense collaborations.

require around 5-10% of the unbuilt space - especially if no densification projects take place. However, if we try to calculate the amount of land we need in order to cover the overall energy needs of the Netherlands, which is approximately 3150 PJ, things start to get out of hand. In fact, we would need to cover almost 15% of all the Netherlands with wind turbines to achieve this amount2. Before rushing into claiming that there is no available space, it is useful to understand what should happen with the space that fossil fuel depletion or the switch to indoor food production will leave behind. When superimposing the historical Beemster grid (934m x 934m) on the unbuilt territory of the Randstad, it becomes clear that the

to act upon this neutral field. A large-scale appropriation and conversion of Randstad’s neutral space into vast forests, arrays of solar fields or types of biomass crops suitable for biofuel generation will set the foundations for designing energy transition, raise awareness and, most importantly, help contemporary societies embrace radical change.

Uncharted Future The Randstad has yet to experience this kind of paradigm shift. Divided into different administrative entities and governance boundaries, it is often suffering from miscoordination between different

100km 100km

In that sense, the image of monumentality in this analysis is slightly different from what is normally associated with the Continuous Monument. The sustainable monument repurposes familiar productive landscapes and introduces new ones that are crucial to our survival. In this way, we begin to be partakers in its unfolding and we become the ones responsible for redefining the connection between local particularities and their role in a greater plan.


The Randstad Case Being a polycentric metropolis, the Randstad serves as a great test bed for this theorem. Separated into various administrative entities, it calls for the reevaluation of the problematic links between local communities, municipalities and provinces and for a direction that will unite all these disparate actors.

"The sustainable monument re-purposes familiar productive landscapes and introduces new ones that are crucial to our survival"

space available could evolve either into a sharing entity between different cities or into a field of conflict between them.

According to rough estimates, almost 75% of the Randstad are comprised of unbuilt space1, mostly occupied by agriculture and grassland. According to our calculations, transforming just 1.5%-2% of it into solar fields or wind parks could cover 100% of the Randstad’s needs in electricity whereas additional calculations indicate that planting 17% of the unbuilt space with woody biomass could generate 25% of the same amount. As a frame of reference, the projected urban expansion by 2050 will

Forms of self-organization through municipal initiatives or provincial agendas have emerged as a first attempt to respond to the increasing problems of climate change in the Netherlands. For lack of a coherent vision on a high-level, all these approaches still fail to provide a clear image for the future. Nevertheless, as many centuries of meticulous planning and engineering have resulted in a certain minimum of centralized planning necessary for the Randstad’s survival, maybe now it is the time to apply this centralized approach



sectors and asks for more integrated strategies between the various stakeholders. Similarly, the global upscaling of sociometabolic processes will also require cooperation and planning on a high level. Without a united vision and a direction towards singular metabolism -to the extent that this is possible- we will find ourselves unable to cope with climate change. And this will inevitably have serious boomerang effects on our current socio-economic backbone. These remarks do not imply that contemporary societies have to compromise on their current standards of living; it merely reminds us that we cannot go on



anymore with brutally exploiting nature using the mechanistic and materialistic tactics of the capitalistic dogma. Restructuring our energy sources means restructuring not only our economy but also the way we perceive landscape and its value. Colossal interventions will make as partakers in the unfolding of transition and will bring change on our threshold. The sustainable monument is here to remind us that we are responsible for our own metamorphosis.


Echoing Superstudio’s work for one last time: "[Our problem today] is not to exploit nature’s resources wildly, but to exploit our minds." (2003, p.167). •


1. Reporting year: 2015. The calculations consider only the area shown in the visual (100km x 100km) and do not include water surface. The unbuilt part includes agriculture, recreation and woodlands. Built space includes also transportation networks (roads, railway networks etc.). Data source: Centraal bureau voor de statistiek (CBS).2018. Land use; all categories, municipalities. Calculations by authors. 2. Reporting year: 2016. Data source: EBN. energieinnederland. nl/. Calculation by authors, assuming maximum efficiency and minimum losses.

1. Lang, P,. Menking, W. (Eds.). 2003. Superstudio: Life without objects. Milano: Skira


2. Smith, N. 1984. Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space. Athens: The University of Georgia Press 3. United Nations (UN). 2014. World’s population increasingly urban with more than half living in urban areas. Retrieved on November 15, 2017 from

1. The Continuous Monument by Superstudio, 1970.Retrieved from pin/375135843959357882. 2. Durgerdam: A vision for radical forestation. Courtesy of Studio Hartzema. 3. Re-dividing Randstad's available space. Courtesy of Studio Hartzema . 4. Snapshot of Oudewater, 2050+. Courtesy of Studio Hartzema.


FUTURE CITIES FROM THE PAST “Every generation must build its own city” 1

by Oumkaltoum Boudouaya MSc Urbanism TU Delft


The world faces unprecedented rates of urbanisation. According to the United Nations, 55 percent of the global population currently lives in cities. By 2050, that number is expected to reach 68 percent, which means an additional 2.5 billion people will reside in urban areas. How will cities adapt to these facts? How do you envision your future city? And most importantly, w0hat are the drivers and characteristics that shape these future visions? When I was a child, my future city contained flying cars, crazy architecture, skyscrapers and no greenery and it was mainly inspired by futuristic cartoons. Yours is probably different, but whether you’ve thought about it or not you probably have some blurred conception in your imagination. There was always a future city, but to what extent were planners’ visions of the future of cities accurate? In this article, I will go through the most iconic visions by different profiles; architects, urbanists, artists… And I will try to reflect on what was predicted depending on what was happening at the time these predictions were made. Speculative futures and the technologies projected within these visions reveal a lot about how humans and cities expect to progress.

Metropolis, 1927 Metropolis is one of the famous classic movies by the German director Fritz Lang. It shows a future where the city is structured in vertical layers according to the different social strata (See picture 1). Wealthy industrialists have privileged lifestyles in high-rise towers whilst the lower class workers live underground. The urban vision of Metropolis reflects on rapid city industrialisation and its future possibilities.

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This is something we could recognise today in several cities suffering from a huge wealth gap.

Futurama, 1939 Or what was called: Past vision of the World of Tomorrow. This year marks 80 years since the 1939 New York World fair. The biggest of all predictions at the fair was the General Motors ‘Futurama’ exhibit which orbited on motorised seating around



a diorama of America in 1960, crafted by Bel Geddes. The onset of the automobile promotes a super road infrastructure navigating the new verticality offered by skyscraper technologies and heights.

The Plug-in City, 1964 The Archigram group was very famous for its avant-gardist projects and ideas that provoked lot of debates. The Plug-in city was presented in 1964 showing a fascinating new approach to urbanism with a new perspective to Infrastructure and its role in the city. It is not a city in itself, but more of a constantly evolving “megastructure” that incorporates city functions related to housing, mobility and other essential services for its inhabitants. This vision demonstrates the will and tendency to challenge the traditional way of living towards what is coming up next; every piece is transportable, making it a growing and constantly changing urban environment.

Continuous City, 1969 The Collage made by Constant in 1969 consists of a symbolic representation of the New Babylon. It is a revolutionary project developed by artists from 1956 and 1974. It aims to create an alternative of the modern city, and that by abandoning work, family life and civics responsibilities and replace it by lifestyle based on gaming. The city is planned in two levels: a megastructure built on top of the ground where its inhabitants live freely following their desires and another floor where machines are doing the real work liberating the people from it. Reactive to post-war functional construction, Constant sought a focus on ‘everyday’ life, the routines and actions of citizens.

post-costal disaster housing, using Helium balloons, communities are lifted from the devastated space and thus, remain intact. Cloud skippers harness the jet stream staying afloat following where the wind takes them. The floating city re-imagines community as it focuses on sustainability.

Conclusion The purpose of this article is to show how important visioning the city is to shape the future of humanity. Thinking, theorizing and dreaming about tomorrow aims to influence the nature of the urban field at multiple scales while creating and supporting futures-based policy-makers, academics and practitioners. What do changing technologies, demographics and lifestyles mean for our cities? How can emerging tools help future proof cities and their citizens? What might your city look like in 50 or 100 years? Is it still going to be there? Or will it be erased by climate change? •

References 1. Sant’Elia 1914, Manifesto of Futurist Architecture. 2. Cureton P, Dunn N. 2014. Future of cities: a visual history of the future. The University of Lancaster 3. Frem J., Rajadhyaksha V., and Woetzel J.(UN). 2014. Thriving amid turbulence: Imagining the cities of the future.


Retrieved on July 1, 2019 from industries/public-sector/our-insights 4. Kalan E. (2010) The Original Futurama: The Legacy of the 1939 World's Fair. Retrieved on July 5, 2019 from a5322/4345790/

1. Metropolis (Dir: Fritz Lang) (Credit: Metropolis) 2. ‘Viewing the World of Tomorrow model’ by Bel Geddes, Futurama, New York World’s Fair, 1939. Courtesy of the Harry Ransom Centre. 3. Peter Cook (Archigram) Image supplied by the Archigram Archives. 4. Constant Nieuwenhuys, 'Symbolische voorstelling van New Babylon' Collage, 1969. Courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. 5. Studio Linfors (Clouds Architecture Office), Cloud Skippers, 2009.


Floating city, 2009 A community that lives in the air. Developed as a competition entry for



Dyson SpheresUltimate Megastructures Utopian powerhouses for an interstellar human civilisation. by

Tapasya Mukkamala

Msc. landscape architecture TU Delft

Imagine a large structure encapsulating our massive sun, trapping its immense energy and directing it back to the earth. “One should expect that, within a few thousand years of its entering the stage of industrial development, any intelligent species should be found occupying an artificial biosphere which completely surrounds its parent star,� - Freeman Dyson Initial speculations The whole concept of Dyson sphere was first explained in a science fiction novel Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon in 1937. The concept was only later popularised by a British theoretical physicist and mathematician Dr. Freeman J. Dyson. Dr. Freeman believes that the other "alien" civilisations could be millions of years ahead of the earth and could have rearranged their solar systems to meet their energy needs. According to him, these kinds of structures would be the logical way to meet the escalating energy needs of a technologically advanced civilisation and would be needed for long term survival. He also speculated that searching for similar structures like that of the Dyson sphere could lead to the detection of advanced extraterrestrial life.


demands. If the human civilisation builds a Dyson sphere, it would graduate to a type 2 Kardashev civilisation (stellar civilisation) capable of utilising nearly 100% of sun's energy output. With the current advancement rate, humans could start the first phase of the project in the next 25-50 years and complete it in only a few decades. Dyson Spheres, Swarms, Bubbles...

Need for a Dyson sphere

There were a lot of concepts proposed as feasible structures that would aid the harnessing of large quantities of energy. The Dyson sphere, swarm and bubble are the three popular concepts. The Dyson sphere is a solid or rigid dome that gives 100% coverage around the star. However, a completely opaque shell would be vulnerable to external impacts which may lead to its shattering, liable drifting and eventual collision with the sun, making it less feasible.

Given that most of our resources on planet Earth are starting to dwindle because of the ever growing demand for living spaces and energy, large shells enveloping the sun with massive arrays of solar panels could be a possible long-term solution to support our

A viable alternative to the Dyson sphere could be a swarm. It is a self supporting structure composed of independently orbiting panels. The absorbing and emitting surfaces would be coupled with magnetic fields on rotating bands of material

A dyson sphere is a hypothetical megastructure, "a spherical shell" that totally encompasses a star to intercept all the light released by the star and convert it into power outputs.



traveling well above orbital velocity. Another very popular form of the Dyson sphere is the Dyson bubble, which would be similar to a Dyson swarm and composed of many independent constructs. The constructs would not be in orbit around the star, but would be suspended by enormous light sails. They would be stationary with regard to the star and would be independent of each other. How to build a Dyson sphere? Firstly, we need energy to kickstart the project. The idea is to build the entire structure in iterative steps and not all at



phase. We would completely dismantle Mercury ( i.e. use more than half of its mass) in 40 years. If we wish to continue the project it would take another year to disassemble Venus as well. Phase 1 of the structure will produce energy which could be used for megascale supercomputing, conduct interstellar explorations and also for our own energy needs on planet Earth. once. This is because of the massive amounts of energy the project would require and by building small sections of the structure, one can provide the energy requirements for the rest of the project. Secondly, how do we source materials? Well, exploit another planet. In this case, Mercury. But why Mercury? Mercury has immense resources of iron and oxygen and is also the closest to the sun. The transportation of the finished modules of the structure gets easier. The project is then carried out in a 10 year timeline for each construction

Thoughts...What's next? A few scientists think that the structure built using the resources from Mercury is more than enough for our survival, but a few others suggest that we should keep expanding and contruct bigger Dyson structures. This would eventually lead to the "restructuring of the solar system". Given the progressively worsening condition of planet Earth and our growing demand for energy, living spaces and other resources, there may not be another choice than to look out for extreme solutions like the construction of Dyson Spheres. •


1. Escher Dyson sphere: an interpretation of Dyson sphere by M.C. Escher (Source : http:// EschrDys.html) 2. A marvel comic speculating Dyson spheres as the solution for energy generators for interstellar human civilisations. (Source: blog/tony-stark-and-dyson-spheres/DViP_ uLxEX20MPDer1JLlLMKwYn5NQ)

References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

ATLANTIS 29.1 Constructed Geographies

29.2 Contested Domains

Territor[e]alities The theme of the 29th Volume of “Atlantis | Magazine for Urbanism and Landscape Architecture� is an exploration on the act, the form and the content of the ways humanity structures and operates its appropriated geographies. Our goal was to approach, describe, explore, discuss and elaborate upon the various elements that come into play within the process of establishing territories and how these are perceived: what behaviours they generate and how they are engraved on the terrestrial, marine, atmospheric

29.3 Challenged Realms

terrains, interstellar space, as well as human consciousness. The list of elements and their respective interconnections are seemingly endless. Consequently, the series of cover designs that adorned these 4 issues sought to illustrate precisely this. The idea behind the cover design was to showcase 4 distinct interpretations of what territories are as if they were conceived by different individuals, albeit in one unified frame. We were interested in exhibiting, at the same time, both the inherent differentiation of territorializations and landscapes, as well as their apparent interembeddedness.

As such, Volume 29 is portrayed through: 1. an act of construction, 2. an act of socially-culturally-economically-politically appropriated space, 3. an act of response, and 4. an act of speculating on potential territories. Being different aspects of the one and the same process, the unique character of each of the 4 is brought forth through different graphic representations and visual identities, corresponding, at the same time, to the different perceptions of their authors. In the end, the cover, reflecting our content, is one transforming landscape of a multitude of operations. •

29.4 Emerging Appropriations

volume 29


Sonder, stage and serendipity by

Ashwin Suresh

Architect Chennai, India



n. The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk (Dictionary of obscure sorrows, 2013) 30 30

atlantis To Sonder This word is one of the several fabricated in the online “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows”, to define the many abstract ideas that lack words of their own in the formal standard dictionaries of the English language. While the site itself is a hallmark of creating and appropriating new words and meaning to emergent ideas, it is the word itself that’s reflective of the paradoxical depth and disconnect that is prevalent in contemporary times. The apparent paradox being of an increasingly connected world with disconnected lonely people. This essay, however, is not another cry for help in the face of dystopian predictions on the future of humanity; but rather an attempt to combine the extant frontier of inspirations across various fields of technology, augmented reality, gaming and urbanism to better human interactions in a positive way. The Disconnect In his book “Lost Connections”, Johann Hari dissects the various causes of depression and anxiety, and zeros in on the possibility that lost human interaction, such as that between families, friends and even strangers, had been a primary cause of depression amongst a large swathe of people (Hari, 2018). Worse still are the various studies that attribute the thinning of human connections to social networks and digital media, such as that carried out by Dr. Sherry Turkle (Turkle, 2011). And for the better part of the decade, this has been the standard rhetoric of the press and scientific community. This is, however, only a part of a larger picture. The quality of human interactions have been on the decline since the advent of telecommunications and probably even as far back as the first industrial revolution. The modern digital media is but the latest symptom. A better way to look at the disconnect is to look at how human interaction takes place in its’ three forms: physical or spatial, virtual and psychological. While the three are not mutually exclusive and have many interactions between them, most interactions solely fall within one of the spheres.

necessities for survival. Of the two forms, the physical or spatial interactions were given credence as the initiators of long term human connections. This is the reason why public spaces, more importantly gathering spaces, were given prominence in settlement designs: such as the Agoras of Greece or the Chaupals in Indian settlements.

media, which provide near-instantaneous communication, may be used as the initiator for other physical ways of interacting that takes place physically, such as in a city. The combined effect of these may lend to deeper psychological interactions, overcoming the problem at hand.

This predominance of the physical form of interaction was sidestepped on the emergence of virtual communication, starting with the telegram. As telecom evolved, newer forms of virtual communications emerged, and most interactions remained set in the virtual sphere, other than the limited exchange in the physical sphere. And herein lies the conundrum. Whilst virtual interactions can carry the same audiovisual communication as the physical; non-verbal communication such as presence, eye-contact, body language, etc are devoid; and this lends a sense of shallowness that interferes with the psychological bonding process. The depth of reciprocity is also hampered. This has been proved time and again by several studies, such as Dr. Trukle's (Turkle, 2011). The most immediate solution to this growing problem is the blitzkrieg of social media suicides and digital detoxes, where the person disappears from all forms of virtual existence for a brief period of time. Evidence for the success of these methods are slim and most people who undergo such therapy eventually relapse into similar previous condition.

Let us consider the “City” as a blank canvas on which the spatial interactions are seeded by existing virtual means such as augmented reality and social media. This becomes an experimental ground on which emergent forms of human interactions, that are tangible on a psychological basis, may be incubated and experimented upon.

A more potent solution is that of integration. Integrating the leverage provided by virtual communication with that of physical, spatial and psychological interactions would be an essential means to sidestep the growing hollowness that the former provides. Digital and social

Before the advent of modern telecommunications, most human interactions happened either in the physical and psychological form: participating in hunting, settlement building, foraging, etc were physical interactive activities that evolved various psychological bonds such as families, tribes and guilds. Humanity had evolved to expect these as basic

New Tribalism and City-scale Playspaces In the aforementioned digital detox and de-addiction centres, an increasing number of young adults are admitted with “Gaming addiction”, especially to that of the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft or Fortnite. Though a relatively recent trend, the prevalence of the issue vary significantly with different regions, from 0.2% of the youth population in Germany to as much as 50% of that in South Korea. In her findings on the matter, Dr. Daria J. Kuss notes multiple motives that immerse people to the games, such as a sense of shared ideals and values, reputation in the game’s online community, competition and challenges and escapism from reality (Kuss, 2013). The game provides the social needs that are lacking in the lives of the gamers’ reality, and they are ensnared in it. While this does seem like a grim situation, there are ingredients in what these games provide that may seed better forms of gaming in a spatial context.



atlantis Games that use geolocation as a mechanic is not a new concept and some of them, such as Ingress by Niantic, have a niche global following all the way from its inception in 2012. The objectives of the game and it’s challenges are geo-specific and requires the player to travel to different locations with their smart phones to complete them. Such type of gameplay was made hugely popular for a limited amount of time by Pokemon Go, also from Niantic. The global appeal for these games are, sadly, short lived and other than a niche fan following, most players drop out of them. The problem here lies not in the geo-location based mechanic, but in the way these games are structured: they lack the mechanics that make MMORPGs popular. On the other hand, a genre called Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) hold much promise, as these involve several interactions that take place in the virtual world and the real one. Games such as Black Watchmen from Alice & Smith studios have tasks that require large scale interaction between several player groups in different parts of the world to solve them in a piecemeal fashion. Better still, these games are context specific and the activities such as clue-drops or supply drops happen in the context of the cities they are based in. This would require favours from people that are often not the players themselves but are roped in to aid in the game. While an exciting concept, these games are still far too niche, with a miniscule following, and the gameplay takes place in real-time, meaning most tasks have plenty of time between

them. These games are also incredibly difficult to jump in mid-play. Gamers are fiercely fanatical of what they play, because it satiates the psychological needs that are otherwise lacking in their real lives. They seek gameplay that is challenging, immersive, reputable and with perceptible causality. The social aspect of these games provide an almost “Tribelike” characteristic to the players and they organically group into guilds within these games, based on shared values. There is yet to be an AR game in the current marketplace that provides for such a depth in gameplay. The potential for such games is staggering, especially when used in the urban context. Imagine future games designed not just for depth and replayability value but also highly geo-specific and context specific, with challenges designed and shared by local residents both virtually and in realtime and game specific events are broadcast on social and digital media for anyone to participate in! When designed for scale, these games might require a large number of casual urban participants to interact and work through any event or challenge and so more people can always hop-in. Such games would spark new ways in which human connections may be enhanced. And if the barrier of entry is kept low enough, game nights would be eclectic and would cease to remain the casual isolated affair for geeks! This would seem no longer like a pipedream, as newly announced games such

as Minecraft AR promise to provide unprecedented levels of interactive AR gameplay in the near future. Fingers crossed! Happenstance to Romance Serendipity is a powerful initiator of human interaction in the physical realm: countless stories and relationships have begun on happy happenstance and coincidences and these have been the base for the many adventures and novels that people consume. Sadly, in the virtual world it is a mixed-bag affair. During the inception years of the internet, virtual serendipity did mimic that of the real world, in the countless chatrooms, craigslist, etc. Over time, priority had been given to predictability and profiling algorithms that aid in the ability to search quickly for what a user requires and to display preferential advertisements that match their profile. Deplorably, this is a persistent feature in every social media platform, dubbed as “Cyber-Balkanisation”, where users are categorized with hyper-tagged content that match their preferred personal, artistic, political, culinary, etc tastes. This is economically lucrative to the platforms and also reduces the distaste and dissent amongst its users. Even on sites such as StumbleUpon, which openly promote serendipity, users are only provided content that matches their initial tag-clouds, without reaching far into related offerings that may be as interesting (Leopold, 2013) Even those applications such as Tinder or

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atlantis eHarmony that promote serendipity for interpersonal relationships comprise of the same simple yet objective algorithms that shepherd users on the basis of profile imagery, personal tastes and location (Tiffany, 2019). The catch here being that the location is provided as a range measure and not for any context specificity, like a place of common interest or activity. This is the same for platonic friend-finder apps like Bumble or Friender. What's more, in a comprehensive study conducted by Dr. Ramirez et al, the interactions that take place in the virtual realm in these apps coerce users to create mental constructs of the people they meet by means of their profiles, filling in for any information that is missing, thereby creating idealized personas of these people (Ramirez et al, 2014). This perception is then dampened when they meet face to face, often resulting in many of these connections to break off even before they reach psychological depth and maturity. The only way to overcome this outcome, is to encourage face to face interaction at the earliest. There are two emergent proposals to solve this. The first is to leverage the same functions as these application platforms provide: to create comprehensive profiles with personal interests and aspirations. But the difference being, like in the aforementioned games, most communications are pushed to the spatial realm by means of geotagging and context specific interactions. An illustration of this is, if a person is in a bar or any other public realm, they will be notified of a person with shared interests is nearby but without revealing any personal details or the specific location. In order to initiate a conversation, a request can be sent in real-time, fulfilling which the name and location is revealed. What this allows for is rapid, serendipitous face to face interactions avoiding any virtual “Cat-fishing” or dishonest persona building. Here the application acts as a virtual “wingman” without being overly intrusive. Privacy concerns can be overcome by means of having the application activate only in tagged public places and to let the users control when they wish to be revealed. The second method has already been tried with mixed results in an app named “Flirtar”, wherein the users may be present in the same location physically, and the app would show the profile details of the person they are interested in, so long as they are registered within the app. Here the profile data acts as an ice-breaker to initiate conversations. This is the inverse of the previous method. Begrudgingly, the app itself is mired in privacy problems and a lack of patronage; problems that have arisen due to a lack of proper integration and not due to the concept itself.


These methods may be viable emergent appropriations in the near future of dating and friend-finding, especially if properly adopted and integrated by existing successful apps like Tinder or Bumble. Perhaps then, the hollowness of online interactions and personas may be put to good use in better real world connections to form deep and meaningful relationships, romantic or otherwise! Finding Messages in Washed-up Bottles As denouement to this essay, let’s focus on the word at the start: “sonder”. This completely fabricated word also embodies the final mile in the integration of the virtual and physical world: impersonal virtual communication. Impersonal communication has always manifested in art and at times, in conjunction with architecture, they can be used to create complex narratives that are encapsulated in their respective spaces. In the virtual realm, impersonal messages, that transcend the boundaries imposed by platforms to become ubiquitous to anyone present in a specific place would be the epitome of human interaction. To illustrate, the artwork created on Minecraft AR in Times Square, NY may be visible to a person exploring the same place through Google Street in Saudi Arabia, should they choose. Or a poem composed on a trekking trail in the Himalayas can serendipitously appear piece by piece on someone else's phone as they seek the trail, years later. What this speaks of is not the craft of wordplay or the beauty of art left behind, but that of the experience another has had in the space. The glimpse of someone else’s tale that one shares for a brief moment. Akin to finding messages enclosed


in bottles washed up in seashores; the message itself may be without context and is unknowledgeable. What is more pertinent is the understanding that someone unbeknownst to us had been willing to send it with the hope of being heard, and therein lies the essence to what we’ve all missed! To communicate without boundaries, whatever the means, and to acknowledge and find meaning in the connections we have, had and make! •

References 1. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Retrieved from https:// sonder 2. Johann Hari. (2018). Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression. Bloomsbury publishing plc 4 3. Sherry Turkle. (2011). Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Basic Books 4. Daria J. Kuss. (2013). Internet gaming addiction: Current Perspectives. DovePress Psychology research and Behavior Management Journal. 5. Todd Leopold. (2013). Internet gains are Serendipity’s Loss. Retrieved from web/internet-serendipity/index.html 6. Kaitlyn Tiffany. (2019). The Tinder algorithm, explained. Retrieved from https://www.vox. com/2019/2/7/18210998/tinder-algorithm-swiping-tipsdating-app-science 7. Artemio Ramirez, Erin M. Sumner, Christina Fleuriet, Megan Cole. (20 4). When Online Dating Partners Meet Offline: The Effect of Modality Switching on Relational Communication Between Online Daters. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication

1. Isolation. Source: Freeimages 2. Crowd. Source: Kylie White. Retrieved from 3. Simulated key art for Minecraft Earth. Source: Microsoft 4. Message in a bottle. Source: Andrew Measham. Retrieved from https://unsplash. com/@andrewmeasham


CAN AI MAKE OUR CITIES BETTER? The potential of AI integrated tools



by Karishma Asarpota Urban Planner

Author Yuval Noah Harari (2016) and technologist Sebastian Thrun (2017) explain AI as a technology that allows us to do repetitive things in a faster and efficient way. AI is successful today because it can process a large volume of data much faster than a human being can. The availability of massive amounts of data combined with the capabilities of machine learning makes AI capable of re-writing its own code to outperform humans. AI has made its way in almost every field including urban planning. Urban planning is understood as the laws and policies that coordinate actions that may have an impact on the spatial form of the city. Planning is a coordination tool to manage contradicting interests and ensure efficiency and equity in the use of land and resources. Urban planners today are faced with the difficult task of balancing environmental and societal values, politics, technology and economics. They must cope

with numerous challenges while trying to provide efficient infrastructure, housing, energy, safety, healthcare, education and a high-quality urban environment for residents in their city. The development of AI in urban planning has increased in the last two decades. Wu and Silva (2010) provide a comprehensive overview on how AI is being used in urban analysis and modelling today. Tools developed from AI algorithms are integrated in existing analysis tools for example, within geographic information systems (GIS). GIS is a tool to visualize, analyze and interpret spatial data to understand relationships, patterns and trends in a better way. Integrating AI techniques increases the analysis capability of GIS to provide solutions for effective optimization of certain systems and processes. For example, land use allocation for new areas can be analyzed and mapped much faster by GIS when ES (expert system), which is a knowledgebased AI system that emulates expert decision making in a domain, is integrated within it. In transportation systems swarm intelligence (SI) which is an algorithm that optimizes decentralized, self-organizing systems is used to optimize traffic flows by providing alternative routes to the user.


Using this reasoning method combinatorial optimization problems characterized by uncertainty for public transit schedules and ride-sharing can be overcome. Wu and Silva (2010) also highlight that although different AI techniques are integrated within existing tools, approaches to integrate spatial and non-spatial factors in urban areas are scarce. This is because the AI techniques don’t have an integrated framework that merges spatial and nonspatial factors to develop within. Urban decision making is complex and requires the convergence of many actors. AIbased urban modeling is interdisciplinary relating to many different subjects such as engineering, architecture, geography, economics etc. Subjectivity of decisions that can be made by different actors and the limitations of the various interdisciplinary fields is reflected in the development of AI and can restrict its capabilities in urban modelling and decision making. Moreover, making these decisions raises big ethical and social questions. Consider the impact of self-driving cars on the urban landscape. The implementation of autonomous transportation system combined with SI could result in less traffic problems and increased safety. Such a transport system won’t require as much


space as our highways currently take up. In this case, what will we use the space for? Climate mitigation measures? Or urban development? New public and community space? Or perhaps more cars? Some of these questions collide with sensitive ethical questions as well. Who should benefit from this? The local community? Or the companies who developed the autonomous vehicles? This debate is a contentious one with no easy answers. Most of the choices that need to be made will be context based since all urban issues have different meanings in different geographical contexts. The nonspatial factors that influence these decisions play a very big role. Although global urban issues such as poverty or urbanization or the emergence of smart cities are prevalent, the context of Beijing is different from Amsterdam or Riyadh or Mumbai. The inherent characteristics of local culture and attitudes, climate and governance are distinct and cannot be addressed in a ‘global’ solution. The UN-Habitat (2015) points out that responding to urban issues through sustainable development is the biggest challenge lying ahead of us today. This is the accepted global norm for what planning should deliver. Explicitly or implicitly, urban planning emphasizes the need for sustainable development and provides a framework to tackle the uncertainties of urban issues. How will the development of

AI affect this framework? Are we ready to address environmental and social questions that are becoming increasingly relevant through the development of AI? Today, AI is successful in performing single domain tasks and is increasing the planner’s capability to make decisions about one issue such as land use change or site selection with more speed and precision. Not much progress has been made in integrating multi-domain tasks within the current capabilities of AI. This means that even AI as it exists today, doesn’t have what it takes to integrate data to make decisions and plan cities better than human beings. This could change in the future as an increasing amount of applications are being developed and tested. Knowledge-based intelligent systems could potentially change the way in which we perceive and use data in urban decision making. Planners are already conflicted between balancing technology, politics, economics, environment and societal values. They need to position themselves between professionalism and politics. Will this dilemma be amplified or reduced with the progress of AI? Maybe it is too soon to answer this question. Perhaps the next generation of urban planners will need to rely on their innate emotions and sense of empathy, authenticity, integrity, imagination, intuition and above all honesty to guide their decisions. Planners also need to rely on their collaborative capacity to solve problems since no individual can visualize or comprehend the complexity of urban systems. They form a small part of

the multi-layered web that no single person really understands completely. Going ahead we need to ask ourselves if we are adapting our skillset and qualities to be capable of navigating through an even more complex urban environment to deliver a sustainable future for our globe.•

References 1. Harari, Y. N. (2016). Homo Dues: A Breif History of Tomorrow: Harvill Secker. 2. Ning Wu, E. A. S. (2010). Artificial Intelligence: Solutions for Urban Land Dynamics: A review. Journal of Planning Literature, 24(3), 246-265. doi:10.1177/0885412210361571 3. Thrun, S. 2017. TED talk with Chris Anderson – What AI is and isn’t. Available from: and_chris_anderson_the_new_generation_of_ computers_is_programming_itself/up-next 4. UN-Habitat, U. N. H. S. P. (2015). Urban Solutions. Retrieved from Nairobi. 1. Aerial View of City Network, Beijing, China. Retrieved from ca/photo/aerial-view-of-city-network-beijingchina-gm881634740-245440084 2. KOVA smart cities. Retrieved from uploads/2017/12/KOVA-Smart-Cities.jpeg

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HOME AWAY FROM HOME Inter-terrestrial exploration of human habitats


by Kavya Kalyan MSc Urbanism TU Delft

Humanity’s quest for conquering new lands and constantly breaking barriers is at an all-time high. As if five hundred odd million square kilometres of landmass on Earth was not enough, new explorations and findings of physical environments conducive to life have led people to examine the possibility of human habitation on other planets as well. Building on these discoveries are a number of troops that have dived right in, to investigate ways and forms of life that could one day be a reality in these extraterrestrial bodies. In this regard, Mars has surpassed the moon as the next big target for human occupation, giving rise to a

number of initiatives driving research in this field. Mars City Design is a platform for creating cities on Mars, showcasing innovative proposals every year in the fields of architecture, urban design, interior design and branding, sustainable energy, transportation and AI. A winning entry in the field of architecture was MIT’s domed tree habitats that are interlinked below ground. Named ‘Redwood Forest’, the project actually mimics a forest in that it uses local resources such as Regolith, ice, water and sun to support life, collecting



energy from the sun to create a water-rich environment. The dome houses public spaces and an abundance of plants and water, with a network of roots, or tunnels that will be used to access private spaces, as well as provide protection from radiation and extreme temperature variations. This network of tunnels connects other tree habitats in the community. What is interesting about this proposal is the diversity that comes with its parametric design, where each habitat is unique, much like the diversity in a forest ecosystem. While this makes for an interesting living environment, quite unlike the current copy-

atlantis paste paradigm of replicable homes, it will be interesting to see how this will respond to the far future, assuming that there will be a need for much higher densities within these underground living habitats. The Martian bug seems to have bitten many names, including Bjarke Ingels Group, whose 'Mars Science City project', which is a simulation of life on the surface of the neighbouring planet in the UAE desert, is an attempt to bring the Martian experience closer home. This is set to provide the backdrop for a year’s experience as an inhabitant of the red planet by replicating the surface conditions and studying selfsufficiency in hostile environments. In addition to drawing up schemes, some have gone a step further to test them out on Earth. One such initiative is that of NASA – the Mars Habitat Design Competition, which brought to light various proposals for human habitats on Mars. The thread of commonality between these projects lies in the technology of 3D printing – one that is considered to be a boon to the construction industry for its speed and efficiency. Marsha, for example, AI SpaceFactory’s rover that won the 3D-printed Mars Habitat Design Competition, is a proposal that focuses on using the material available on Mars with the ISRU (In-Situ Resource Utilisation) technology to create 3D printed habitats that can withstand the atmospheric pressure and extreme conditions on the planet. These structures, shaped like vertically-elongated eggs, are designed to reduce mechanical stresses at the top and base, while increasing speed and efficiency in construction as the shape reduces the need for the machine to move around continuously as it constructs the doubleshell structure.

of construction and sustainability first. However, it does pave way for an ideal method of construction on Earth. This, in contrast to the ‘Redwood Forest’ could result in a replicable model across interplanetary habitats, if it were ever to catch on on Earth. The 'Mars Science City project' and TERA are attempts to replicate Martian environments on Earth, trying to create a synergistic approach to rethinking human habitats in the wake of emerging technology, be it on Earth or any other planet. While these projects have given us a peek into what the physical environment will be like, it is yet to determine what life would be like. Advancement in the technology of 3D-printing or additive manufacturing will be a big determinant in shaping patterns of life on the foreign planet. While on one hand, it produces very little waste and contributes to efficiency in building, on the other hand, anything can be made out of a whim within a few hours unless the use of it is controlled. Will we be able to learn from our mistakes on Earth? Or will we leave mountains of trash as we continue to hop, skip and jump to the next planet, bearing the consumerist flag? The projects indicate that there is a clear intention of starting on a clean slate and in the most sustainable manner possible. How can this technology then be implemented, in a cost-effective way, to change the way we build on Earth? If implemented, what will be its social and economic consequences? The application of these

Adopting this technology and using a biopolymer basalt composite a similar habitat, TERA, has been built on Earth. This material is much more sustainable than concrete and steel, and has the potential to change the way we build on Earth. This proposal comes from a purely technical approach, putting the efficiency


ideas and methods on Earth will have layered effects on existing systems – social, economic, environmental and political. It will be interesting to see the extent to which this synergistic approach to adapting human environments across planetary boundaries will affect the way we live now.•

References 1. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2019, from AI SpaceFactory: https:// 2. Azzarello, N. (2017, September 27). bjarke ingels to build massive mars space simulation city in the UAE desert. Retrieved June 2019, from Design Boom: https://www.designboom. com/architecture/bjarke-ingels-mars-science-city-big-dubaiuae-09-27-2017/ 3. Panagiotopoulos, V. (2017, November 5). If architects designed our life on Mars, it would look like this. Retrieved June 2019, from Wired: 4. Schwab, K. (2017). Exclusive: Bjarke Ingels On Designing A Martian City. Retrieved June 2019, from Fast Company:

1. Redwood Forest (Source : Valentina Sumini, MIT Redwood Forest Team. Retrieved from 2. AI SpaceFactory's Marsha (Source: Retrieved from


Geographies of Power

Spatial Strategies for a just energy transition in Tamil Nadu


Preetika Balasubramanian MSc Urbanism TU Delft

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Thesis | Planning Complex Cities Studio | Msc4 Urbanism | TU Delft 2019

Energy and Space have a reciprocal relationship (Sijmons, 2014). This relationship between energy and space has historically been driven by necessity and the drive for development. The human development of energy resources occurs at the intersection of energy and space, leaving distinct, permanent marks and spatial patterns on the land. The resulting landscapes of energy production, networks of distribution and territories of consumption together constitute a distinct spatial typology called ‘energyspace’. This energy-space is under constant development, transformation and exponential expansion, due to the increasing global demand for energy and shifts in energy outlook (Fig. 1). The spatial dimension is extremely important in the context of energy transition since renewable sources of energy use and produce space in a different way than non-renewable sources. Renewable energy needs 100 to 1000 times more space to be produced than non-renewable energy sources (Smil, 2015), which reinforces the necessity of spatial planning in energy development. There is an urgent need to integrate the fields of spatial planning and energy development to mediate the opportunities and conflicts that will mould the energy-space of the future. My graduation project, called ‘Geographies of Power-Spatial Strategies for a ‘just’ energy transition in Tamil Nadu’ explored the spatial dimension of energy transition, by taking the case of Tamil Nadu, India (Fig. 3). By studying, mapping and analysing existing energy landscapes of the state, a framework for transitioning to renewable energy (R.E.) sources was presented. A regional design, comprising of a set of spatial strategies and a Strategic Plan for the state provides pathways for an adaptive, inclusive and collaborative energy transition in Tamil Nadu. The following paragraphs present a brief overview of the project, including the research, analysis and proposed design interventions.


Tamil Nadu, India The southern state of Tamil Nadu in India with a population of over 68 million, has been a pioneer in renewable energy (R.E.) development in the country since 1985, when it set up a separate ministry for research into renewable sources, called the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA). At around 11650MW of renewable energy generation, Tamil Nadu accounts for nearly 32% of India’s total RE installed capacity and 35% of India’s total wind energy installed capacity, despite being only 4% of the country’s geographic extent (Nesamalar,, 2017). The state has ambitious plans to continue harvesting the estimated 720 GW of R.E. potential (60 times the current R.E installed capacity), with proposals to add 21.9GW of wind and solar energy by 2022 (Fig. 5). To echo Belanger (2018), who will produce this energy? Who will benefit from it? Where will the new energy landscapes be built? How will it be governed? What will they leave behind? In Tamil Nadu, transition to renewable energy continues to operate under extractivist, capitalist energy systems of the fossil fuel era, monopolized by private energy companies and supported by a rigid top-down governance system. This has led to large scale transformation of land for energy development without spatial considerations, and acute regional inequalities in energy access and distribution of benefits of the transition. Furthermore, the systemic barriers to the participation of individuals, communities

and other members of civil society in energy transition impede long term societal acceptance and adoption of transition values. Through the analysis of existing systems of resource extraction and their implications on space, place and people, the project argues that the shift to R.E needs to be accompanied by a transformation of the spatial, societal and political structures to create an adaptive, inclusive and collaborative energy transition in Tamil Nadu. Specifically, the project illustrates the scope and application of ‘regional design’ in national and federal planning of energy development. In other words, the research question of the project is:

How can regional design of emerging geographies of energy create a framework for a ‘just’ energy transition in Tamil Nadu?




The project answers this by exploring and building analytical knowledge on the spatial implications of energy transition on urban and rural landscapes in Tamil Nadu, and the systemic deficiencies in energy governance that create barriers to equitable ownership and access to energy. The inferences gained from the analytical exploration is used to derive normative guidelines for the transformation of energy production landscapes into resilient infrastructural systems, through a collaborative governance structure that bridges the gap between top-down and bottom-up initiatives in energy transition, and creates conditions for energy justice, while offering higher social, economic and ecological returns.

transition to renewables and inform long term local visions and development plans that transcend administrative borders. The set of six spatial strategies and the toolbox of design interventions, solutions, policies, and regulations act as guiding principles to create an adaptive, inclusive and collaborative energy transition in Tamil Nadu. The set of strategies aim at increasing R.E production by densifying existing energy production landscapes, finding unique opportunities for combining energy production with other sectors, and coproducing energy through bottom-up initiatives.

While this is discussed extensively in the report*, here a brief overview of the regional design and spatial strategies proposed in the project is presented. Specifically, strategies for densification energy production landscapes and coproduction of energy through community owned infrastructure is tested using the case of Tamil Nadu, India.

One of the overarching issues addressed through the research and design is the rapid transformation of landuse patterns and reorganization of territories through extractive energy development. This strategy aims to prevent ‘energy sprawl’ by incentivsing the densification of existing energy production areas. The strategy will ensure minimal transformation of agricultural land and maximize the efficiency of the energy system by making use of the preexisting power transmission networks in the region. It comes into play primarily in the south and south-western regions of the state that have considerable wind and solar energy farms, some in operation since 1984. A key component of this strategy is to identify and upgrade old energy sites with run down infrastructure in areas of high energy potential, and strengthen transmission capacity of the

Regional design and Spatial strategies 3

The proposed regional design is assemblage of six context specific spatial strategies that act as guidelines for energy development, and provide pathways for the implementation of Energy Vision for Tamil Nadu 2050 (Figg. 2,4). The strategies drive the macro-regional integration of the

Densification of energy production landscapes




power grid to support densification. Apart from this, the strategy also promotes the inclusion of diverse energy types to create heterogenous energy landscapes that mutually reinforce one another. Coproduction of energy through community owned infrastructure This strategy aims at dissolving the monopoly of private energy companies in energy production by catalyzing the inclusion and participation of individuals and communities in energy transition. This is achieved by defining pathways and solutions for involving individuals, communities and cooperatives in the co-production of renewable energy along with private or state owned energy enterprises. This coproduction of energy involving local stakeholders improves the degree energy access and adds socioeconomic capital to the communities. The development of urban and rural mini grids, owned by neighbourhood or village level energy cooperatives supports local energy demands, empowers energy vulnerable populations, and positively contributes to their overall human development.

room for alternative practices and forms of extraction without exploitation. The post extractivist energy system needs a ‘different kind of imaging and imagination, action and retro-action, forms of representation and reclamation’, to undermine neoliberal strategies of land dispossession to produce energy and the resulting uneven forms of development. (Belanger, 2018). By taking the case of Tamil Nadu, India, the project contributed to the body of knowledge on spatial energy transition in a developing context like India, where it is important to include the challenges to energy justice and equality in the discourse. The potential transferability of the concepts, research methodology and design process for use in under-represented geographies of the Global South, that face similar challenges in spatial energy transition highlights the scientific and societal relevance of the project. The democratization of energy production creates a framework for a ‘just’ energy transition in Tamil Nadu, that transcends the conventional, extractivist, and capitalist systems of the fossil fuel era.

Through this project, I attempted to design and plan for renewable energy geographies of the future that reject the extractivist systems of the capitalocene (Moore, 2017) and fossil fuel expressionism (Sloterdijk, 2014). The current extractivist energy economy would be transition to a new economic model that respects the limits of the natural environment and creates

References 1.Sijmons, D., Hugtenburg, J., van Hoorn, A., & Feddes, F. (2014). Landscape and energy: Designing transition: Nai010 Publishers. 2. Smil, V. (2015). Power density : a key to understanding energy sources and uses. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 3. Nesamalar, J. J. D., Venkatesh, P., & Raja, S. C. (2017). The drive of renewable energy in Tamilnadu: Status, barriers and future prospect. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 73, 115-124. 4. Bélanger, P. (2018). Extraction Empire: Undermining the Systems, States, and Scales of Canada’s Global Resource Empire, 2017-1217: MIT Press. 5. Moore, J. W. (2017). The Capitalocene, Part I: On the nature and origins of our ecological crisis. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 44(3), 594-630. 6. Sloterdijk, P. (2014). You must change your life: On Anthropotechnics. Cambridge-Malden: Polity. *Link to the complete report: uuid:302bbd7d-662f-4be3-8745-8b924b1e284d

1. Energy and space. Source: Author. 2. Tamil Nadu energy vision. View. Source: Author. 3. Tamil Nadu, India. Source: Author. 4. Tamil Nadu energy vision. View. Source: Author. 5. Tamil Nadu energy vision. Map. Source: Author



Spatial Strategies for the Global Metropolis | Msc1 Urbanism | TU Delft 2019


PTiB Productive

Territories in Between


Suppliers of sustainable, economic, ecological and social needs of the AMA by

Jahnavi Bhatt Elisa Maria Isaza Rotem Shenitzer Schwake Rick Schoonderbeek Yi-Chieh Liao MSc Urbanism TU Delft


Our motivation is to find a sustainable solution for the further densification of the region required in order to answer the demand for 230,000 new homes by 2040. We are focusing on two main population growth concerns: 1. Higher demand for resources that the linear production will not be able to supply in the future. 2. Need for more space for new housing development, while the continuous growth of the region has already resulted in the spread of the built environment at an expense of open landscape.

We are interested in finding an actual space in the region which can fulfil these goals. Looking at the regional structure we see potential in the territories in between, a space in which we can act towards the change. In our research, we ask how can TiB contribute to the further densification of the region while promoting CE and a just environment.

To deal with these concerns we suggest a change from a linear economy to a circular economy (CE), and that new development should promote sustainability and a balance between ecology and urban needs.

The population growth goes hand in hand with a higher demand for resources such as energy, clean water, materials and minerals, infrastructure, and food. At the same time, these resources are becoming scarce,

Answering the growth-related issues with 3 prevailing notions: 1. Circular economy


since in the current linear production resources that are being used turn into waste. (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). Furthermore, the current linear production processes are causing serious negative environmental impacts, such as the production of greenhouse gas emission, low-quality air and ecosystem destruction (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). These problems are already putting pressure on AMA. As future trends forecast a 20% increase in the number of inhabitants by 2040 (OECD,2017), the region will have to supply more resources. Also, the hectic ports, the industries and Schiphol airport are all causing environmental damage. As a result of these pressures, we believe that a shift towards a circular economy can assist in resolving these urgent problems.

atlantis As opposed to the linear economy, in the circular economy resources (materials and products) will not turn into waste. Instead, resources will be designed to be reused, recycled and remanufactured preserving their high value, in order to contribute both for the economy and the environment (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). “CE may be seen as a system for production and consumption, which aims at balancing economic growth and development with environmental and resource protection” (Naustdalslid,2014). We believe that a shift towards CE is necessary in order to achieve sustainable development in the region. In our project, we will use CE to promote clean production, as a mean to create a healthier environment that can provide prosperity for future generation to come. 2. Housing demand Another growth-related issue is that with an increasing population, there will be a higher demand for housing. In the Netherlands, the government targets to answer this demand by developing 1 million houses by 2040. The AMA will require to build 230.000 new houses. However, the regional development over the past couple of decades, along with the future trend for large housing development needs have resulted in a continuous spread and sprawl of buildings at the expense of the open landscape. This constant urbanization has led to an imbalanced relationship between ecological and urban needs. In our opinion, housing development has the potential to become more sustainable. In order to create a balance between eco-

urban needs, we suggest to focus on the densification of existing urban fabrics and protect open landscape areas. Furthermore, we aim to promote the reuse of building materials and introduce the use of biobased materials for construction. This approach will co-relate with our suggested move towards circularity in the region. 3. Spatial Justice The growing housing demand and continuous sprawl together with the problems of the current linear production are also resulting in an unjust environment. Spatial Justice is not only about equality for opportunities and rights but also for space, access to green, and access to public transport. Soja (2009) defines spatial justice as “the fair and equitable distribution in space of socially valued resources and the opportunities to use them”. Currently within AMA, due to the high amount of industries, the pollution within the environment is unacceptably high. In the Netherlands, around 8000 people are killed by particulate matter in the air every year (Algemeen Dagblad News, 2018). The current impact on the environment increases risks and pressures on the future generation. We consider that a just society not only focuses on immediate accessibility of resources but also on the right to live in a clean healthy environment. With sustainable interventions, clean production, and reinforcing of ecosystems with the development of new policies for the region, we can help in achieving a just environment.

In light of these growth-related pressures (higher demand for resources and housing), our objective is to find a sustainable solution for the further densification of the region, emphasizing on a healthy clean environment. In order to achieve this, a shift towards CE and a more just environment is suggested. However, such a solution requires space for action, therefore, our next step is to find a possible space within the region where we can act in order to achieve our goal. Territories in between (TiB) The two growth-related issues will need an actual space in order to be resolved. First, as mentioned, since in the future the current linear production will not be able to answer the higher demand for resources, a shift toward a circular economy is necessary. However, in order to perform a circular economy in the region, an actual space is required for the recycling, storage, sorting, distribution, and manufacturing of new circular products. Second, in order to answer the growing housing demand of, space is needed for the construction of 240,000 by 2040. Yet, when addressing this demand with sustainability in mind, the conflict between the continuous spread and sprawl of housing at the expanse of open landscape and ecological systems should be considered. Over the past couple of decades, Amsterdam region continuous growth has resulted in the emergence of a distinctive spatial form, which does not match the definitions of urban nor rural or sprawl (Wandl,,2014). This form is not exclusive for AMA but can be seen in other regions across Europe (Wandl,, 2017).



atlantis will focus on productivity of economy related to clean and sustainable materials especially for construction with bio-based materials for new housing development. This category will also have an emphasis on cleaning and re-utilization of land resource. The core intention of interventions within this economic productivity will be to shift the production cycle from linear to a circular economy. 2. Ecology: The ecology of PTiB emphasises of healthy spaces and social interaction by intervening into the issue of accessibility of such territories. The interventions will include recreational space, and reinforcement of ecosystems.


Looking at the TiB within the AMA, we choose to focus on the places which we found have a high value in the potential to promote productivity in the economy and ecology category as explained briefly below: • Logistic hubs - High connectivity at regional, national and international scale • Wastescapes - Land opportunity • Business parks - Opportunity for job and knowledge exchange • Agricultural lands - Production of biobased sustainable housing materials and energy • Protected landscape and recreational landscapes - Opportunity for a healthy, clean environment and social integration. Productive Territories In-Between as a battery to the region 5

“TiB, are becoming increasingly important as contributors to both the problems and potential solutions to environmental issues in the near future” (Wandl, 2017)

definition to this form as “territories in between” (TiB). Due to their special and spatial characteristics, we believe that TiB can provide the space needed for (1) further densification of the region and (2) shifting towards C.E in the AMA.

“Much of the territory of Europe is neither distinctly urban nor rural but something ‘inbetween’”(Ulied, et al. 2010).

Space of action - Productive Territories In-Between

In his paper, Beyond urban-rural classification (Wandl,2014) Wandl introduces the relev ant literature and terms used to describe and define this unique spatial form, such as “peri-urban” (Piorr et al.,2011), “Tussenland” (Frijters et al.,2004), and “Zwischenstadt” (Sieverts,2001) all sharing the same conceptual base. He then introduces his own classification and

Taking into account these potentials as a mean to promote CE and a just region we came with our own concept and focal interest which we define as PTiB productive territories in between, which can be seen as a sub-category of TiB.

To optimize these TiB, the concept of productivity is proposed, redefining these territories as Productive Territories In-Between (PTiB). PTiB will promote productivity in order to perform CE, just and healthier AMA. Within this territory the productivity will function in two important categories: 1. Economy: The economy of PTiB


The current potential of PTiB is highly valuable and can be an important source of sustainable development. We compare the PTiB with the analogy of battery. The Oxford definition of battery “container consisting of one or more cells, in which energy is transformed into electricity” is reinterpreted for PTiB as “The region consisting of potential productive spaces, in which the spaces (like wastescape, industries, brownfields) is transformed to productive spaces, linear model is transformed into a circular model of production and individual planning policies are transformed to collaborative planning”. This comparison of PTiB with battery helps in deriving the concept vision for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. With the continuous rising population, there is a constant demand for resources, new housing and pressure on land. Hence, within the scope of this project, PTiB will focus on the production of sustainable construction material (economy) and a clean living environment (ecology). To achieve sustainable and healthy clean production, the project is based on 3 important pillars. 1. Reuse of Land Land parcels such as land without current

atlantis use and brownfields are currently left unused and unattended. Such parcels of lands can be used for new sustainable housing after the necessary cleansing of land pollutants. 2. Redefining Functions For shifting of industries from linear to circular production, the current uses need to be modified. Industries, logistic hubs and business parks have the ability to accommodate these changes by redefining uses in existing spatial infrastructure. Logistic hubs can also be used for future bio-based material processing, storage, and distribution. Agricultural lands and buffer zones especially for airport zones and infrastructure areas can be used for the production of bio-based materials. Hence redefining the function of existing buildings, lands and infrastructure plays a crucial role in the shift of region from linear to a circular economy. 3. Regenerating Ecology To accomplish the goal of healthy clean environment protection and strengthening of ecological networks is extremely important. The AMA consists of several protected zones with high ecological value. With the pillar of regenerating ecology, the focus lies on strengthening ecological areas within PTiB and also on accessibility and connection of recreational zones in the region. Interventions will not only help in establishing the ecological networks but will

also help in building up and intensifying social networks.

sation in europe, Forest & Landscape university of Copenhagen, Copenhagen.


Sieverts, T. (2001) Zwischenstandt zwischen Ort und Welt, Raum und Zeit, Stadt und Land (Cities without Cities), Bertelsmann Fachzeitschriften, Verb. Gutersloh [u.a.].

With our PTiB we are aiming to achieve a balance between ecological system and urban growth. We see PTiB as a supplier for sustainable economic, ecological and social needs. PTiB will help to cope with two main growth-related issues by promoting circular economy, sustainable development and reinforcement of ecological systems, all contributing to a healthier, clean and just environment. •

Soja, E. (2009) The city and spatial justice,JSJS,1:1, p.1-5. Ulied,A.,Biosca,O & Rodrigo,R.(2010), Urban and Rural Narratives and Spatial Development, MCRIT, Barcelona. Wandl, A.,Nadin,V.,Zooneveld,W. & Rooij, R.( 2014) Beyond urban-rural classification: Characterising and mapping territories-in-between across Europe, Landscape and urban planning, 130, p.50-63 Wandl,A.,Rooij,R. & Rocco,R.(2017) Towards Sustainable Territories-in-Between: Multidimensional typology of open space in europe, Planning practice & Research, 32:1, P.55-84.

References Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2017) Cities in the Circular Economy: An Initial Exploration, Ellen Mc Arthur Foundation.

Van Mersbergen S., Fijnstof eist 8000 doden per jaar, kolencentrales en verkeer grote boosdoeners,, AD, 29 september, 2018, web, 2 April,2019.

Frijters, E., Hamers, D., Kurschner, J., Lorzing, H., Nabielek, K., Rutte, R., et al. (2004) Tussenland (Inbetweenland), NAi Uitgevers, Rotterdam. Naustdalslid,J.(2014) Circular economy in china - the environmental dimension of the harmonious society, International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 21:4, p. 303-313 OECD (2017) The governance of land use in the Netherlands: The case of Amsterdam, OECD publishing, Paris. Piorr, A., Ravetz, J., & Tosics, I. (Eds.) (2011). Peri-urbani-



1. Amsterdam Innovation Hub. Source: Authors. 2. IJmuiden Ecopark. Source: Authors. 3. Ecopark. View. Source:Authors. 4. Ecological belt. Source: Authors. 5. Economic belt. Source: Authors. 6. PTiB vision for the AMA. Source: Authors.


New Dutch Waterscape

Inter-Resilience: Social green and blue stepping stones for nature Dutch Waterscapes: Design of Leisure Landscapes | Msc1 Landscape Architecture | TU Delft 2019


Sun Woo Kim

MSc Landscape Archtecture TU Delft

Rotterdam is a major port city in the province of South Holland. It is renowned as a large modern port city, with a long seafaring history. Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, and the largest port city in the world until 2005. The old city of Rotterdam was a medieval water city until it was almost completely demolished during World War II. However, the city took the crisis as a chance to transform the city and rebuilt it with bold modern architecture. Thus, although the heart of the city looks completely modern, some of the landscapes and water systems surrounding the city are of medieval origin. To fully understand the Rotterdam landscape and water system as a whole, extensive studies of the coastal, river and polder landscapes were carried out prior to the design. The most prominent body of water in Rotterdam is the Maas River that runs through the center of the city. It is a highway for shipping, as well as the core of Rotterdam’s city identity. Although previously it was only seen as a transportation method, new approaches to transform it with leisure and ecological values have been taken into consideration





in the past few years. The Maas in fact, bares the potential to become the largest natural tidal hub for the whole European ecosystem. The goal of this project is to create a leisure river landscape in the Rotterdam area, which may be affected by the climate changes in the coming years. The fact that there will be sea level rises and increase in water in the city had to be taken into account. The city of Rotterdam decided not to fight off the water, but to live in harmony with it; thus it is planning out more ways to integrate water into the cityscape for the future. This means more water elements should be incorporated into the city and into people’s lives. The Maashaven area was chosen as the area of design because three different water systems exist there. There are many social functional buildings in the area, including schools, hospitals and religious facilities. The diversity of the area is a design opportunity. The functions of the three design sites were derived from the different social function each area has. Also, the area is one of the most flood-prone areas in the south of the Maas River. This provided a stronger incentive to design in the site, for the water has to be controlled more effectively in times of water level rise and heavy precipitation in the imminent future. The design consists of three key areas: a dike tidal park (fig. 1) to protect and regenerate the ecology of the area; a rain reservoir garden (fig. 3) to gather the neighborhood users and help them interact; and singel park (fig. 2) to connect the

existing waterways and assist the residents to experience the waterscape of Rotterdam. The “Dike Tidal Park” is a new coastal park area that utilizes the dike and the extended groynes as the basis of its structure. The dike is raised by 1 meter, and the roads that were blocking access will be put underground. Different levels of the groynes are under water at high tide or low tide, and the highest parts of the groynes and the tidal park is calculated to stay above water even with the 1.5-meter water level rise in the next 100 years. Sedimentation will be accelerated by placing excess recycled soil dug out from the other parts of the Maas River. The groynes help sedimentation to gather near the park, creating a natural gradient that will become a new resting place for flora and fauna. The “Rain Reservoir Garden” is a storage area for excess water in times of heavy precipitation. With only one water pump leading the water out of the area, extra areas for water storage is essential. The rain garden will help to relieve flooding issues in this highly residential area. It also acts as a playground for children and the residents and a social and biological gathering point. It utilizes the already exiting green and blue infrastructure of the botanic garden of Rotterdam. Water retention ability of the green areas are emphasized with the planting of trees. The “Singel Park” is an ecological corridor, connecting the Maashaven and Zuidpark with the network of canals already existing in the urban areas of Rotterdam. The waterbodies that now exist have a parallel

structure of green-blue-grey, limiting the users from interacting with the green and blue strips. The design point at the current moment is empty of green and blue connections. Such limited interaction with the water will be improved by connecting the canals in joining points with waterbodies, and placing the roads that blocked the connection over them to increase visual and physical connectivity of the green and blue. This will help prevent flooding in the area in cases of increased precipitation. The water then will be carried out to Zuider Park. The water can either be stored in this area, or further carried out to the Maas River. Overall, the project utilizes the adversities of climate change and water level rise as the key opportunities of the site. The social functions of the area and the exiting green areas were integrated to create one comprehensive leisure waterscape design. The water city will always have to search for new ways to integrate the green and the blue into the grey cityscape. However, the integration will never be complete without consideration of the people of the area; landscape is evolving and people will help give life and meaning to its design over time. •

1. Tidal park. Plan. Source: Author. 2. Singel park. View. Source: Author. 3. Rain garden. View. Source: Author.



Teatro Urbano: Practice in Urban Transformation | Msc1 Landscape Architecture | TU Delft 2019




Georgia Gkratsou | Hei Yi Joyce Fong Lok Yan Minnie Chu | Matthijs Hollanders Rohaan Teli | Sun Woo Cassie Kim

Rotterdam 2050 While the city center of Rotterdam is blooming, other parts of the city still have lots of opportunities to develop. The northern part of Rotterdam has several issues to solve in the coming decades; fresh water shortage, inland flooding, excess infrastructure facilities and the demand for more housing, providing land competition between the ‘green’ and the ‘built’. Besides that, Rotterdam The Hague Airport created a thick boundary between the city and the polderlandscape of Schieveen. All these problems are addressed in the green and blue vision (see figure 1) for Rotterdam. The Rotte river and the Schie canal are improved to establish recreational lines from north to south, while new eastwest connections are introduced in the norhern part of Rotterdam. Another route allows easy movement from the city center of Rotterdam to the newly introduced

MSc Landscape Archtecture TU Delft

residential areas, which is necessary to include them in the cities metabolisms. A clear city boundary ensures the preservation of the unbuilt land which is used for recreational purposes. To solve the pressing waterproblems, different compartments are introduced in this polderlandscape, each based on its elevation. Several agricultural fields and forests are kept, but lower areas could be used for wetland agriculture, wetland nature reserves and even lake communities. The urban side of the boundary is in high need of housing, but without the ability of expanding, the answer to this challenge is densification. Schiebroek is one of the selected neighborhoods for densification. This does not only mean the addition of housing, but these changes should go hand in hand with improvements considering the public space. Besides densification, some areas could be transformed. The lake communities are


part of the proposed new developments of residential areas. One of these communities is replacing the airport (see figure 1 and 2) which is transformed into a big waterbody on which floating communities thrive. They are used as a source for fresh water and to solve the problems of inland flooding by connecting to the watersystem of the surrounding neighborhoods. This area is located in one of the lowest areas of Rotterdam; ideal for a water based landscape. The lake will be dug out and the soil can be used to build the dikes, protecting surrounding neighborhoods. The lake will serve as a buffer in both wet and dry periods throughout the year. In the masterplan (fig. 1), the new developments show a fluent transition from a dense urban environment to a natural landscape with more room for ecological developments. The red line (fig. 2) is not


only meant as an ecological corridor, but also to encourage movement to and from the city center. This should be one of the main veins bringing the urban environment closer to the polderlandscape. Together with the additional green routes, a large recreational network is created. The new residential areas have a strong dependance and interaction with the landscape. The built and the unbuilt space strenghten each other by working together as one organism. Recreational activities on and along the lake, together with aqua farming provide a vibrant living environment in reach of the city center and the preserved polderlandscape in the north (fig. 3). Infrastructural changes need to be made to make these changes possible and to provide a sustainable future for the whole of Rotterdam. New mobility should support the future of Rotterdam, which means the A20 highway will gradually be transformed. The cars will be moved to the N209 in the north which is expanded, but hidden in the natural landscape. By focusing on high

speed trains and other transportation units, the city no longer needs to compete with Schiphol Airport. By removing Rotterdam The Hague Airport, the city is not only freed from an obstacle, but its absence makes place for a transition of the whole city. The masterplan shows how mobility hubs are introduced in order to reduce the amount of cars within the city and slow traffic is enhanced. Ecological corridors are made by connecting the green pockets through linear parks and ecoducts. A landscape, in which buildings are supported by infrastructure and the landscapes characteristics, is created. Infrastructure no longer disturbs connections and water becomes a source of solutions instead of problems. Hereby, the Rotterdam of 2050 becomes a resilient city. 1. Masterplan Rotterdam north. Source: Authors. 2. Regional vision on green and blue structure. Source: Authors. 3. Rotterdam north 2050. Source: Authors.







2049 Rotterdam Food Fabric Edible green structure of the future

Teatro Urbano: Practice in Urban Transformation | Msc1 Landscape Architecture | TU Delft 2019



Amina Chouairi | Margherita Ghini Yuyu Peng | Ming Jiang Alia Shahed | Tapasya Mukkamala MSc Landscape Archtecture TU Delft

Beginning with a comprehensive preliminary analysis about Rotterdam water systems, green areas’ recreation potential and connectivity, built environment density, mobility infrastructure, and food network, the boundaries for a specific and systematic frame of interventions has been defined. The boundaries stabilized very sharply a so-called “no-regret zone”, located in Overschie, characterized by a relevant potential and space for improvement. Alongside with the green, blue and grey structures, recognized as structuring layers to implement in a thoughtful design proposal, the pivotal relevance of food in South-Holland region, from production to distribution and consumption, has been identified as the thematic concept through which address the design strategies. This transition of functions (production-

distribution-final consumption) emerges vividly in the transition of landscapes. The polders enclosing the northern boundary of Rotterdam, the satellite mosaic of glasshouses dispersed in the outskirts, the allotment gardens lightly colonized by small wooden tool-sheds, the hangars for food distribution occupying Spaanse Polder, and the myriad of small bistro, restaurants, terraces, open-air and covered markets express extensively Rotterdam foodscapes’ multi-scalarity. Rotterdam foodscapes: food for culture, food for community and food for ecology. The issues and potentialities revealed in the analytical phase and the food network’s multi-scalarity already inherent to the territory, on the large scale, brought to the definition of three east-west strips of thematic interventions: food for culture, food for community and food for ecology. The three attributes want to define three distinctive atmospheres, intertwined with the already present characteristics of the landscape but acting through their systematic enhancement. These horizontal axes, following literally the geometrical definition of line as an object composed by an infinite number of points intended as the proposed design interventions, are crossed and confined vertically by the two


tributaries of River Maas, Schie and Rotte rivers, creating a fictitious grid inside which takes place the densification of green and built areas. The first strip, where the city ends and the polder landscape begins, is conceived as an autonomous connective path line in direction east-west, as a protection and ecological enrichment, through reforestation and wetland devolution, of the polder cultural landscape, and as a container for Rotterdam city northern expansion. The Schie shore in direction north-south, formerly occupied by industries, acts as a mirrored green corridor of Rotte green parcels with living spaces. By doing so, the land is here not only thought in terms of recreation and leisure but especially for supporting agriculture production, especially in Spaanse Polder; therefore, it will be able to tackle multiple issues at the same moment. The densification area is here located because of soil higher elevation, the industrial buildings are thought to be displaced elsewhere: the replace-and-convert strategy implies less issues than new occupation of land. It plays a strategic role the development of this area along the Schie, which represents a structuring point for the green and blue structure proposed.




A day of a young food researcher

A day of a tourist couple

A day of some new residents




The second strip overlaps with the water body of Noorderkanaal and it appears to be the fundamental natural connection between the proposed system along the Schie and the existing structure along the Rotte. It needs to be read as another possible slow mobility way touching the intervention areas, envisioning the water element as the cohesive factor of the strategy. The step further is to see this water body and the A20 highway, which runs parallel to it, as transitions more than boundaries. From the previous analysis, here the soil results to be suitable for food production, identifying the Noorderkanaal shore as a possible agricultural land expansion within the city. The third strip, running along the Maas watercourse and characterized by dense patches of green in form of urban parks,

forests and riparian vegetation gradients, becomes the substitute of some replaced industrial sites. Besides opening to the community a secluded part of the city, the strip acts also as a filter able to decrease the power of west-south-west winds and as oxygen distributor. Zoom-in Overschie. Overschie, along the food for people strip, becomes the pilot project. Through four different areas of intervention and complementary design approaches, takes shape the proposal for a new living system in the city. The forest hub and the mediumdensity community neighbourhood propose the close coexistence of productive land for commercial, educative and research purposes with housing typologies and urban agriculture niches scattered in a diffuse



public space. The high-density community neighbourhood in Spaanse Polder, inserted in a vast and rich green area, defines its public spaces through the re-use of former shipping docks. The commercial farming and food production hub brings the community closer to sustainable and efficient methods of cultivation, juxtaposing it to leisure areas to relax, taste and experience along the Noorderkanaal infrastructure. Provisioning future circularity of flows. An important issue that has been addressed in the project proposal is related to flows. The effects that a design has needs to be identified also in light of the impact on circularity and sustainability. The character of Overschie area defines four predominant flows: water, mobility



infrastructure, ecology and food. In the current situation, these systems act independently, in a completely disconnected manner. The drawback of this system linearity is that the flows are scattered and mono-directional, materials and energy are continuously being wasted and are not channelled in order to be used for multiple purposes, leading to a many consequences as heat generation, limited social interaction, water management issues etc. Therefore, the proposal aims at plugging together the major innovative and dynamic flows, which Netherlands is currently

developing, i.e. food production and smart mobility, without compromising the current cultural landscapes and the demand of the growing population. This proposal enables northern Rotterdam to use its limited space efficiently making it not only a place for living and work but also for production and self-sustenance. Transforming water, mobility infrastructure, ecology and food flows into circular systems for living, interaction, work and production will play a significant role in tackling issues as free land limited availability, climate change and population increase. •

1. Flow scenario: before. Source: Authors. 2. Flow scenario: after. Source: Authors. 3. City life 2050. Comic. Source: Authors. 4. Masterplan. Detail. Source: Authors. 5. Harbour. View. Source: Authors. 6. Ecopark. View. Source: Authors. 7. Masterplan. Source: Authors.



ATLANTIS Magazine by Polis | Platform for Urbanism and Landscape Architecture Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft Volume 29, Issue 4, August 2018 Editors-in-Chief Kavya Kalyan, Stefano Agliati Public relations Oumkaltoum Boudouaya Polis Board Representative Ingrid Staps Editorial Team Dhushyanth Ravi, Kavya Kalyan, Kavya Suresh, Laura Lijdsman, Oumkaltoum Boudouaya, Sarantis Georgiou, Stefano Agliati, Tapasya Mukkamala Printer Drukkerij Teeuwen Cover Design Surabhi Khandelwal

Editorial Address Polis, Platform for Urbanism Julianalaan 134, 2628 BL Delft Office: 01 West 350 tel. +31 (0)15-2784093 Atlantis appears four times a year. Number of copies: 500 This issue has been made with care; authors and redaction hold no liability for incorrect/ incomplete information. All images are the property of their respective owners. We have tried as hard as we can to honour their copyrights. The views and opinions expressed in this magazine are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Editorial team of Atlantis Magazine or Polis. ISSN 1387-3679

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