The Independent Urbanist
7. You decide what is import ant
Independent Urbanists at plein06 Koen de Boo, Robbert Jan van der Veen Sijmen Schroevers, Jerryt Krombeen, Tim Tutert
game to create independence in the urban landscape
When asked by the Polis board to give a presentation on the independent Urbanist during the Urbanism week, we were afraid of getting stuck in describing the meaning of independence in a work field with endless stakeholders or becoming practical about what we work on and how we get assignments. So instead we turned to a self-reflection. What does independent mean to use and what has it brought us compared to our dreams of urbanism that we had during University. We couldn’t help but looking far back towards the great Urbanists that shaped the structure of our modern cities like Rose, Berlage, Witteveen, van Eesteren or van Traa. People that we were taught about in University and who showed us the first values of Urbanism. Looking that far back made us realize that things have substantially changed over the years. How our assignments and the challenges urban development face have changed. We realized that we need a completely different hand of cards than our predecessors needed. We got rid of our ego, but instead are aware of our talent.
Our work is to intervene and create new ideas in relation and respect to the large qualitative urban landscapes. Our work is locally based, small scaled but with a larger effect on different scales. We work Bottom-up. We don’t impose our ideas on society. We combine, develop and improve ideas of every stakeholder at the table to create a surplus for everybody. Our new hand of cards, or ten fundamentals, that we work by makes us independent urbanists. Independent in the sense of able to work with all kinds of clients, but also independent as to what we propose for the city. The boundaries of our professions are fading and therefore the places and methods for our interventions become endless. But meanwhile our awareness of urban thinking and great examples of our predecessors stimulate us to aim for the same quality in Urban Design as that was the case in a time when urban planning was institutionalized.
In order to transfer ideas you will have to make a connection with somebody. That means you’ll have to understand others and be able to start a dialogue in their understanding.
6. WHAT’S THE QUESTION, BEHIND THE QUESTION
It’s not about focusing on that one alderman or top manager you need everybody on every level to support you. Also you should be able to know the boundaries of your own knowledge and see who you need on a project to strengthen your idea.
Go into depth about the assignment, don’t stop at the question at hand look at what is really going on. Who should really be persuaded and with what arguments.
Be aware that your knowledge development never stops and that there or other arguments out there that you might not know off. So be open to change your focus and always on the lookout for new ideas.
hind the qu
9. WHAT IS THE NEED How is the economy, society, the way we work, live or recreate changing? What will be our future needs?
10. CREATE NEW INTEREST Eventually you will have to keep developing new interest for your ideas so that your ideas keep spreading.
4. LOOK BEYOND BOUNDARIES
2. BE COMMERCIAL
6. What’s the
9. Dare to
3. YOU DECIDE WHO’S IMPORTANT
Eventually you will really have to show your independence by choosing what you think is important. You can’t stop at the analysis or the alternatives you will have to deliver a solution. Also you decide how to present your ideas. There are no set rules for how to present a concept or a vision.
Speak out. Tell the world what you are about so that people can follow you, agree or disagree with you.
7. DARE TO CHANGE YOUR FOCUS
1. BE NICE
Changing the city means investing in the city some level of commercial and economic laws is an advantage.
5. HAVE AN OPINION / DARE TO TAKE RISKS
8. YOU DECIDE WHAT IS IMPORTANT
ond bou 5. Look bey
Kom eens langs!
You didn’t become an urbanist just to work for that one client on that one spot. You work for the city. In every assignment, small or large, you look beyond the boundaries of the assignment to see what effect you can sort for the city within your assignment.
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Artikel over de independent urbanist, verschenen op de urbanism week en in vakblad Atlantis