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Unique, easy, adjustable public spaces Multicultural use of public space The impact of contemporary urban space and activities on the transformation of former industrial areas Multicultural design? No! Designing for multicultural Neighbourhoods? Yes! Permanent temporary green The city of events The Post-Fossil city Crowd sourcing ideas for the city? ViaVIA is published by the study-association VIA Urban Design, at Eindhoven University of Technology



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1. Daktuin Gerard, Strijp S

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1. Daktuin Anton, Strijp S

2. Mathildeplein

3. Vredeoord

4. Meerhoven PLANKAART



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7. European Air Transport Command






5. Catharinahof







8. Plan Celsius, Woensel-West

9. Schubertlaan, Genderdal

10. Internationale School Eindhoven

27 L O C AT I E S IN EINDHOVEN Reutsedijk 13 | 5264 PC | Vught | T 073 6149321 mail | site

Buro Lubbers ontwerpt sinds 1997 aan projecten in Eindhoven

EDITORIAL Dear Reader, Starting this new educational year, several changes are ahead of us. First, there was the change of the board of our study association VIA in September. The five new members will be introduced in this magazine. The board of VIA Stedebouw has set up different new goals for this coming year to continue making VIA an energetic and passionate association. We think we can reach these goals with the help of our members. An active community will help us set up and organise more interesting and learning activities for everyone with an interest in urbanism. We represent a small part of the students of the Eindhoven University of Technology, but we still play an important role in our work field. One of the changes we are going to make is the transformation of our magazine, the viaVIA. You are holding one of the first copies with the new lay-out. To improve our quality we made some changes, and we are very proud of our brand new magazine. From now on the content will be in English, to focus more on the internationalisation. Besides the new layout, the viaVIA also has a new format and will be in full colour. Not only our association has changed, also the Master track of Urbanism has gone through some transitions. Launching the Graduate School this school year has caused many shifts in the Master of Architecture, Building and Planning. Architecture and Urbanism are still two different disciplines, but are now combined in the master track AUDE. They have some overlapping courses, but are actually still two separated tracks, which are hard to combine according to the fact that it is not feasible to double graduate in these directions. The board is still working on making this possible for our future students. Besides these changes there is a differentiation in urbanism in general. It differs how urban places are used and how they are handled. This has to do with the multifunctional and contemporarily use of urban space and with new multicultural life styles. This change is subscribed in the theme of this magazine. In the theme section you can find six different articles about contemporary urban space.

I hope you will enjoy reading this magazine and if you want to contribute to our organisation or our magazine; we are always looking for more participants and inspiration! Anouk van Otterlo Commissioner Public Relations Editor-in-chief ViaVIA 2015-2016

BuSKETCH CONTEST Analytical drawings form a core skill of urban design, being able to reduce a drawing to the core of the project and showing the most important aspect of the location. Joan Busquets is a master of this practice. Can you guess the European cities belonging to the drawings below? Send your answers to before the 31st of January with your name and adress, and get a chance to win a prize!

CONTENTS Colofon viaVIA, publicated by study association VIA Stedebouw, TU/e


The 23rd board of VIA




Greetings from Delft


Urban Secrets Eindhoven


Tactical interventions in the urban fabric BEP-project: Bram Nuijten Energy transition West-Brabant

year 21, number 51 Eindhoven, December 2015 viaVIA is published by: PR-committee VIA Stedebouw Den Dolech 2 (Vertigo 07) E-mail: Editors


Anouk van Otterlo (editor-in-chief)

Activity of the first semester

Master project: Joost van den Boer

Mark van Esdonk Naomi Huveneers Jeroen Kools


THEME : Contemporary Public Space


Unique, easy, adjustable public spaces Article: Nathalie Snels Multicultural use of public space Article: Jeroen Kools The impact of contemporary urban space and activities on the transformation of former industrial areas

Nathalie Snels Aron Straver Guest Editors Joost van den Boer


Sebastiaan Brons Jimmy Hendrickx Eva Hexspoor


Sukanya Krishnamurthy Bram Nuijten Niek Snels


Jan Tatoesek Kim Thehu Pieter van Wesemael Printing DrukwerkMAX (Zoetermeer)



Article: Mark van Esdonk

Permanent temporary green Article: Eva Hexspoor

Multicultural design? No! Designing for multicultural Neighbourhoods? Yes! Column: Buro Lubbers The city of events Column: Pieter van Wesemael

ISSN 1385-7045 Cover picture: Nathalie Snels


Theme picture:


The Post-Fossil city

Jeroen Kools

Graduation project: Sebastiaan Brons

Crowd sourcing ideas for the city? Column: Sukanya Krishnamurthy



Bram Nuijten - Chairman and Commissioner Education It is about a year ago that I joined VIA and the commission of education. I had no idea that a year later I would end up here. In the past year I have come to know VIA better and better, formed new friendships, and was provided with new information and experiences. This year I intend to return the favour. My goal is to strengthen the community feeling of VIA, which has given me so much before. To welcome new members into our community and to keep a good connection with our older members. I aim to organize activities which stimulate further connections between students, teachers and professionals in the field of urban design and planning. I am looking forward to this year, to the traditional activities we will continue to organise, but also to the new activities we are already planning. There is a lot of energy and perseverance within our community, we just have to bring it out . That is what I aim to do this year. Niek Snels – Secretary I am a first year Master student. Right now, I am studying architecture, but I hope to be able to graduate in both the Architecture and the Urban Design and Planning track of the AUDE department. Our Committee of Education is working hard to achieve this possibility. When Bram asked me to join the board of VIA, I was immediately excited. I have not had any experience in doing extra-curricular work, but I knew it is a great way to develop your professional skills more broadly. It is an extraordinary experience, and when I heard about the other members of the board; I knew I had to take that chance. As the secretary I will be responsible for most of the administrative work. I will make the minutes of every board meeting. I will keep the Advisory Board and the Auditing Committee up to date, as well as our members by the monthly Newsflash. Furthermore, I will check our post and e-mail. To conclude, I am really looking forward to the upcoming year and I will commit myself to achieve the goals of VIA.


Jimmy Hendrickx – Treasurer and Commissioner of the Study Trip Near the end of my Bachelor I was planning my next year. Since my bachelor was exhausting, I did not want to start my Master full-time, and run into the possibility to start working when I am 23 years old. I wanted to do something different, but also something useful. With the VIA board I found something to put my energy in and gain experience on the side. My responsibility within the board as the treasurer is to collect and spend money. Especially the latter is going to be great fun! The money can be spend on activities, lunch lectures and the study trip, which I am also responsible for, to an interesting place in the world! With my fellow board members we are very enthusiastic to make this year a great success. Already at the beginning we have great plans and ambitions. What these are? You will see during the year. A year which, with the help of all the enthusiastic committee members, will be a great year for VIA and its members.

Left-to-Right: Eva Hexspoor, Jimmy Hendrickx, Niek Snels, Anouk van Otterlo, Bram Nuijten

Eva Hexspoor – Commissioner of Activities

Anouk van Otterlo – Commissioner of Public Relations

This summer, I already had a lot of plans to fulfil my role as Commissioner of Activities, and I still hope that there is enough time to make all of these enthusiastic plans happen. I really hope that the activities will broaden the scope of our members, give an insight in the world of an urban planner, and remind you a little bit why you are doing this study again. On the other hand, I really want to create more awareness about the existing of VIA by organising the activities. At the moment, I am even more enthusiastic about the upcoming activities. The Commission of Activities added many extra ideas, and I cannot wait to be a real member in the team! Unfortunately, I am a kind of ‘virtual member’, because I am an intern at an architectural office at the moment. I am eager to keep myself busy with urban planning again, and will not fulfil my role in the background any more. I hope to see you during one of the VIA activities!

This schoolyear, I started several new challenges. With only 10 ECTS left to acquire my Bachelor degree, I joined the new board of VIA as the Commissioner of Public Relations, and started as the new chairman of the Bouwkundewinkel. I have set different goals, which I hope to achieve this year with my position in the board of VIA. I will be responsible for the sponsorships, and our magazine the ViaVIA. This magazine will be granted with some upcoming changes. Besides my own role, I will be actively involved in organizing different interesting lectures, trips and excursions this year. The most important role of our study association is to provide students with additional activities to expand the regular curriculum provided by the university, and to get more out of your study. I am very excited about the upcoming year of VIA. We already formed a very dedicated board, and hope that you are looking forward to the next months as much as we do!

year 21, number 51 - December 2015


NEWS Lunch lecture Street Design Wednesday the 11th of November Harm Veenenbos gave a presentation about Street Design. More than 30 VIA members joined this lunch. The main question was; how do you design a good street profile? Harm talked about his book ‘Straten maken’ and gave several examples of multiple projects. Harm’s presentation gave us a fresh look on the designs of street. Keeping the streets peaceful, calm and homogeneous was a wise lesson we learned during this lunch lecture. Excursion Delft Wednesday the 25th of November VIA went on an excursion to Delft. We started the morning by visiting the railway zone. First different presentations were given by the municipality and mecanoo. Arjaan Hoogenboom of the municipality of Delft talked about the integral redevelopment of the railway zone. This plan for Delft includes a new tunnel for trains and a municipal office. The first urban plan was made by Busquets. Parts of this plan are already implemented in the city. Palmbout has made the design for the public establishment. After that Jasper Tonk from Mecanoo Architects gave a presentation about the design of the new station and the municipal office. An important aspect of the design was the contrast between the history of the city and the current technical innovation. We ended the morning with a visit to the construction site and we got to visit the new building from the inside. In the afternoon we went to the University in Delft and Polis organised a guided tour on the campus and at the faculty of the Built Environment in Delft. We ended the day with a drink with the members from Polis. The day was interesting and we reestablished our connections with Delft and the study association Polis. Info evening Beroeps Ervarings Periode (BEP) Tuesday the 5th of Januari 2016 VIA and AnArchi will organize an information evening concerning the BEP. We will have multiple guest speakers with experience with the program and staff of PEP who can inform you on the BEP program. For further details check our website online or visit us on the VIA Facebook page.


GREETINGS FROM DELFT A well designed and completely “public” public space is so rare in the place where I come from Bandung, Indonesia. Before coming to the Netherlands, I had only experienced them through books, online articles, and other people’s stories. Thus, encountering a “normal” public space in the Netherlands has already been a contemporary and unusual experience itself. Even after spending one year in the Netherlands, I am still mesmerized by the way the public space is used, how it is materialized, and how the landscape changes through the seasons. Most of the public spaces in Indonesia, whether it is a park or a square, are hardly accessible for people. The parks are often fenced to prevent vandalism, the square is often dirty, and some other public spaces were just built for aesthetical matter. I have had the opportunity to experience public spaces in several countries, and perceived several things that distinguished one from the other. Although most of the public spaces share the same basic value, such as openness, accessibility, and attractiveness, they actually vary in the degree and scale of service and users, and in the way they are used and perceived by the users. I would say that most of the new public spaces in Indonesia are designed like the modern squares found in European and American cities. While in the Netherlands, I see that the public spaces are actually presented in different levels of service from the neighbourhood to the city scale. They are not only different in size, but also in users, activities, and facilities. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, traffic is not the only thing happening on the streets of Buenos Aires. The streets are transformed into a massive flowing public space in the times of festivals, celebrations, as well as strikes and demonstrations. By looking at those examples, I have become more convinced that the public space is the representation of socio-cultural processes that happen in a certain place at a certain time. Although Indonesia and the Netherlands share the same basic design principles, the design itself is always context-sensitive and special. Thus, a good understanding on those underlying processes will help us achieve making better designs for its users.

year 21, number 51 - December 2015

Putri R. Santoso finished her Bachelor study in Architecture at the Institute of Technology Bandung in 2008, and has been working in the field of Architecture, Urbanism, and Urban Planning before continuing her study in the Master program in Urbanism at the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment, TU Delft. She is currently working on her Master thesis project on polycentricity and mobility issues in Bandung, Indonesia.


HOOFDSTUK / TITEL URBAN SECRETS - EINDHOVEN Although most TU/e students have been living in Eindhoven for quite a while and some may already go as far as to call themselves ‘Eindhovenaar’, the cruel reality of the Urban Secrets Tour showed practically all participants how little they actually have seen of the city and how much there still is to learn and explore. Set up by one stubborn ‘Eindhovenaar’ in VIA’s activities committee, and based on his 14-year long experience with the world’s smartest city of light, the Urban Secrets Tour took us to places that lie miles away from each student’s familiar world between the university, the student house and the pubs on Stratumseind. The tour focused on hidden treasures in neighbourhoods outside the city centre, and besides the exploration of Eindhoven’s suburbs it was also an exploration of the history of Dutch urban planning and residential architecture. Furthermore, we invited professor Sergio Figueiredo to help us elevate the tour from hop-on hop-off sightseeing to a valuable lesson in critical observation of the urban design concepts around us. His contribution consisted in providing us with background information and contexts of the urban principles in each location, as well as asking critical questions for us to think about. Our tour started in ‘t Hofke in Tongelre, where we explained how the city of Eindhoven as we know it now came into being. A tiny historical town without possibilities to grow, Eindhoven in 1920 needed to devour the neighbouring municipalities in order to provide room for the explosively growing industrial activities of Philips and necessary workers’ housing.


Tongelre was opposed to being annexed by Eindhoven and therefore wasted municipal money on building a new town hall to prevent the funds from being transferred to Eindhoven. Sergio drew the parallel with recent examples of affluent communities which have detached themselves from a larger municipality in order to keep tax revenues for themselves, thereby creating all sorts of consequences in terms of social inequality. The next stop was the neighbourhood Geestenberg in Tongelre, which is illustrative of Dutch housing concepts of the 1970s and early 1980s. It is a socalled Bloemkoolwijk (cauliflower neighbourhood), designed as a response to the quantity-driven modern planning which was dominant in the years before. The cauliflower frustrates the use of the car and aims to make the street into a cozy social catalyst, but it is evident that the practical implementation of the concept is outright disappointing. But also in the example of the typical 1960s modern neighbourhood, which we later visited in Gestel, we can see that the implementation of modern planning principles derailed into a sober thinking method that regarded people merely as numbers. Nevertheless, such examples form an important part of urban planning history and it is essential to learn from them and draw your own conclusions. Besides the characteristic historical expansions of the city, which clearly shows the spirit of each age in urbanism, we also visited neighbourhoods which have been reshaped in the context of gentrification.

In the neighbourhood of Lakerlopen, we visited a gate-like building which is the last remnant of a 1930’s neighbourhood (photo 1). The area has recently been reconstructed but this one gate-like cluster of houses was spared from destruction. It illustrates an essential design question: what should be saved as an urban artifact and why? In the case of the VoltaGalvani project in Woensel-West (photo 2), nothing remains from the original working-class housing that previously occupied the spot. This gentrification project brought a great jump in the quality of housing and overwhelming Mediterranean-style colours to Woensel-West. But gentrification does not only give, it also takes. As the working class is pushed out of the area, the local culture is doomed to disappear. So even the bright colours cannot conceal the lack of life in the renovated neighbourhood’s streets. Hopefully a new local culture can emerge in the years to come. While some areas of the city had become so deteriorated only to face obliteration and replacement, the 1930s neighbourhood Tuindorp in Strijp turned out to be a belated but overwhelming success. Initially criticized by some for its ‘soullessness’, the whitepainted garden city gradually gained much appraisal. The 1990s extension of Tuindorp copied the original scheme to such an extent that the older and newer parts of the neighbourhood can be hardly distinguished from each other. However, not only the architecture is inherent to the image of Tuindorp; also the abundance and variety in the greenery contributes to its appeal. Moreover, aspects of urban design such as greenery and infrastructure could not be left out from our tour.

year 21, number 51 - December 2015

We visited the Stadswandelpark and Genneper Parken – major parks which are showcases for artificial urban nature. And for the infrastructure theme, the tour brought us to one of Eindhoven’s real secrets. The railway house on the Hoogstraat in Gestel reminds us that a railway line between Valkenswaard and Belgium once existed in these whereabouts (photo 3). After its abandonment, the line was adapted to a residential street but it still remains visible as a scar on the city plan that cuts through the radial roads. As spatial designers, we must be aware that a changing infrastructure demands other requirements in public space. In addition, challenges for us will inevitably arise with the next infrastructural revolution, perhaps the introduction of the self-driving car. The Urban Secrets Tour certainly showed us that food for thought and learning about urban design can be found just around the corner. We gained lots of knowledge about Eindhoven, we intensively trained our critical observation skills, and it was a fun experience too! It is only a matter of time when another nearby city will be the object (or victim?) of our thorough exploration. Jan Tatousek


Urban housing: living quarters are established in the void of the urban network.

Urban Network: forming a cluster of shops and leisure activities along a recognizable path.

Accessibility: three lines through the city center form the main access point for the center


Tactical interventions in the urban fabric - BEP-project The versatile city center of Arnhem The city center of Arnhem has a lot to offer in the form of leisure, housing and culture. Yet, an incohesive network and a large morphological barrier in-between the north and the south of the center discourage the exploration of these aspects and destabilise the area. A multiscale approach combined with tactical interventions in the urban fabric provided a new master plan for the city center of Arnhem. A large part of the city center of Arnhem was destroyed at the end of the Second World War. Instead of restoring the old fabric they decided to demolish a larger part of the city. This provided the opportunity to redevelop the city center using the modernistic ideas of the CIAM movement. Although the ideas of the movement promised much improvement for the damp cities of the early 20th century, the execution was poorly. Therefore it caused a large difference in the morphology between the north and the south of the city center. The economic crisis added to this incoherency. The shops and restaurants which had to leave the city caused gaps within the urban fabric. But it is not just this urban network which causes the problems of the city center. The problems are caused by conflicts on different scales. The multiscale approach has clarified three scales which are of influence on the city center. The key to solving these problems is to find the conflicts within and between the scales and to solve them using tactical interventions. The first and largest scale puts the city center in the perspective of the entire city. The center of Arnhem plays an important role in the connection between east and west for most modes of transportation. One of the important streets in this network runs straight through the south of the center, forming a large obstacle for pedestrians. There is also a lack of a sufficient cycling route through the city. By creating such a route the accessibility of the city center could be enlarged. The urban network plays an important role on a smaller scale. The influences of the rebuilt and the economic crisis have had a large impact on the area, as mentioned before. The key here is to reestablish a strong and understandable urban network. This can be done by using the theories of Kevin Lynch. In his book “The image of the City� Lynch describes how a network of nodes, lines, areas and landmarks could strengthen the urban network. It is important to maintain some aspects throughout a network so it is easier to recognise and to follow. For year 21, number 51 - December 2015

the city center of Arnhem this means that the stores which are currently scattered over a large area, should be grouped around a recognisable route. On this route, it is important to maintain a certain similarity. This can be achieved by maintaining the street profile, the architecture and the addition of landmarks along the route. On locations where the route has to cross a barrier, extra attention to this crossing is needed. Both sides of the crossing should be recognisable as a part of the same route. Urban housing is a good answer for the decline of the urban network. A more compact urban network creates space for these houses. Until now these developments were usually small scale and lacked a sufficient amount of coherency. When the urban network becomes more compact there is more room for stabilise urban housing areas. The current buildings could be modified using the Do it yourself (DIY) housing principle. With this principle people can link multiple existing apartments together and are often free to change the layout of the apartments according to their own wishes. This process does not only provide a personal created house but it also strengthens social cohesion within the area, as proven in earlier tests of the principle in Rotterdam. When the three different scales are overlapped with each other, some key points in the urban fabric appear. These are the points where a tactical intervention would be most useful and wished. One of the possible tactical interventions was a center for the arts combined with a cinema. This intervention was used in the master plan to form a new landmark for the urban network, to create a new entrance for the city with a parking lot and bicycle stall, and to form a barrier to shed the living quarters from the urban network. In this manner, the intervention adds on in the stabilisation of the three different scales. The multi scale method provided a better insight in the problems and difficulties in the city center of Arnhem. Approaching these problems with an eye on the other scales and using the intervention on a multi scale level provided the solution for a more coherent and stable city center of Arnhem. Bram Nuijten For bibliography mail the author


HOOFDSTUK / TITEL Energy transition West-Brabant Master project The energy we use every day seems to come out of nowhere, yet it is everywhere. However, as we move away from fossil fuels, energy will become a visible part of the landscape. New forms of sustainable energy will influence the spatial qualities of our environments. Power will not come from an invisible place somewhere far away, but it will come from a local and visible place in the landscape. The aim is to make West-Brabant self-sufficient and sustainable in its energy demand. Clean and renewable energy should be used to create a closed energy cycle on a local base. This means that the import of resources must be kept to a minimum and that the energy production must not exhaust the resources of the region itself. The sustainable energy production is partly provided by the government, for example in the form of windmills, but projects and initiatives that use technical innovations will be crucial in the energy transition. During this process it is essential that the energy consumers are aware of the source of their energy. They need to be able to experience the production of energy in their surroundings. West-Brabant is a region with a very diverse landscape, as well as a variety of living environments and several clusters of distinct sectors of industry. It is a relatively rural area located at the base of the Rhine-Schelde delta in between Antwerp and Rotterdam. This strategic position has led to a growth in industry. The most important sectors in West-Brabant are agro & food,


chemistry, high-tech systems and materials, logistics, maintenance and bio-based economy. However, the large harbours, industries and urban settlements form a threat to the rural character. The scale of land uses and urban settlements are becoming larger, which puts pressure on the quality and identity of the region. The landscape of West-Brabant is characterised by its diverse regions. The geographical conditions influence the types of nature that have been developed, as well as the locations of urban concentration. A chain of cities is located on the edge of sand ridges, which extend into the area from the south. On the sand ridges, trees and forests dominate the scenery. This part is also the home to many horticultural businesses, making it an important ‘treeport’. The enclosed landscapes contrast to those in the north, which are more open. There, the soil consists of clay, making it very suitable for large agricultural cultivation. The fields, in combination with lines of trees, result in an open landscape. Even more so for the polders that were created several centuries ago of which the structures are still visible. The orthogonal structure of the polders contrasts to the natural meandering creeks, forming natural ribbons through the landscape. Water also played a role in the location of industry, for example the large harbour and industrial zone near Moerdijk situated at the Hollands Diep. In the energy transition it is important to design and plan using the existing quality and identity of the landscapes.

There is not one solution that works for the whole region, local differences have to be taken into account to tackle the problem. In the small villages a shrinking population has to be taken into consideration for an integral approach. While in the centres of cities abandoned industrial areas form a challenge. This section will focus on the area surrounding Dinteloord, a historic town surrounded by polders. The energy transition will use the characteristics of the landscape to integrate the new means of producing energy. The area is suitable for multiple types of production of sustainable energy. Naturally there is the opportunity to equip existing buildings with solar panels. Furthermore, its position is relatively near the sea and the open landscape makes the use of wind turbines worthwhile. Also, the soil is very suitable for the cultivation of biomass for energy, even under the threat of salinization. The agro and food cluster Nieuw Prinsenland is located near the town, it offers the opportunity to innovate the way we build our crops. Perhaps even more important, it is a focus point of energy. Not only can the residual heat of the greenhouses be used to heat homes, it is also the perfect location for a biomass power plant. From there energy can be distributed to the region.

the windmills could receive more approval if the inhabitants have a share in the process. It also enables them to invest in their environment in another way, such as an enrichment of nature. The Dintel and Steenbergsche Vliet flow into the Volkerak and are important both for transport and recreation. Their meandering flow contrasts to the orthogonal structure of the polders. The rivers used to be important areas in the ecological structure, but the authentic wetlands have been severely reduced under the pressure of expanding agricultural land. When using the future profits of energy production, it will be possible to reinstate the wet nature, and enrich the ecosystem . It also provides a wonderful opportunity to build homes along the dikes, and to live in between the nature and biomass fields. Combined, these projects will add a new layer to this historic and typical landscape. Elements of the current landscape will be enforced through the production of sustainable energy. In this way, the landscape is sustained for the future. Joost van den Boer For bibliography mail the author

To achieve the energy transition it is essential that the inhabitants are involved in the process. They need to have the opportunity to invest in their surroundings and their energy. For example, the placement of year 21, number 51 - December 2015


CONTEMPORARY PUBLIC SPACE Intro Theme In urban design a lot of things are changing and public spaces play an important role in these changes. Most of the different cities in this country have grown over the last couple of years and have also grown in population numbers. Meanwhile there is almost no growth in public spaces. This contrast asks for a different approach

of public spaces in the future. Not only because of less space in cities but also because a city has to provide for more and different needs. Kevin Lynch already stated in his book ‘The image of the city’ (1960) We need an environment which is not simply well organized, but poetic and symbolic as well. It should speak of the individuals and

their complex society, of their aspirations and their historical tradition, of the natural setting, and of the complicated functions and movements of the city world. Today we actually encounter the same problems as Kevin Lynch described. In the theme section of this number six different articles describe how urban spaces are transformed. This section is about how

urban spaces need to be transformed and be used more flexible. It is about how different multicultural groups are using them and which contemporary solutions can be found. Anouk van Otterlo

Contemporary Urban Space



What will the future of our public space be? How can we make it usable for multiple purposes and still be flexible for future transformations? We have seen the cities grow. However, we have seen quite little growth of the parks and open space systems. These are the amenities that contribute to the liveability of cities. The stock of open spaces has not kept up with population growth, especially in older core cities. Define public space If we look for a way to define public space it is a common ground where people carry out the functional and ritual activities that will bind a community. It may consist of daily life routines or periodic festivities. These spaces might also be used for private purposes, such as buying or selling stuff, for gardening, or even for exercise. But can we define one meaning to a typical public space? If you look at how public life is evolving with its culture, new types of spaces are being created, while the old

spaces might disappear or revive. It is important to learn how to create places that will be appropriate to the users and context and will be well used over time. The value of public space Public space is the place where the communal life unfolds. On the streets, squares and parks within cities there will take place the human exchange. Those dynamic spaces are an essential part within the routines of work and home life, providing places where people can communicate, play and relax. However, the dynamic balance between public and private activities is important to keep in mind. Different cultures give different emphases on public space. For examples the difference between the Latin cultures of southern Europe and Muslim cultures of North Africa. In southern Europe they are displaying the wealth and civic and religious power in palaces, town halls and churches that are facing towards the main street and square. While in North Africa the number of public spaces is limited apart from the markets and shopping

streets. The architecture is more focused on private domains as home, mosque and Koranic school. The public-private balance will be unique in every culture, it will also change under the influence of cultural exchange, technology, changing political and economic systems and the ethos of time. Citizens are reclaiming streets as public spaces In most cities of the developed world, streets are redesigned to accommodate various transport modes. This leads to several questions about optimizing the use of the street networks. Within Europe there are several projects developed to make the streets more accessible to all types of users, shared space, and to make cities more environmentally friendly by reducing motorized transport. You can see a change within the policies of the government that cities are dedicating more public space to pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit. When you look at London, they have pedestrianised a part of the well-known Trafalgar Square. Liveable streets will encourage walking, cycling and transit trips that will advance social goals. When you look at the Walking Plan of London it argues that walking contributes to health and well-being and to the vibrancy of the city. With of course the main goal the reduction of the motorised means of mobility. Can we design a public space for multiple functions?

What will happen with the public spaces?

Often a design for a public space is not functioning in the way it is designed for. The users will give it the function, and the surrounding buildings have influence on the use of it. When you look at successful squares the location of the public space is often of great importance. Besides that, the size should be in comparison to the surrounding buildings and the location should be easy to access. An example of a well-used public space is the Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. This square is a unifying square for the city. It is a place to gather and meet in times of fun and in times of protest. During the day street artists are entertaining the public. It is located on the busiest intersection of the CBD, across the road from Flinders Street Train Station and at the most prominent section of the tram network. The size of the square is that of a city block. On the square there is an array of attractions, including fine art venues and a vibrant calendar of events, with a broad range of restaurants, cafĂŠs and shops.

According to the UN-Habitat report it is stated that “prosperous cities are those that recognize the relevance of public spaces (with proper layouts) and those which have allocated sufficient land to street development, including sufficient crossings along an appropriate lengthy network.� If the cities recognize the importance of the public spaces for their people, it is possible that the demand for parks, playgrounds, and urban open spaces will continue to increase, especially in inner-city neighbourhoods with increasing number of school-age children and senior citizens. Who will take care of the spaces might not be the government. Probably it will be more and more based on the cooperation of the people within the neighbourhoods. All spaces might get more and more individual aspects, to comply to the needs of the specific users. In one neighbourhood there are residing more senior citizens, in others more children. To create specific places with functions which are needed, and the spaces need to be easy to adjust. The public space will be the ideal place to use in your spare time. Nathalie Snels For bibliography mail the author

year 21, number 51 - December 2015


Multicultural use of the public space Temporarily use of public space, is that something that can be temporarily? But is multicultural use than also temporarily? Temporarily is a word with a broad definition, but when is something temporarily? Our Dutch society is a mixture of different groups from all over the world. Many different cultures are living together in one country. They do not do everything the same way. That is not a temporarily thing, but meanwhile something that is part of the Dutch culture. But there is a difference between these groups. These differences can clearly been seen in the usage of the public space.

Contemporary Urban Space

Our society has changed a lot over the last 70 years. Since the end of the second world war and nowadays this small country has changed, not only the society but everything. After the liberation the Netherlands became an economical strong country and was one of the founders of the European Union. As a small country the Dutch have since then made plans for a strong and solid Europe. Quickly after the liberation new emigrants came to work in the mines and industries. Most of them came from Spain, Greece and Italy. Later on a lot of Turkish and Moroccan emigrants came as well. All to work here, officialy as a ‘gast-arbeider’. In the following years these groups got reunited with their family. The group of Turkish and Moroccan people became one of the biggest immigrant groups in the Netherlands. A lot of new cultures and habits were introduced in the Dutch society.


These large groups of new cultures, habits and foreign people have also there reflection on the city and public space. These groups are accustomed to other climates and public spaces in their home countries. In the larger cities these differences became clear. As an example I will take a closer look to the use of public space in Amsterdam. The capital and biggest city always attracts a lot of new inhabitants. That also counts for the immigrants that moved to this city the last decades. In the Netherlands this is also the city with the most diverse nationalities. A lot of different groups in one city with a lot of public space and green parks does attract a lot of people all year round. The many green parks in Amsterdam are often visited and popular. The most famous one is the Vondelpark just near the city centre. This park is completed more than hundred years ago. The bourgeoisie of Amsterdam erected and funded this park for the

working class in the city. The purpose of this public park was to give this group a healthy way of recreation. The costs of the park where high, but the group of workers where less sick and this resulted in a higher production level. Happy and healthy workers were of course worth a lot for all the companies. The use of public space since then has not changed a lot. Visitors keep coming to the Vondelpark and enjoy the green atmosphere in the middle of the city. Many years later the new groups came and changed our society. Their own cultures and habits became more and more part of a new Dutch society. As already mentioned these groups came to the Netherlands to work at industrial companies. Of course these group also had the need for recreation and public spaces to relax and enjoy nice days. Like the name already said, public domain is also accessible for these groups. The following years these groups get reunited with their families, the immigrants integrated more in the Dutch society. With more immigrants we also see more different ethnic groups making use of the public spaces, parks and other places in the city. The usage of these spaces is not much different from the native people. But there is a difference in the composition of the visitors. These immigrants often visit the parks with their close family of friends from the same ethnic background. That is something we also see in the streets where many Turkish and Moroccan immigrants live. They use these areas as a lengthening of their private space. Children are playing alone on streets at young ages. That is the place to make the most friends, not at school. Research of ‘Ruimtelijk planbureau’ also proved the fact that these groups make the most friends on the streets inside their neighbourhoods. This could be part of the unintentional demographic separations in cities. These separations are still present in the larger cities. Another phenomenon is where and with whom these groups of migrants use the public space. The native Dutch spend their (spare) time mostly outside of their cities and visit often the forests, beaches and other cities. Every good and sunny day this gets clear, the roads towards these popular destinations are stuffed with traffic. This is something we do not see a lot at these immigrant groups. They like to stay closer to their homes and visit the parks nearby more often. That corresponds with the usage of public space like an extension of the private space in their homes. But with those groups living in the Netherlands for multiple generations there is a shift of the place where this group is spending their free time. These younger year 21, number 51 - December 2015

generations are spending more time outside of the city. These groups became also in the use of public space more part of the native Dutch society. The usage of space has not changed a lot in comparising with the native Dutch habitants.

How other ethnic groups spend there free time is not the most interesting thing, but with whom these people spend their free time. It seems that the most Turkish, Moroccan and Creoles spend their time together with their family and friends with similar ethnic backgrounds (P. 21) Ruimtelijk planbureau (2014) But how do we design for these groups? Well that is something we did not do when the first groups of migrants arrived. They just used the pre-designed spaces and later they used the big green spaces in the large residential areas build after the Second World War. The first ideas where that these migrants where temporarily, but they stayed in the Netherlands and became part of our society. The designs of public space where never meant as an extension of private space like these immigrants used them a lot. Now years later these groups became part of our society and are fully integrated in the country. Usages and design was different for this group, but never temporary. Designing public space in the Netherlands never really changed for a new multicultural society. Multicultural usages of the public space became the same as use of public space. Jeroen Kools For bibliography mail the author Photo: Jeroen Kools - Ghent, Tondelier site


Contemporary Urban Space




Industrialisation and its consequences

Today, contemporary urban space is an important factor in many cities that want to be attractive and smart. Some examples of this are: making neighbourhoods more attractive and liveable, connecting people and improving the quality of life. Many smart-city projects and organisations use contemporary urban space and activities to reach these goals and therefore improve their neighbourhoods. However, contemporary urban space and activities are not only important to increase the quality of life, but can also be used as a method to successfully transform old and useless areas in new useful and attractive areas. This article will show how contemporary urban space, as part of different methods, can be an important factor to transform old relatively useless areas into new and attractive spaces, with the focus on former industrial areas.

Today, many former industrial areas are unused, nonattractive areas, left for nature to take over. This can mostly be explained by the relocation of the industrial companies. After the industrialisation in the nineteenth century, these industrial areas were slowly moved to the Third World countries, since the labour is less expensive there. The old industrial buildings and spaces were left behind and are often found in public despair. Almost every municipality has to deal with these kind of areas, which can be quite difficult. Since the economic crisis, in which large development projects are hardly possible anymore, real estate companies and city planners stopped investing in the industrial areas. Moreover, the soil is often contaminated, which means much research needs to be conducted before a new building can be build. More viable solutions: the use of contemporary space. However, several municipalities managed to transform these industrial areas into a successful post-industrial

area. The key to this success was not to design enormous housing or office plans, but the use of contemporary public space in a transformation system called the incubator-system. A term that will be discussed with the help of an example. Example: the NDSM-yard in Amsterdam One of the municipalities that managed to transform an industrial area into a successful post-industrial area was Amsterdam, with ‘the NDSM-werf’, a former industrial ship-yard. It lies northwest of Amsterdam near the river IJ, close to the Amsterdam Central train station. After the ship-yard closed in 1978, only a couple of enormous rustic warehouses remained among several crane tracks, old cranes and of course the dry-docks in which the ships were build. Nothing happened with the area, until it became interesting for a group of creative people in the 1990s, who found the industrial environment attractive and inspiring. They squatted some of the warehouses and lived there for several years. Eventually these creative people inspired and convinced the municipality to do something with the area. The municipality of Amsterdam decided to agree with this group of creative people and found a way to develop the industrial area, called the Incubatorsystem. An incubator is a building or artefact that is typical for the specific area. In the case of the NDSMyard they used one large warehouse and later on a renovated old crane, in which a hotel was build.

An incubator is used as an first attractor of public contemporary activities, such as small markets, music festivals, and art conventions. These contemporary activities can lead to more recognition for the area.

Distinction can be made between three types of incubators: A dynamo, which create contemporary movement in the area. A key, which means the first major change and development and therefore illustrates the further intentions of the area. And lastly, an anchor, which emphasizes the identity of an area. These incubators have two different consequences. Firstly, the acceleration of transformation, and secondly the spatial enrichment of the public area. Those different consequences lead to more contemporary urban spaces and activities. These contemporary urban activities became more and more successful, and eventually led to a high potential urban area in which many people want to live and work. This possible solution has not yet been applied in many municipalities in the society, since it is relatively new and the long-term consequences have not yet been researched. However, it could be a proper new transformation strategy, since it takes much less financial risks, focusses on the true genius loci and recreates the area from scratch, step by step and demand based. Thus the incubator-system can be the solution for old industrial areas, but it can be used for other old and vacant living areas that need to be redeveloped as well. Conclusion Contemporary urban spaces and activities are already accepted as an objective that could lead to an increase in quality of life, but can be used as an important factor in a transformation process of old non-attractive areas as well. An example of such a transformation process is the incubator-system, which uses prominent keybuildings as attractors of these contemporary spaces and activities. When this incubator-system is applied on former industrial areas, it can ultimately lead to an attractive and high potential urban area, such as the NDSM-yard in Amsterdam. Mark van Esdonk For bibliography mail the author

year 21, number 51 - December 2015


Contemporary Urban Space



In contemporary urban space, the citizen seems to take increasingly more initiative. Not just vacant buildings are used, but temporary gardens have been introduced as well, in which public space is given to the local resident. Municipal green is turning into small allotments and wastelands are changing into temporary neighborhood parks. Few examples all over the world show that temporary green seems to be one of the current solutions to fill in the gaps of our urban fabric. Temporary green, it is almost a pleonastic word. How can we call something like nature temporary, while it is mutable in its essence? Every season nature offers a different image anyway and is therefore often put in contrast with the city. The planned and the unplanned, the predictable and the unpredictable. But does the greenery allow itself to be planned in such ways and do we allow this temporality of the appreciated green? Those questions were also asked by landowners and project developers. Heretofore they regularly plowed their sandy soils to counter that protected species settle on their land. An exemption of the Dutch Flora and Fauna Act made it possible to use the wastelands as temporary green. After the exemption the protected animal and plant species that settle on the ground may be removed by the landowner. The only thing left is the duty of care, which every Dutchman with regard to protected species. Landowners are obliged to transfer certain species to another area. For example, the landowners of the Port of Rotterdam putted in a special toad pool to move the protected natter jack toad to another part of their terrain. The other question is whether the local residents will accept that the appreciated green is just temporary. According Platform31, a knowledge and network organization which is largely funded by the Dutch Ministry of Internal Affairs, the answer to this question is clear communication. However, the practice itself will show if this actually works. Emphasis should be placed on the word will, because evaluation of most projects has simply not yet taken place. By a closer look at several projects, however, it is possible to see what developments are at play in the field of temporary greenery. At the head of the Mullerpier in the port of Rotterdam a sandy plain was located for years. The municipality had labeled the area near the Euromast as ‘witte vlek’ (white spot). There were plans for new housing at that spot, but the plans were not specific enough at the time of the drafting of the zoning plan. This meant that it took practically no management from the municipality. The residents of the neighbourhood decided to take matters into their own hands and since 2010 the residents were allowed to actually cultivate the land. There was originally only a school garden planned for the site, but this was not enough for local residents. year 21, number 51 - December 2015

With the aid the KNHM foundation, a foundation that helps people improve their surroundings, a design was made by the neighbourhood itself. The ground proved to be very fruitful and the garden quickly outgrew the level of an allotment. For example, kiwis and grapes were growing in the garden and the garden became even the habitat of animals, for instance rabbits. The residents have not only acquired a greener neighbourhood, but there is, according to the residents themselves more cohesion now. Also, the population of the neighbourhood became more diverse. This is because higher educated couples who were having children did have less need to move and even people from other parts of Rotterdam were recreating in the temporary garden. It is perhaps not surprising that residents had started an action to preserve the garden. In all probability, the construction of the new housing will start around the end of 2015. The residents obviously knew in advance all this was going to happen, but they fought to preserve the green character of the neighborhood and demanded therefore to have their say on plans for the neighborhood. After a campaign to save the gardens, which eventually lead to talks with the municipality, the garden will be moved to another permanent location nearby. Moreover, the residents cannot get enough of the temporary gardens: for undeveloped land next to the Tuin aan de Maas they already conceived ideas. In 2012 a temporary piece of green in the city of Arnhem was achieved by moving greenery from the Veluwe. Heaths, birches and pine trees form the base of the park and would be thrown away otherwise, because of groundscare reasons. Buro Harro offered the municipality and the project developer , Synchroon, a cheap alternative for maintenance for the duration of five years. The aardvark, which is a gift from Burger Zoo to the city and the realisation of the knowledge cluster, the Rozet, have made the temporary greenery an icon for the city. The developer was not immediately excited about the arrival of the aardvark, which is understandable on the basis of what happened next:The temporary green location became one of the winners of the Gulden Feniks 2015. A writer on Archined even argued that no one has to think about the original construction plans anymore. For now the developer has yet to make his plans public (if he dares). The two projects show that nature can thrive under unusual conditions, but that man becomes attached to the temporary green, despite the clear communication. Contemporary urban design must therefore also provide an answer to this question regarding more permanent green. Eva Hexspoor For bibliography mail the author Photo: Tuin aan de maas, Rotterdam


Contemporary Urban Space

Multicultural design? No! Designing for multicultural neighbourhoods? Yes!


November 2014. The editorial board of the viaVIA invited us to write an article on the importance of different lifestyles in our design practice. Our conclusion: as landscape architects and urban planners we design plans for people and, of course, take their specific housing requirements into account. We do not translate lifestyles one-to-one in spatial models, but we cleverly combine different lifestyles and living wishes with other influencing design factors such as the spatial characteristics of the planning area, market conditions, the available budget and of course the program. November 2015. One year later. viaVIA’s editorial board asked us to reflect on the design of public space in a multicultural society. Does the public domain change when used by different cultures? Are we as designers directed by cultural diversity? The social and cultural perspective on our discipline is apparently of interest. Not unjustified. Despite the fact that the multicultural society has been declared bankrupt more than once, we cannot deny its existence. Closer to reality: the inflow of migrants directly influences the housing market. We also work on plans for asylum centres and housing projects for status holders. Naturally, we take the specific situation of the users in these projects into account. Nevertheless, an unilateral approach of the design discipline we find quite problematic. Besides social and cultural motives, spatial, strategic and economic interests influence planning. One particular interest does not a priori weigh more than another. Furthermore, is not the use of public space depending more on personal rather than cultural situations? For example, age, family composition and mobility of the user also leave marks on design processes. That is why every assignment asks for an independent and careful approach from a multiple perspective. It is a smart, creative integration of interests, challenges and solutions that creates added value for society. This means cultural identity of users is no primary motive in our practice. Our design strategy is not aiming at a stereotyped visualisation of culture. So no symbolic vegetation in streets, no Mediterranean colour palette, no calligraphic motives in the pavement. What we do, is designing a firm framework for the public space. This supporting, neutral structure creates space for different use and expressions of different people. We adapt the framework according to use, functionality and accessibility. This results, for example, in more or less privacy, lively plinths or spaces for meetings and activities. To illustrate our vision we present Plan Celsius in Woensel-West, Eindhoven. This multicultural neighbourhood will transform significantly the next

fifteen years. Under the title ‘because tastes differ’ housing cooperation Trudo aims for a trendy, colourful neighbourhood with flourishing street life, self-reliance and meeting places. To realise this social goal the neighbourhood will also be tackled physically. Houses will be renovated and demolished, new houses will be built. Buro Lubbers has designed an urban plan (in collaboration with Tarra Architectuur & Stedebouw) and is now designing the public space of Phase 1 and the Edisonstraat. These plans concern four different scale levels: the area Woensel, the neighbourhood Celsius, the living quarter and the dwelling. The public space of Celsius is supported by an urban axis, green wedges and transverse axes. This supporting structure is so strong that separate living quarters can differ in taste and colour while simultaneously maintaining the neighbourhood’s cohesion. The green, more or less neutral framework offers space for several implementations, whether or not by different cultures. The same principal counts for the Edisonstraat, the spinal cord functioning as a living room of Celsius. The street’s design does not literally reflect the cultural diversity of its residents. However, the profile accommodates an active street life. By varying the width of the sidewalk more space arises in the street profile for a front yard, a BBQ spot, a temporary swimming pool or room to fix a car. Also on the level of the living quarter street life is stimulated. Volta Galvani, another neighbourhood in Celsius, shows that coloured façades are not the only factors contributing to liveliness. Despite their colourfulness, the streets are barely used to meet and greet. We offer residents a do-it-yourself-greeningbox with constructive tools, garden soil and plants to greenify their façades. In doing so we wish to soften the courtyards into enjoyable, green spaces where residents can spend happy times outdoors. Our design strategy of the neighbourhood Celsius does not differ from the ones we made for Strijp R or Vredeoord in Eindhoven. In all these projects we aspire to translate specific personal, social, spatial and economical characteristics into a design. Does this lead to ‘multicultural planning’? No, but it does lead to logical plans, unique for a specific location and encouraging different use. Buro Lubbers - Kim Thehu For bibliography mail the author

The city of events The Dutch Design Week just closed its gates, and the city of Eindhoven is about to come to its senses from the hustle and bustle of the numerous cultural events, which were visited by almost three hundred thousand people. The event received generous and enthusiastic reviews through old and new types of media, in both the national and international press. In this short period of time Eindhoven was not only the smartest region, but also the leading design region of the world. The Dutch Design Week, but also GLOW and the several techno music festivals, shows how powerful the city changes during these large cultural events. Suddenly an entire cultural network of popup exhibitions, studios, museums and stages, becomes visible and connected. A cultural network, that until then was unknown to the public, and used to live a remote life. A new and unknown dimension of the city finds the spotlight: a cultural landscape of spaces and routes, with cultural hotspots in which the high culture of creativity and knowledge is intertwined with the low culture of craftsman and entrepreneurs. This leads to beautiful concepts, but also to tangible products and services as a result. The one who is familiar with Eindhoven may already know this, but to the rest of the world it is a big surprise: Eindhoven as the Coolest Design Capital of the World. But, of course these temporary events have also a more permanent impact on the city, long after these temporary events closed their gates. In the case of the Dutch Design Week, the event is a crucial catalyst for the transition from an industrial city to a city that is leading in the new economy of experiences, creativity, and knowledge. Every year, the event places several upcoming talents on the map (like the graduates of the Design Academy and the TU/e). It showcases hidden cultural hotspots in the city and in the region (for me this year Section C). And last but not least, it contributes to the ever growing institutional cultural ecology within the city (once started on the academic level, and now everyone and everything that deals with culture, design, craftsmanship, knowledge, and development). So, major urban cultural events do form a special and powerful instrument to push urban development: both social-cultural, as well as economic, and spatial. An instrument, that did not get much attention in the traditional urban planning profession. Especially, seen from the perspective of the theme on “contemporary urban spaces” of this special issue, a fatal omission. After all, the new urban economies of experience, creativity and knowledge, need precisely these kind of events to push the urban development agenda in the right direction and accommodate both year 21, number 51 - December 2015

the city, its economy and its population to the new economic paradigm. In this perspective the Dutch Design Week can be placed in a long tradition of major urban cultural events, such as the world exhibitions. These events make the rise of new urban economies, new social relationships, and the views on the urban habitat of tomorrow visible, tangible, and perceivable. A reflection on a new, different, and better urban reality. In the case of Eindhoven as a creative city, its cultural events, like the Dutch Design Week, are the crucial instruments to push the urban transition from the outdated spatial heritage of the industrial society and economy. The heart of the city centre, with its Central Business Districts around Fellenoord, the Keizersgracht and the Vestdijk. The industrial areas around the Eindhovens Kanaal and Strijp. But, also the older recreational parks and green finger areas of Eindhoven are legacies of the renowned industrial past of Eindhoven. All of these searching to play a renewed role in the new urban economies of experience, creativity and knowledge. In my opinion these spatial legacies of the industrial city are precisely the “contemporary urban spaces” on which the urban planning profession should put its focus on today and tomorrow. And for these industrial brown fields the cultural event is the ideal tool for the urban renewal and revitalisation of Eindhoven from an industrial city to a city of creativity, design and knowledge. This requires then logically form our profession the recognition that the cultural events, such as the Dutch Design Week, are not a trivial temporary phenomena without any permanent impact on the spatial development of the city. On the contrary they are the core of the new and contemporary urban development toolbox, in which the urban events are the catalyst par excellence of evolutionary transition of the urban economy, society and space, searching for a different, resilient and vital arrangement and design of the urban landscape that fits the potential of the current creative economy and society. Pieter van Wesemael For bibliography mail the author


The Post Fossil City Graduation Project The energy transition of Amsterdam: An urgent necessity Modern infrastructures, such as motorway networks, have developed in times of sustained economic growth. But the world economy is now facing a host of new challenges: a low growth global economy, diminishing supplies of energy, materials and water, increasing complexity, and climate risk. Cities have to become more efficient in just about every conceivable way. This challenges the infrastructure concept that has developed in the 19th and 20th century. For example, energy production will become more decentralised. Food production will become more ‘urban’. Waste management will increasingly turn to recycling. Many technical, design and strategic questions arise. In this graduation studio, we looked at some of the infrastructural challenges in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region. Right now mankind is on the threshold of a new era. For several reasons, we are forced to temper our


consumption of fossil fuels and we need to look at other sources of energy such as solar, wind, and geothermal. The fact that there are sustainable sources all around us can reassure us that it is possible to leave fossil fuels behind and rely completely on renewable sources. Firstly, the way of thinking has to change before it is possible to start with the so called energy transition. New ways of thinking can help us. Urban metabolism and circular economy are concepts which can help to analyse and understand the city as a living thing and to learn how to reuse products for other purposes. The concept of urban metabolism is used to describe the urban system in organic (not artificial) terms, by drawing a parallel with the human body. Energy markets are changing rapidly, which leads to uncertainties. The energy sector is challenged to find solutions that ensure a sustainable and affordable

energy system. This is only possible in cooperation with citizens, businesses and government. The government has other interests than businesses and citizens and should have a leading example and has to offer room for innovations for the other two parties. Citizens are able to start own bottom-up principles while businesses are able to create alliances and use waste products of each other, then sustainable energy can be of a good use for the corporations as well. Therefore two major changes will take place: from global to regional and from centralised to decentralised energy production. This change has implications for the planning and organisation of the city and the region. It is not only about noticeable changes, but also about new ways of thinking, seeing and doing. Many physical changes will take place out of sight, apart from wind turbines, and to a lesser extent solar panels and other renewable solutions which will change the urban landscape. Decarbonisation is feasible, but it will be not an easy task. It depends on taking four major steps. First, countries must become more energy efficient. Second, we must produce electricity with wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and other non-carbon energy sources. Third, we must switch from fossil fuels to renewable sources. And lastly we have to re-use flows in every capable way. Policy makers are only looking into short term solutions. This is because of two reasons; the society is, one, afraid to let go the known and, two, afraid to embrace the unknown. Imagine that you have to invest in something you don’t know, and it is hard to believe in something what does not yet exists. It is unsure if the benefits of renewable sources are real. But it is an educated gamble we have to take!

problems, old aged building blocks, degradation of public space and quality of living environment of these areas. Contrary to what is often assumed, ecological aspects are not independent of developments in the economic and sociocultural areas of the circular city. For Amsterdam specific the expansion of the heat network will be the first step. Because there is already a large network in Amsterdam. The expansion will be a catalyst for the transition in Amsterdam. After that Amsterdam has to invest in the windfarms in the harbour and the North Sea. It also helps that there are some pioneers in the city that are taking the lead. Examples such as initiatives as de ‘Ceuvel’ or that cows providing energy for seven families are small steps in the right direction. There are several steps that the AMR has to make to assure a safe future for the citizens of the whole metropolitan region. It is important to start with the transition now and to make Amsterdam the first postfossil city and a leading example in the whole world. The energy transition of Amsterdam is an urgent necessity.

Sebastiaan Brons For bibliography mail the author

In the transition from fossil to renewable energy sources the consumer is increasingly becoming the energy producer. His involvement, ideas and commitment are indispensable to achieve the transition to the new era. In the meantime Amsterdam has already lots of different bottom-up initiatives. Amsterdam is on the threshold of the transition to the post-fossil era. The city stands for a complex challenge: how can Amsterdam accommodate economic and demographic growth while simultaneously providing a decreasing energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions? Not only on a regional or city level there is a transition undergoing. World leaders are already debating a long time on a worldwide energy plan, which should apply to all countries. In this graduation project four areas are divided into nine different case studies and can help to show the potential of certain spaces in Amsterdam. It are possible solutions that can be used in and around Amsterdam. The main aspect in all the case studies is the production of sustainable energy and the re-use of flows. Besides these aspects of the energy transition some are having possible solutions for the social

year 21, number 51 - December 2015


Crowd sourcing ideas for the city? “The State of Eindhoven” is a project that brings Het Nieuwe Instituut on invitation from the city council of Eindhoven to study the shifting relationship between citizens and government within Eindhoven’s Smart City aims. During the Dutch Design Week in October 2015, the first public debate and discussion to raise the question of “how Eindhoven’s ambition of being a smart city relates to the reality of citizen participation?” took place at the Van Abbemuseum. Lead by a group of scholars, designers, councilmen, and citizens, it was an event where questions regarding the “ideal of participation and tech” were discussed through intentions (theory), reality (projects), and how distributed decision-making is shaping both Eindhoven and other cities around the globe. Evelien Tonkens (University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht) opened the morning discussions by questioning if the idea of smartness is introducing a flattening of citizenry. And, asked if we are finding ourselves in a situation of “good tech, but bad sociology”. Dan Hill from Arup put forward the idea of “post grid thinking”, where smart tech is layered over existing networks, and if cities now are a collection of new ideas (akin to a sketchbook). This was followed by discussions between Chris Sigaloff, Anab Jain, Tsjalling Swierstra, Albert Jan Kruiter, Neeltje Somers, and Vera Winthagen, where the take away point can be summarised as, underestimating quirkiness of technology can potentially undermine the use of tech in participatory practises. A number of relevant points were raised through the morning- shifts towards a more collaborative society, and how existing networks (social and tech) can be availed of. Contrasted with questions such as, the role of citizens and possible exclusionary practices, if delegation is leading to further de-scaling of governmental roles, and if existing disconnects in cities are being addressed through new tech. Questions, comments, and suggestions throughout the morning were put together using participatory methods, and introducing the idea of “wisdom of crowds”, making for a very active couple of hours. A notion that can be traced to James Surowiecki (2005), where through his research he showed that that a group in the right circumstances could be smarter than its smartest member.


However for this to work, individuals (without knowing the responses of the others) formulate answers based on the information given at that time. This notion, along with Pierre Levy’s concept of “collective intelligence” (1997), forms the basis crowdsourcing (see Howe, 2006). As a method of idea generation and selection, crowdsourcing is used for active participation, competitions, and urban DIY projects. Employed quite successfully through the event, each session was followed by suggestions from the participants regarding how citizens could participate in the city, where do the people(s)/ citizen(s) see Eindhoven’s technical futures, and possible instruments that can be used to imagine the merging of participation and smartness. Through the morning, the theme that continuously recurred was the existing gaps between wants and needs, limits of smartness, and the role of the citizen(s), in the light of “smart urbanism”. If the current socioeconomic and political climate encourages a more participatory society, questions on how dispersed management models engage with various stakeholders and citizens have yet to be answered. And this vital task remains the aim for the next years; for the city, its people, and those studying these processes. dr. Sukanya Krishnamurthy Assistant Professor

Sponsors of VIA Stedebouw


Parners VIA Stedebouw Architectuurcentrum Eindhoven BNSP Gemeente Eindhoven Eindhovense Motta Kunstboekhandel NAi year 21, number 51 - December 2015


ViaVIA december 2015  
ViaVIA december 2015  

Magazine of Urban Design and Planning made by students of the department of the Built Environment of the Eindhoven University of Technology...