Red Light City: Book Presentation

Red Light City

The book Red Light City was presented and debated in Brussels at Recyclart on 8th September. Authored by Tsaiher Cheng with reports from Amsterdam, Antwerp, Hong Kong, Montreal and Taipei the book reveals that every red light district is different in its urban form and and relation to the city. The main question addresses the significance of sex work for the architecture of the city, particularly in red light districts which are designated for urban renewal.

Tsaiher Cheng, Manuel Aalbers and Maarten Loopmans (KUL) made short presentations, whilst Magaly Rodrigues Garcia (KU L) gave first critic to open the discussion with the public. As the book’s content editor, Bernardina Borra from SPcitI moderated the debate. At the end of the evening, an exhibition by Roel Backaert opened displaying pictures of the different Red Light District from the book.

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SPCitI September Newsletter

SPCitI September Newsletter

Our September newsletter is out!

Check it out, let us know if you have comments or questions about our work and, of course, subscribe to stay updated.

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The First Phase of ‘MensenWerk’ is Complete!


The central question of our ongoing research ‘MensenWerk – The Future of Urban Living, Planning for the Unknown’ is not about the exact programming of urban transformation areas in the future. It is rather: how to deal with the spatial integration of economy and work in the future and what type of development strategies are needed to address that?

Our aim is not to “plan” for the work transition and the new economic activities but to scout for planning instruments to ensure that the unfolding of these future developments will not be hampered by the current planning methods that could soon prove obsolete in facing the upcoming urban changes. We think that urban areas must be strategically developed to make ample space for each stakeholder to participate in the process and that plans should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate the unforeseen evolution of spatial programs through time.

May these issues ring as a wake-up call and raise questions or tickles your curiosity, send us a line to – we are happy to tell you more. Upon request we can also send you excerpts of our research (in Dutch), giving you some insight in what we have been up to. After the summer, we will start the next phase in which we will go into the field and start testing the ideas on the research sites in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region – getting a grasp beyond theory-  to be continued!

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Amsterdam Marineterrein, Principebesluit Approved by the B&W

Marineterrein principebesluit

In 2018, the Dutch ministry of Defense is leaving the Marineterrein (Navy Yard) in Amsterdam. This means that 13 hectares of land will be released in the heart of the city. The idea of the stakeholder team (the Dutch government, municipality of Amsterdam and the city center board) is to develop the site into an international work and knowledge environment, i.e an Innovation District. It will become a place where top institutions and internationally oriented companies of different sizes can innovate, test and apply new solutions. In addition, it will also become an attractive place for locals and visitors. Cultural and social services, housing and various facilities for sporting and moving indoors and outdoors should contribute to meeting and interacting.

The current vision only indicates the direction of development and is not a blueprint. This allows for the future development to remain flexible and to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions required by innovative environments.

Together with the Amsterdam’s department of Planning and Sustainability, the Atelier Rijksbouwmeester and SPcitI have been collaborating from September 2016 to February 2017 to prepare a part of this step-by-step process, leading to the first basic spatial principles. The ‘Principebesluit Marineterrein’ of the planning department was approved by the city council of Amsterdam on July 18th. The next phase of the project was kicked-off the following day during ‘the making of the Marineterrein’.

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SPCitI Presents at the WASH Alliance International Learning Session

WASH Alliance learning session

On July 13th, SPCitI was invited to participate in the Interactive Learning Session on WASH and Urban Development & Design for WASH experts organized by the WASH Alliance International (WAI) in Amsterdam. The WAI is an international organization working towards granting universal and sustainable access to water and sanitation around the world. Through presentations and an active Q&A session, experts from different backgrounds were invited to exchange experiences and learn about innovative approaches, design solutions and techniques in the area of drinking water and sanitation. Invited participants included experts from Wereld Waternet, RUAF and WASTE

SPCitI’s contribution, presented by Miranda, focused on the question ‘What type of infrastructure network model is suitable, taking into account the reality of urbanization & urban residents in cities in development?’. Miranda emphasized the importance of learning from the (physical, social and economic) context of the site, the impact of local uses, user experience and the challenges that come with urban diversity and the diversity in demand. SPcitI deals with this through a site-specific, multi-stakeholder participatory design process, on which Miranda elaborated by showing two examples of SPCitI projects in Brasil and Monrovia. 

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