(T)huis voor Spoedzoekers

Last week, Wednesday July 5th, SPCitI, represented by Bernardina Borra, was invited by the Podium voor Architectuur to contribute to the panel discussion of the closing meeting of its program “(T)huis voor spoedzoekers” in Hoofdorp.

The program tackled the issue of emergency housing and how to transform this challenge into an opportunity for integration and reflection on new housing development practices.

Two teams made of Dutch and young Syrian designers presented the results of their design research projects which proposed solutions to vulnerable groups in urgent need of housing. The two proposals addressed the issues of use of public spaces, availability and accessibility of public amenities as well as community building and the integration of the new residents into the existing urban fabric and networks at different scales.

In addition to SPCitI, the panel included researchers and speakers from the housing corporation Ymere and the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. The discussion explored the limits of the definition of a “spoedzoeker” as well as the policies and processes that would allow for an active involvement of the target group in the development and the design of both the program and the space. The participants also raised the questions of affordability and sustainability and how they remain critical for the success of any development proposal.

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Space for the Economy of Tomorrow: 11 Stories

Space for the Economy of Tomorrow 11 stories

The economic department of the city of Amsterdam (EZ) has officially published ‘Ruimte voor de economie van morgen’ (Space for the Economy of Tomorrow). This policy document contains the spatial economic building blocks for the growth of the city, and is complementary to ‘Koers 2025‘, the municipality housing policy plan to build 50,000 homes by 2025.

In fall 2016, at the request of the Municipality of Amsterdam, SPCitI has scrutinized 11 national en international best practices looking at mixed-use productive projects/areas. This comparative study is published as a booklet ’11 stories’ along with the ‘Ruimte voor de economie van morgen’ policy document. The study highlights 9 specific themes such as collective values and the Next Economy and points out 6 spatial and strategic principles.

Download ’11 Stories’ from the municipality website on which you can also find the full policy document (in Dutch).

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Interviews for ‘MensenWerk’

Mensenwerk interviewees

In October 2016, SPcitI launched the research-by-design study ‘MensenWerk – The Future of Urban Living, Planning for the Unknown’, in collaboration with a group of stakeholder and experts. With this project, we want to start an initiative to study the spatial impact of the transition of work in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region (MRA).

The work landscape is changing rapidly. It could even be spoken about a new industrial revolution – with flexibility, democratization and robotization as key words. Everything around us changes at such a high pace that it is almost elusive. Technological and social innovations demand more and more adaptation at the workplace and the future is becoming less predictable. In fact, only one constant remains; continuous change. But the transition of work involves more than economic and social issues, spatial issues also play a critical role. Space and spatial planning, however, change slower than use, and thus run the risk of falling behind the rapid economic and technological developments. This raises the issue of spatial development, as an open and flexible process, that should adapt to the unknown, yet urgent challenges of the future. 

Throughout March and April 2017, SPcitI interviewed a series of key  figures closely related to this subject: F. Kalshoven (de Argumentenfabriek), Prof. M. Kremer (WRR/UvA), B. Bruins (UWV/Connexxion), M. ten Hoonte (Randstad), J. van Antwerpen (SADC), A. Spork (House of Skills, Economic Affairs, municipality of Amsterdam), E. Ravenhorst en E. Spronck (de Cooperatieve Samenleving), Prof. J.Grin (UvA) and last Friday AJ. Krater (Instituut voor Publieke Waarden). During 1,5h long interviews with open-ended questions, we debated the transition of work and challenged everyone of our interviewees to think about possible spatial impacts. The results will be summarized in the form of statements, that are part of a pre-publication in July 2017.

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ISOCARP 2016 Article: The Future of Urban Living

ISOCARP The future of Urban Living

During the 2016 52nd ISOCARP Congress in Durban, South Africa, Miranda Schut presented a paper entitled “The future of Urban Living: New Forms of Work – Planning for the Unknown in Amterdam”. The paper was part of the congress fourth track “Urban Planning and Policy Making in Times of Uncertainty, Fragility & Insecurity” and introduced SPCitI’s research-by-design project in Amsterdam’s Metropolitan Region (MRA). 

The project’s goal is to identify the main themes that will drive changes into the future of work and that will have relevant impact on spatial planning in the MRA. With the continuous and fast-paced change induced by technological innovation and social developments, new perspectives need to be developed to address the development and growth of urban environments. This does not only apply to the MRA but also to other major cities in the Europe and beyond.

SPCitI study explores, among others, the topics of housing, healthcare, mobility and food chains and aims to gain a better understanding of the spatial principles, frameworks and development strategies that shape the city. In a later phase, the project will investigate, urban policy implications, tools and planning strategies.

The article provides insights into the issues that are addressed by the project, the methodology and the principles underlying the research.  

Check Miranda’s presentation and read her paper here

For the complete ISOCARP publication, check the ISOCARP Congress 2016 report page.

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ISIGE-Mines ParisTech on a Field Trip to Amsterdam

ISIGE Field Trip Amsterdam

Last week, a group of students of the ISIGE Institute, enrolled in the master program “ingenierie et gestion de l’environment” (environmental engineering and management) at the Ecole des Mines de Paris were in Amsterdam. The one-week long trip, guided by Miranda Schut, introduced the students group to different initiatives within the areas of the circular economy and social innovation in Amsterdam and included site visits and presentations by different local entrepreneurs, researchers and experts.

During this trip the students discovered the newest residential neighborhoods of Amsterdam: NKSM, Java Eiland and Ijburg; the formerly industrial site of Buiksloterham, now the site of Amsterdam’s first circular neighborhood, and the creative district of NDSM. Presentations on Amsterdam’s waterfront development by Gert Urhahn, innovation by and for citizens by Ivonne Jansen-Dings from the Waag Society and the presentation of the two research projects R-Link and Co-ReUs completed the students overview on the city’s urban innovation ecosystem.

To round the trip, the visit covered also socially innovative projects in Amsterdam through a visit to two initiatives in the eastern part of the city: BOOST where a group of local residents, young entrepreneurs and refugees collaborate to create integration opportunities for Amsterdam newest residents and the Zero Wate Lab, a neighborhood initiative for waste recycling and upcycling. 

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