The Future of Urban Living, Planning for the Unknown


Amsterdam Metropolitan Region, the Netherlands | 2017 – on going

The future of work is drastically changing, faster than  ever before in history. The latest developments are often referred to as the new industrial revolution. Flexibility, robotisation, The Internet of Things, lifelong learning are just a few of the many issues at stake.

The future is increasingly less predictable. In fact, it could be said that there is only one certainty left: continuous change.

In the midst of  the actual transition of work, social and economic challenges are rising, and spatial planning plays a crucial role in this complex landscape. However changes in spatial planning are much slower.

The urge to forestall a spatial planning that is lagging behind technological, social and economic changes in order to avoid an abrupt adaption of obsolete planning tools is high. Mensenwerk, The Future of Urban Living, Planning for the Unknown, is a design research that furthers thinking about the spatial impact of the transition of work in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region (MRA).

The Central question of this design research  is twofold: first, how to allow a diversity of use and a flexible mix between working and living in different areas of the MRA? And second, how essential epochal changes such as the energy transition, climate change adaptation, logistics, data-scapes, new educational programmes and more, are going to influence the demand and offer of jobs as well as new forms of spatial embedment across the territory?



Phase I: Provincie NH, Dienst R&D Amsterdam, Amvest, de Key

In collaboration with:


  • Phase I pre-study > delivered
  • Phase II design research > on-going


Download the phase I teaser