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Architecture Workroom
Brussels

Changing Cultures of Planning— Rotterdam, Zürich, Nantes, Randstad, Bordeaux

This project intends to collect and exchange knowledge about recent innovative large-scale urban transformation processes in Europe, by investigating five urban developments. Available in specialized bookshops. Distributor: Exhibition International. ISBN: 9789081953504

AIR Rotterdam, Derek Walker

Throughout Europe, urban planning has evolved from a regulatory practice to a more ‘project-based’ transformation of the urban territory. This evolution of urban planning practice has led to new policies, intended as an alternative to the existing, generic, ineffective regulatory planning practice (zoning, etc). However, these policies are now coming in for some criticism, as they have turned into a new set of rigid bureaucratic 'recipes' (procedures and rules). Recent developments such as the Zuidas Development in Amsterdam or the Euratlantique development in Bordeaux show signs of having resulted from urban development projects of this - rather generic - kind. Such ‘generically developed’ urban projects often fail to produce pertinent and specific responses to societal challenges and to truly engage with complex social and urban contexts. 

In a response to these ‘development recipes’, this publication features a study of five alternative 'urban transformation processes’. Each of these projects has, in its own way, in its own specific context of place and time, generated innovative methods of conceiving urban policies, visions and participatory processes, which have led to inspiring urban transformations:

At a time when many public authorities are confronted with an economic situation that no longer allows them to follow the standard recipes and forces them to rethink their planning practice, this research project wants to gather knowledge on alternatives in order to inspire practitioners, politicians, private developers and urban managers. The selected urban projects demonstrate that cities are the context for the innovation of urban politics; places where new coalitions and networks can be tested. Unlike the generic ‘recipes’, their approaches underline the necessity of dealing with complexity and uncertainty, and of giving priority to a diverse set of stakeholders (private and public actors, technicians, politics, experts and public) by organizing participation and communication. 

Also available by contacting info@architectureworkroom.eu

Tags

completed, input/output, ongoing, think tank

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With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.