The objective of the Changing Cultures of Planning project was to gather and exchange knowledge about the innovation of large-scale urban transformation processes in Europe. This was done by means of a study of five urban developments: in Rotterdam, Zurich, Nantes, Randstad and Bordeaux.


The Changing Cultures of Planning publication documents five urban projects that steered European urban planning in new directions: AIR: Kop Van Zuid in Rotterdam, Île de Nantes, Atelier Zuidvleugel in the Netherlands, Zurich-West and 50,000 Homes in Bordeaux. Each of these five projects aimed to provide site-specific solutions instead of generic solutions to urban problems and issues.

Using the detailed presentation of these projects Changing Cultures of Planning questions the current trend of implementing urban planning by applying a ready-made formula. European urban planning has evolved from a regulatory, planned practice to a more project and process-oriented transformation of the urban landscape. This evolution in the urban planning practice has led to a policy that was conceived as an alternative to an all too generic and insufficiently result-oriented planning (zoning, etc.). Today this policy could be criticised for its evolution towards a new, bureaucratic formula with procedures and rules. By standardising the planning procedure, the urban project fails to provide pertinent and specific answers to societal challenges or to really engage in a complex social and urban context.

Now that many public authorities are confronted with an economic context that no longer allows them to follow standard formulas and forces them to review current planning practice, this research project seeks to gain knowledge about alternatives to inspire urban planning practice, policy, private developers and urban governing bodies.

Changing Cultures of Planning is a research project that resulted in a book. The book is available in specialist book stores and from Architecture Workroom Brussels via info [​at​]


Type: Research, Publication

Year: 2012

Distributor: Exhibitions International. ISBN 9789081953504

Initiator: Architecture Workroom Brussels

Editorial: Nathanaëlle Baës-Cantillon, Joachim Declercq, Michiel Dehaene, Sarah Levy