Mastering the Metropolis

As the majority of the world population is living in cities today, urban environments have become a place for many people. We are obliged to aim at sustainability and safeguard people’s quality of life, and human wellbeing. These challenges are motivating science and society to approach metropolises differently. Advanced metropolitan solutions to overcome problems are being made possible by today’s revolution of new technologies, theories and methods. But no actor or stakeholder can make metropoles move in one certain direction. Metropolitan solutions require cooperation between knowledge institutes, companies, governments, between cities, citizens and civil society.

The new MSc programme Metropolitan Analysis, Design and Engineering (MADE) integrates analysis, design and engineering in the sphere of the flows in the city; the physical, digital and social environments; and the city and its citizens. As full master programme, the MSc MADE prepares students to be specialised on one hand and an integrator on the other. A MADE graduate will be able to create synergy between specialists from other disciplinary backgrounds. You can make a cross-over too!

MSc MADE

The new trans- and interdisciplinary programme will be offered as a joint degree programme by Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University. It is built on their joint research activities, and consolidated in their participation together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS).
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Public Space for all Nations

Good public spaces enhance community cohesion and promote health, happiness, and wellbeing for all citizens.

It has been with this quote that UN Habitat launched the Global Public Space Programme in an aim to improve the quality of public spaces worldwide. Of course, without doubt, the programme stands for a crucial challenge to make our urbanised world better, but what to do? The ideas on this have been matured and agreements seem to saturate the scope at the recent Habitat III conference held last week in Quito. A list of final set criteria is emerging, but this cannot mean that we’re done… By no means this listing will work if stakeholders do not accept that people gather on a variety of places around the globe, in a variety of cultures, hence not just in those urban spaces which are created by Western idealists’ minds: publicly-owned outdoor space.
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Entering a Living Lab

In a fast urbanising world, cities and metropolitan regions increasingly face challenges of sustainability and quality of life challenges that put at risk issues of mobility and logistics, water and waste management, energy and food security, health and wellbeing. A new two-year master programme Metropolitan Analysis, Design and Engineering (MSc MADE) integrates analysis, design and engineering; the physical, digital and social environments; and the city and its citizens. These challenges are motivating science and society to approach metropoles differently. Advanced metropolitan solutions are being made possible by today’s revolution of new technologies, theories and methods. But no actor or stakeholder can make metropoles move in one certain direction. Metropolitan solutions require cooperation between knowledge institutes, companies, governments, between cities, citizens and civil society.

2016 0414 AMS Institute LivingLab Amsterdam
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Pritzker Prize

Alejandro Aravena of Chile has been selected as the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. It is promising to see how Pritzker is opening-up to a next generation, by emphasising again social responsibility of designers and the design of human habitat and the city. Mr. Pritzker said today, “Innovative and inspiring, he shows how architecture at its best can improve people’s lives.” With this, the current jury re-acknowledged the importance of “human behavior” in design (as stated before in the jury citation of 1990, with Aldo Rossi as laureate) and “significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture” (cited in 1991, with Robert Venturi as laureate, while jury forgot to award Denise Scott Brown too). …In response to being named the laureate, Mr. Aravena emailed: “No achievement is individual. Architecture is a collective discipline. So we think, with gratitude, of all the people who contributed to give form to a huge diversity of forces at play.” Happy to hear! More to come, for sure…

Chinese will Humanise Cities

December 20 to 21, after a lapse of 37 years, the Central Urban Work Conference was held in Beijing. President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech.

Embracing a new round of top-level design, the meeting reflects the Chinese central government attention to work in the cities. It is a more humane attitude. Everyone has its own ideal city in mind. For the country, the ideal city lies in what kind of philosophical concept is dealt with. Although, as the meeting stressed, cities should work as one engineered system, they should “adhere to people-centred development, adhere to human cities for the people. This is what we should do in the urban Works departments from start to end point”. “The city of the future lies in our own hands”, as depicted in the meeting, “so that the people live in the city more convenient, more comfortable, more beautiful.”

12月20日至21日,时隔37年后,中央城市工作会议在北京举行。国家主席习近平发表重要讲话。

体现了中央政府高度重视城市工作,迎来了新一轮的顶层设计。是一种更加人性化的态度。每个人心中都有自己的理想之城。对一个国家而言,理想的城市,在于用什么样的理念去经营。正如会议强调,城市工作是一个系统工程。城市工作要“坚持以人民为中心的发展思想,坚持人民城市为人民。这是我们做好城市工作的出发点和落脚点。”城市的未来掌握在我们自己手中”,正如会议所描绘,“让人民群众在城市生活得更方便、更舒心、更美好”。

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Royal Visit to Expo

Besides meetings with the authorities and the official events of the state visit, King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands visits the ‘Next City Living Lab’, the Dutch pavilion at Beijing Design Week. The expo embodies innovation and creativity for a better urban future, it also aims to demonstrate the spirit and strengths of Dutch design: Delft University of Technology presents Reclaiming the Human Space to promote social sustainability and better standards of life. In this expo, the king is being informed on the future urban challenges in the People’s Republic, including humanisation of planning, integration of social groups, recreation of community places, and rehabilitation of daily-life environments. This agenda is exposed in the midst of other exhibitions from leading Dutch design firms including West8, OMA, MVRDV, NL Architects and UN Studio.

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Everyone Contributes

Singapore has been undergoing a fast growth scheme in a short time frame. No single person, no single firm or institution, not even a single government can solve all themselves. So, within the international Vertical Cities Asia competition, exactly this is challenged in the Paya Lebar area. How to house hundred-thousand people per square kilometre in the future?

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