Bits of Public Space

Physical Public Space X Virtual Space

Urban designers and landscape architects observe physical public spaces as spaces that are able to accommodate accidental meetings, reveal places’ identity, provide impulsive on the spot choices, and allow human-nature interaction through wind or sunshine. However, the recent crisis unfolds the intertwining between physical public space and virtual space. During two days, we focus on the shift of the planner’s outlook on physical public space and virtual space.

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Among Academic Avatars


The opening of another academic year, but – in 2020 – Delft students, academics, and others met in a replica virtual campus while searching for the TU Delft flames in a game.

Mapping Maritime Mindsets: Mental Maps

Imagine: You are asked to draw a port city from memory. What would you put on paper? Do you think of harbours? Water, docks, cargo, moving loads, and ships? If your drawing shows these elements, don’t be surprised. Sixty-five graduate students also took on the challenge. In answering: “draw the port city of Rotterdam by mind”, the drawings of the participants (fig.1) displayed exactly the above features. Of course, this makes sense. A port just happens to be a place on the water in which ships shelter and dock to (un)load cargo and/or passengers. A harbour is a sheltered place too, and in its nautical meaning, it is a near-synonym for sheltered water, in which ships may dock, especially again for (un)loading. So, all the above linguistic lemmas are there and all these are connected to imaginable objects.

Keep reading on Port City Futures | Leiden•Delft•Erasmus

Design for Values Symposium

On the occasion of its Dies Natalis celebration, the Delft University of Technology together with the Delft Design for Values Institute has organised a symposium on Design for Values.

Design for Values means making design choices with explicit reference to and for reasons of moral and social values throughout the entire design or engineering process. The symposium centers around research supporting design for values, with a focus on Value Dynamics (how to design for values that change over time) and Value Conflicts (how to deal with frictions that emerge between two or more values within design and engineering processes).
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People, Movement & Public Space

Improving our ways to urbanise and innovate urbanisation processes are needed in order to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, hence deliver the Quito New Urban Agenda promise. During the Future Days event, participants renewed the listing of urban topics. They bridge the gaps between academics and practitioner. They have presented much more evidence-based policies at the global level and with local examples and test-beds. And, they generated a better understanding of the driving forces of urbanisation and of the needs for better regulating the processes.

People, Movement and Public Space
In a keynote at the Future Days 2019 event, themed ‘Legacy and Future of our Cities’, I illuminated the interdisciplinary topic ‘people, movement and public space’, in order to understand assembled complexities of cities which go along with this topic. I introduced a four-step approach: First, a network-theoretical approach in the analyses of path systems, aiming to understand the complex dynamic systems of real cities better. Second, the analyses of personal perspectives on these paths apply more a non-linear approach to understand complex trajectories and interactions in reality. Third, engaged with the human-adaptive approach, analysing the psychology of place helps to understand patterns in the evolutionary inter-subjectivity of being in cities. Lastly, by observing public life, understanding the emergence of life in real cities, and non-equilibria, may be understand from a self-organising approach.
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African Public Spaces?

What is public space in African? Does it exist as we may presume? At the current, we are analysing and comparing urban life and presumed public spaces in selected segments of four African cities to map what we know about these cities. It is a first step in deepening cross-cultural understanding: An exiting start of a new exiting scientific journey along Dakar in Senegal, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Maputo in Mozambique, and Lusaka in Zambia.


Image by Vaggy Georgali
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Public Space: Changing Values

The Quest for Public Space: Changing Values in Urban Design, The City as Learning Lab and Living Lab

This article highlights the dynamics of values in our reasoning on public space. By means of an epistemological study, it tests the contemporary premises underlying our ways to safeguard the inclusive, democratic, agential city, and, as such, it aims to update our view on urban design. The article raises three subsequent questions: [i] Is the city our common house as perceived from the Renaissance onward, containing all, and consequently are public spaces used by the people as a whole? [ii] Is the city formalising our municipal autonomy as emphasised since the Enlightenment, in an anti-egoistic manner, and in this line, are public spaces owned by local governments representing the people? And, [iii] is the city open to our general view as advocated in Modern reasoning, restricting entrepreneurial influences, and synchronically, is its public spaces seen and/or known by everyone? – Inclusiveness, democracy, agentiality are strongholds in our scientific thinking on public space and each issue echoes through in the practice on urban design. Yet, in an aim to keep cities connected and accessible, fair and vital, and open and social, conflicts appear. Primarily based upon reviewing urban theory and particularly experiencing the Amsterdam for this matter, the answering of questions generates remarks on this aim. Contemporary Western illuminations on pro-active citizens, participatory societies, and effects of social media and micro-blogging forecast a more differentiated image of public space and surmise to enforce diversification in our value framework in urban design.

See:
Harteveld, Maurice G. A. D. (2017) The Quest for Public Space: Changing Values in Urban Design, The City as Learning Lab and Living Lab, IN Tieben, Hendrik, Yan Geng, and Francesco Rossini (eds) The Entrepreneurial City, , Rotterdam: International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) / Hong Kong: School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, pp. 395-411
or alternative link

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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Expo goes Guangzhou

Design Exhibition
Reclaiming the Human Space at
South China University of Technology

on invitation of
SCUT-TU Delft Joint Research Center on
Urban Systems & Environment

8th – 15th November 2015

School of Architecture
381 Wushan Road
Tianhe, Guangzhou

设计展区
重塑人性空间
华南理工大学

邀请方
中荷城市系统与环境
联合研究中心

2015年11月8日至11月15日

建筑学院
五山路381号
天河区, 广州市

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Reclaiming the Human Space

Delft University of Technology and
Beijing University of Technology at
Beijing Design Week

Exhibition 1

Reclaiming the Human Space
on invitation of
Netherlands Embassy in Beijing
Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs

23rd September – 30th October 2015

The Nurturing House, Dashilar
21 Sanjing Hutong (near Meishi Street)
Xicheng District, Beijing

In the past decade, Beijing has focused on overall strategies for its rapid urban development. New functional zones, land-use layout, and a comprehensive traffic system, laid the basis for a booming urban economy, and widespread social wealth. Iconic buildings by global starchitects, including works by the ‘Big Dutch’, are evidence of this development. The city has been reshaped. Yet, along its motorways, and in its streets and alleys, we see other images of the city. People feel lost, houses are dilapidated, and the quality of urban spaces is relatively low. The current generation of international design students is taking on these big small-scale issues. Their designs show a more human-centred approach. Therefore, they take the culture of the city as their starting point and work across disciplines in search of answers. A clear paradigm shift. The collaborating universities of technology in Delft and Beijing strongly support this people-oriented approach by means of research. Here they present the outcome of recent studio work as a visual manifesto, forecasting four major challenges in the long-term development trend of the city: Humanisation of Infrastructural Wastelands; Integration of Modernist Fragments; Recreation of Community Places; Rehabilitation of Daily-Life Environments.

代尔夫特理工大学
北京工业大学在
北京国际设计周

第一展区

重塑人性空间
邀请方
荷兰驻华大使馆
荷蘭外交部

2015年9月23日至10月30日

保苖民居,大栅栏
三井胡同21号(近煤市街)
西城区, 北京

过去几十年间,高速发展是北京城市建设的主旋律。新的功能组团、土地使用区划和综合性的交通系统构成了城市经济发展和社会财富积累的基础。包括荷兰建筑师在内的明星建筑师们所设计的标志性建筑物,就是这一时期的产物。城市在被重新塑造着。但是,在城市快速路的两侧,在街道边,在小巷里,我们看到的是不同的城市景象。人们失去了他们曾经拥有的,房屋在逐渐老化而城市空间的质量在相对下降。这里所呈现的学生联合设计作品面对的正是这一重要却又往往被忽视的议题。他们的设计所秉承的是一种更加人性化的态度,然而却从城市的文化角度出发,通过跨学科的合作寻求答案。这无疑是种范式的转变。代尔夫特理工大学与北京工业大学的合作从研究的意义上为这种以人为本的设计方向提供了强有力的支持。本次展览所展现的学生作品可视为一次视觉上的宣言,预告了城市长期发展趋势中面临的四项主要挑战:基础设施建设的人性化、现代主义城市空间的整合、社区场所的再造、以及日常生活环境的复兴。

 
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