2017-09-01Souper #87

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Last Monday of August, Landscape Architect Steven Delva (Delva Landscape Architects) and Marco Broekman (Marco Broekman Urbanism Research) joined us in Restaurant Huson.

Steven and Marco each have a portfolio of fantastic projects, interesting studies, impressive strategies. Obviously, they simply switch between designer, researcher and spatial strategic thinker. It is therefore not strange that they won various competitions in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht for the development of new neighborhoods or transformation of existing industrial areas into bustling city districts.

In addition to all these roles, they are also entrepreneurs. Steven hires a part of his office in Amsterdam as a luxury Bed & Breakfast and Marco regularly seeks strategic partnerships with (inter)national parties to expand his work. Started in time of crisis they have both solid office by using the right knowledge and skills. Respect!

2017-07-01Souper #86

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Jan Dekkers (entrepreneur in building construction) and Fenna Haakma Wagenaar (Municipality of Rotterdam) were our guests at the end of June in restaurant Huson.

Jan graduated as a construction designer with specialization: prefab concrete. He started his career as a manager of a concrete factory, followed by several director positions at various construction companies (IBC, Heijmans, Hurks, Bruil). At the moment he is working on different innovations in the prefab industry.

Fenna, after her turnarounds at OMA, Herzog de Meuron, SANAA and the municipality of London, is now working as an urbanist for the centre area at the municipality of Rotterdam.

Our guests had little in common in terms of work and personality. Jan is a modest and technical man in charge of building construction. Fenna is undecided and works as an idea woman at a very early stage of the design process.

2017-05-01Souper #84

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For interesting guests we like to travel to another city. For Roel Vos (former municipal official and politician) and philosopher/ journalist Annemarie Kok we moved our souper from Rotterdam to Groningen. Inspiring city. Nice people.

The way in which Groningen worked for the last fifty years seems to be exceptional and consistent. That did not happen without a fight. In the late sixties and the early seventies there was a big and radical change of perspective. The city and city renewal was looked at in a different way. Urban development was then used in a new way. Roel worked with the municipality and together with Max van de Berg he shaped this dynamic development of Groningen. Later he was a deputy at the province and director of the Blauwe Stad.

Annemarie has recently written an interesting essay about the role of politics and politicians in the city. Shortly, without relying on her nuanced essay, she advocates a proactive attitude of politicians. This means absolutely not a municipality that facilitate. This fashionable jargon means in practice a government that does not want to take responsibility, is not caring about their inhabitants and has no vision at all. A politic movement that puts politicians out of the way and connects citizens against their sense does not strengthen civilisation. It just affects society.

With Roel as a practitioner and Annemarie as a scientist we spoke about the past and discussed about the city of Groningen today. In restaurant De Pijp it became evident that the specific lessons from Groningen are particularly valuable for thinking about and making the future city in general.

2016-12-16Pilot p-Matching

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How can the right residential program with the right parties are programmed in the right place? This requires in-depth understanding on the regional level and coordination between the three Ps: Program, Place and Parties. As an extension of the Atlas Smart Urbanization brings Agency Deltametropool with branch organization Bouwend Nederland, Province of South Holland and HAU in P-matching these elements together, using targeted research and data analysis. This year is a pilot project carried out in which it is tested in the South Wing od Randstad. Read the report of this pilot.

2016-03-14Souper #72

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The last Monday in February, we have delicious dinner at restaurant Huson with Nathalie de Vries (architect / partner MVRDV) and Rients Dijkstra (urban designer/ partner MAXWAN).

The discussion focused on the 'Public architect’. Nathalie as former Government Advisor on Rail Infrastructure and now as president of the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA), Rients as Government Advisor on Infrastructure and Urbanism and Professor of Urban Design at the Delft University of Technology have extensive experience performing functions in the social field. They told us build bridges between market players, research institutions and public organizations is no easy task. Confidence in architects and urban designers is shockingly low.

Clear this evening that confidence can not be restored to the way we are now working within the disciplines. The 'Public architect' has the difficult task to connect with all other parties in the chain. An even tougher task is to open her own profession to the outside world.