Symposium de Energieke Stad

On Tuesday the 26th of March 2013, Wouter Vanstiphout was one of the guest speakers at the symposium named: “The energetic city”, organized by the Dutch “creative industries fund.” During his talk, Wouter argued for a strict division between the government’s responsibilities and that of the market, concerning urban development and investments in real estate. Wouter’s text and the video recordings can be found below, or click here to download the text in pdf (unfortunately all in Dutch only). skip to 01:08:30 for Wouter Vanstiphout’s talk De scheiding van Markt en Overheid In Rotterdam woedt al een paar maanden een… Read More

Resort Castelfalfi

In 2007, the German travel company TUI, bought an almost abandoned Italian village plus its surrounding land, to turn it into an 11.000 hectare holiday resort. Our PhD candidate Els Leclercq wonders if this approach is desirable and if so could this be a solution to the problematic shrinkage of other European villages. Castelfalfi, once a thriving agricultural village with 500 inhabitants, located near Florence in Tuscany, depopulated rapidly during the ’60’s. Only two people remained while buildings deteriorated rapidly, until the German tourist operator TUI bought the village and surrounding countryside in 2007 with the intention to develop the… Read More

Euro Vegas part 2

In July 2012 we wrote an article about Sheldon Adelson’s controversial plans to construct a multi-billion dollar gambling resort somewhere in the outskirts of Madrid or Barcelona. Last February, Adelson finally made his decision and selected a 750-hectare site in Alcorcón, a quiet suburb of Madrid. After the first stone is laid late this year it will become one of Europe‘s biggest building sites, creating tens of thousands of jobs in recession-hit Spain. The development would include six casinos with 18,000 slot machines and 1,000 gambling tables, 12 hotels featuring a total of 36,000 rooms, a convention center, three golf… Read More

Shrinking regions growing Democracy

– Update: 13 Nov. 2012 – by DasP Students: Johnny Tascon, Bert Oostdijk and Wu Xiayu. As a way to propose a set of scenarios for the people to decide upon the future of the Prignitz region, the “urban tool –kit for Hoogvliet” by Maxwan and Crimson has been taken as an example to implement. After examining different aspects of the region, like the economy, the landscape, the electoral behavior, demographics, and vacant buildings, we tried to sum up the fundamental choices the region faces. Prignitz is not only a shrinking region; it is also one that seems to have… Read More

Lecture by Simone Rots

This Tuesday, we need you to wake up early for a cool lecture by Simone Rots -Director of Hofbogen BV and partner of Crimson Architecture Historians– on the transformation of the Hofplein train station and viaduct in the North of Rotterdam. Hofbogen BV was founded in 2006 when various housing corporations joined forces and purchased the Hofplein line railway viaduct from the Dutch Railways. The reason behind this move was the dominant presence of the viaduct in the urban area of Rotterdam North, an area that is extremely important to the corporations concerned. Due to its length, the viaduct crosses… Read More

Rise of the megacities

Sixty-two years ago New York and Tokyo were the world’s only megacities with over 10 million residents. Now there are 23, and the UN predicts (pdf!) a total of 37 by 2025. All but eight of these cities will be located in the developing world – and the quality of life for millions will be determined by the quality of their cities. The guardian made a quite impressive interactive map showing the 100 most populous cities as of 2012 according to the UN (megacities are shown with a black border), in order to explore the latest estimates and forecasts on… Read More

Strand East, London

Ikea subsidiary LandProp is planning to redevelop 26 hectares of industrial wasteland in Stratford, just a stone’s throw from the 2012 Olympic site. The neighborhood dubbed “Strand East” is something of a flagship project for IKEA’s property division and should be a place “where mews-style townhouses sit comfortably alongside creative commercial space. Where beautiful public courtyards open up to piazzas. And waterways weave their way around hotels, restaurants, parks, water taxi piers and cycle paths.” This mixed-use neighborhood is built with the same middle-class target group as the familiar IKEA stores and LandPROP will be concerned with creating a strong… Read More

Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design

If you happen to be in New York between now and March 25th, make sure you check out the MoMA exhibition: 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design The political potential of architecture was one of the founding credos of the avant-garde in the early 20th century. Yet today it is commonly believed that this potential has been overwhelmed by economic realities and by the sense that architecture, by its very nature, is symbiotic with existing power structures. Such a perception, however, is belied both by the rise of a… Read More

New Songdo: A City in a Box

  New Songdo City near Seoul in South Korea has been hailed as one of the first truly “smart” cities of the 21st century. The cutting-edge technology present in every square meter of this development is testament to the developer’s dreams of a high-tech, futuristic city. The real innovative aspect of this project, however, is the fact that the city is being sold as a package. For the first time ever, interested parties can buy a “City in a Box”, and know exactly what they are getting—down to the door handles and hinges. Every component is included in a one-time… Read More

Corporatiedirecteuren en geld, veel geld….

Gister avond was Wouter Vanstiphout te zien in ons favoriete tv programma ‘de slag om Nederland’. In dit programma onderzoeken Roland Duong, Teun van de Keuken en Andrea van Pol of de Nederlandse burger nog iets te zeggen heeft over zijn land. Deze eerste aflevering van het nieuwe seizoen had het thema ‘De Corporatiedirecteur’ en ging over het cowboygedrag van corporatiedirecteuren, hun ambities en hun salarissen. Tientallen woningbouwcorporaties dreigen om te vallen omdat hun directeuren, vaak met de beste bedoelingen, veel te veel risico’s namen. Hoe konden ze zo massaal uit de bocht vliegen? Bekijk de aflevering hierboven.