The International Perspectives (tIP) consist of a series of seven public lectures with inspiring international speakers, and seven private expert meetings, which displays inspiring examples of urban functions in the metropoles of the world. The series will take place from September 2o11 to March 2o12 and are organised around 7 themes: cultural clusters, knowledge clusters, flagship developments, self-organising city, social network city, international organisations and attractive city.
tIP is organised in cooperation with the various universities in Randstad Holland. The tIP results will be input for the final debate and a publication, both planned for spring 2o12
Related project: P23_Defining the Metropolis
2o11, Randstad Holland, The Netherlands
What makes a big city a metropolis; its sublime location, its metro system, its inspiring history, its concentration of headquarters, its multicultural population or its exciting nightlife? Defining the Metropolis is a design research which investigates the development of the metropolis. By examining several aspects of metropolitan development - at an international, regional and local scale - Association Deltametropolis in collaboration with the universities situated in the Randstad Holland acquires more insight into the possible further development of the Randstad Holand.
More thought given to the further development of the Randstad Holland - an urbanised area of 8 million inhabitants - from the angle of what appeals to people in a metropolis is needed. The population growth of the Randstad Holland is expected to occur by immigration and migration of youngsters out of the periphery into the cities. For these groups employment, education, acquaintances and kindred spirits are the main reasons for staying. If the Randstad Holland is to compete with other urban agglomerations employment, housing and facilities must be of top reputation.
Related project: P27_the International Perspectives
2o1o, Randstad Holland, The Netherlands
One of the sessions went into dept on: “How large is the metropolis?”. This session focussed on: why a Metropolis in the Netherlands, what is the Dutch Metropolis and how does the Netherlands become more metropolitan?
Why a Metropolis in the Netherlands?
Out of the presentation of Evert Meijers we learned that Metropolises are more productive. Research has shown that cities become more 5,8 productive if their inhabitants double. Concentration and density being more sustainable than sprawl is another argument to choose for metropolis development.
What is the Dutch Metropolis?
The Research of Evert Meijers has also shown that an agglomeration of cities does not benefit of the 5,8% improvement as a concentrated city. The solution is thus in the well organising of the network between the cities. Also the presentation of Arjan Harbers shows similar conclusions. The spatial development along infrastructure has beard fruits in Switzerland. The network thinking, however shows the problem on how to define the borders?
How does the Netherlands become more metropolitan?
In contradiction to common believe, the metropolis exists of custom-made, site specific development. The research of David Evers shows that metropolis development is privately driven. People make the metropolis, the public authorities always try to keep up. Bert Mooren confirms that the Dutch policy is mainly on paper and does not have clear results in practice, mainly due to a lack of need of urgency. The power of the Dutch metropolitan development is in the collective. A triple helix (private, public and civic society) on different scale needs to support the metropolis development.
The urbanisation in Randstad Holland has not yet achieved its full potential. Besides the presence of the needed hardware, infrastructures, facilities and open spaces, the tIP final debate aimed to discover what elements are still missing that can push Randstad Holland to become a more successful urbanity. This debate formed the concluding session of the tIP series, initiated by the Deltametropolis Association, in collaboration with all the universities in Randstad Holland.
foto Fred Ernst
The outcome of the lectures and corresponding expert meetings revealed that a number of common themes were present throughout the series. These form the starting point for a metropolitan strategy for the Netherlands. In doing so, the Deltametropolis Association tried to avoid naming specific clusters of metropolitan programmes because these appeared to be the outcome, rather than the actual cause. What was clear, however, was that there was a clear structural dimension to filling out such a metropolitan strategy.
1. Each session touched on the importance of imbedding the international scale into the local context.
Provisions and activities that convey an international story have an important iconic effect in the urban field in which they are located, these therefore also have a strong local effect. The presence of international provisions and activities differs greatly per city in the Netherlands. This effectively means that the nodes in Dutch cities do not compete at a national scale, but on a North-Western European scale. International nodes are not only the places where international provisions and activities take place, but also the places where many international migrants live.
2. A change from centre-periphery relationships, to network thinking.
In the past few decades, several new international centres have developed in the peripheral areas beside the centres of larger Dutch cities. Even within the larger cities, some areas have become more important than the actual city as a whole. This trend will increase over the next few years due to the accessibility of these places and the types of places. The metropolis will develop along the services and provisions of the centre, and the mutual connections that are formed in-between these functions. The synergy between different centres will therefore develop less out of the accessibility of these centres, but more through the economic, cultural and/or social connection between these centres.
3. Preserving and strengthening the public character of public spaces.
The metropolis is characterised by places where people meet and come together. It therefore requires a public character and safety in its public spaces. The metropolis offers an abundance of activities. Flexible and temporary use of public spaces and buildings should therefore always be possible. The use of location-aware social media can strengthen the attractiveness of places, by making existing local activities more visible. The activities produce mobility between places in the metropolis. This requires the adaption of normal behavioural patterns by its users.
4. A move from sector policies to integrated policies.
Large-scale urban development plans can no longer be solved through zoning. Urban challenges therefore need to be tackled in their full complexity and connectivity in networks at different scale levels. The current culture of allocating responsibility for specific issues through strict divisions in public administration is inadequate in tackling the real issues that these developments entail.
5. Urban development always necessitates collaborative parties and different forms of alliances.
This requires an equal role between the public sector, private sector and civil society. It needs to be an open form of collaboration, based on content and responsibility. The Netherlands is rich in its different formations of self organising collaborations. These involve both collaborations of stakeholders working on joint ambitions, as those working on conflicting or opposing aspirations. This tradition seems to be disappearing, however. The current crisis in both the public and private sector therefore calls for new forms of collaboration.
These are the initial impressions, which Deltametropolis Association believe should be centrally addressed when forming a metropolitan strategy for the Netherlands. More information click here
Photo by Fred Ernst
“University graduates who move into employment are essentially the people who learn the quickest. In this sense, universities play a bigger role in teaching students how to deal with issues and how to apply them, than in teaching them new things. Education is therefore more than just about knowing things: it is about the learning effect and the speed with which you can know other things.”
“In Australia, higher education is clearly benefiting the country as 80% of the value added to the Australian economy is accounted for by university graduates between the ages 25 - 40 years old.”
“Universities are therefore no longer merely national knowledge centres, which also counteracts the risk of national monopoly positions. By creating a standardised system of educational attainment, universities are open to students throughout the world, and this rise in mobility of ideas (and the people who embody these ideas), is raising the general level of worldwide (tertiary) education.”
“What has changed in the last 20 years, however, is that the world has become much more open. This change was marked between 1988 and 1994, when modern globalisation was born. (...) The effects of modern globalisation hugely influenced the labour market, where people could now access the entire globe. The ‘winners’ of the first decade of modern globalisation were the global cities, i.e. London, Milan, New York, Amsterdam etc.”
“The concepts of place, cities and regions should be taken more seriously in Dutch policies, which need to realise that sectoral problems are not related to place. The role of universities are extremely important in this sense, because they help bridge the gap between the public sector and private sector and between the big companies and small companies."
The report of the lecture and expert meeting held at the University of Leiden on February 16 and 17, 2012 can be downloaded here.