TimeLine R’dam is an overview of the economical, political, social, cultural and spatial development of Rotterdam between 19oo and 2oo6. The parallel scheme illustrates the connection between the different disciplines and clarifies the complex spatial developments of Rotterdam.
TimeLine can be read in 2 ways. There is a clear horizontal action/reaction wave. The economical, political, social and cultural evolution influences the urban thinking and the resulting spatial development of the city.
Reading the TimeLine vertical, shows the different economical, political, social and cultural time layers there have been in a specific area and how these have influenced the urban development of the specific area.
The insights originated in TimeLine have been of big influence on the further urban research, design projects and strategic thinking of David Dooghe.
2oo6, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
‘The failure of realized utopias of spatial form can just as reasonably be attributed to the processes mobilized to materialize them as to failures of spatial form per se. There is a fundamental contradiction at work here. Utopias of spatial form are typically meant to stabilize and control the very processes that must be mobilized to build them. In the very act of realization, therefore, the historical process takes control of the spatial form that is supposed to control it.’
David Harvey 2000
'In the recent years, the urgency of reviewing the general framework of European history has grown in proportion to the fashion for highly specialized, high-magnification studies. (...) Many historians and students have been drawn into ‘more and more about less and less’ to the point where the wider perspectives are sometimes forgotten. Yet the humanities require all degrees of magnifications. History needs to see the equivalent of the planets spinning in space; to zoom in and observe people at ground level, and to dig deep beneath their skins and their feet. The historian needs to use counterparts of the telescope, the microscope, the brain-scanner and the geological probe.’ Norman Davies
TimeLine, the historic and spatial research that makes the components behind the urban dynamic of Rotterdam comprehensible, was presented at the local authority of Rotterdam concerning the urban development and public housing, dS+V.
The horizontal action/reaction wave structured the presentation. The designers were fascinated by the action reaction between the economical, political, social, cultural developments on one hand and the urban thinking about the city and spatial development of the city on the other hand. Along the presentation some examples of urban areas with different timelayers illustrated the vertical reading of TimeLine.
For the designers of dS+V this presentation created a historic awareness and an insight in the different development phases of Rotterdam. The main topics in the discussion following the presentation were: the shift in the urban development task, from expanding to transformation, and the current economical, political, social and cultural developments that could influence the future spatial development.