Planning and Design for Adaptable Cities and Neighbourhoods

Cities and neighbourhoods are by their nature complex systems which change and adapt over time as a result of both top-down interventions and unpredictable, bottom-up, emergent processes of transformation. In the last several years advanced models have been elaborated to better understand and analyse this phenomena. However, implications on how to plan and design the development of cities and neighbourhoods for uncertain futures, including the concepts of flexibility and spontaneity, are still at their infancy and need to be expanded. Moreover, even though awareness on the relevance of this topic is now spreading within planners and designers communities, it has hardly penetrated into ordinary practices and theories.

With this colloquium series, the ILS wants to explore and search suitable strategies on how to plan and design cities and neighbourhoods to make them more adaptable and responsive to unpredictable changes.

Aiming at enriching the dialogue and discussion on adaptable cities and neighbourhoods, the colloquium will invite preeminent international scholars and researchers from this field of study.

Participation is free of charge. Registration is not required.

Organized by: Dr. Stefano Cozzolino and Prof. Dr. Jan Polivka

8 October 2019, 5 pm
Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (ILS), Brüderweg 22-24, Dortmund

Urban planning and design traditionally focus on the build city. However there is a discrepancy between how cities are build and how people live in them: “The build environment is one thing, how people live in them another” (Richard Sennett 2018, i). The adaptive city, as raised by this seminar could be understood in several ways. It could refer to the build urban environment as being adaptive to change (i.e. buildings resilient for change), it could also be understood as the non-build urban environment adaptive to change (i.e. the organizing system resilient to change). This lecture will conceptualize the adaptive city as being both: the build form of the city will be related to the anthropology of the city and vice versa.

Building on discourses that highlight how spatial engagement works through multiple levels, as a complex continuity between various spheres of life (political, socio-economic, cultural), this lecture will show that the key aspect for adaptive cities is the room available for negotiation that allow different actors to make decisions over the use and design of space in a particular context. Furthermore the lecture will make a side step to the East Asian context, which historically knows an organizing system – including planning – which due to its plural non-linear character seems more adaptive to change then conventional planning as we know it in Europe. Drawing upon empirical data collected in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, this lecture provides hands-on insights in how such a non-linear – more complex – urban system works. In Hanoi the political-economic planning system allows everyday practices of ordinary citizens to gradually evolve into major transformation of the socio-political as spatial-cultural urban landscape.

The lecture will conclude with opening the debate by posing questions that arises from these insights. If we conceptualize the adaptive city as an open system in which different actors make decisions on multi-levels influenced by both the physical as non-physical environment, what then is the role of the urban planner or designer? Is the planning practice able to “plan” or “design” such an adaptive system, or is there a discrepancy in this aim, which demands a repositioning of the planning and design practice to allow adaptive cities to emerge?

Guest speaker: Stephanie Geertman

Stephanie Geertman works as senior researcher at ILS and at the research group Psychology for Sustainable Cities, at Amsterdam University of Applied Science. She studies urban everyday spatial politics and spatial practices of ordinary citizens. She studied this in three domains: informal housing (PhD, TU Eindhoven 2007), youth and public space (Postdoctoral fellow, INRS Montreal, 2013-2015), and the creative urban sector (independent, 2015-2016). Most of this work relies on empirical research in Vietnam where she worked (as international advisor for the UN, NGOs and practice) and resided for 12 years. Currently she focuses on the role of everyday urban politics in creating inclusive and climate neutral cities. At the ILS she coordinated a EU proposal to transition six urban neighbourhoods (in Europe, Latin America and Asia) to renewable energy.

29 October 2019 6-8 p.m
Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (ILS), Brüderweg 22-24, Dortmund

Abstract: The colloquium invites all interested in the sharing economy and specifically the AirBnB phenomena and its impact on housing markets. While many touristic destinations in larger cities often struggle with a lack in affordable living space and rising rents, the development of the sharing economy is assumed to have a significant contribution in aggravating the situation. By transforming centrally located housing into holiday accommodation, these are then being withdrawn from the housing market. Thelack of available data and limited experience with such phenomena, incomplete reporting by the platforms and hosts as well as a general deficiency in scientific research methods make it yet difficult to generate a complete understandingabout the phenomenon and its impact. This colloquiumpresents some insights intothe sharing economy on behalf of data analysis and research concepts. It addresses different levels of city comparative approaches to neighborhood level data analysis. Finally, it addresses the effectivity of different attempts of cities to regulate this kind of accommodation by introducing respective discourses and evaluation methods.

Presentators:
Vilim Brezina (Regulatory approaches for short-term rentals in American and European cities) is urban planner with a focus on spatial governance. His research deals in particular with questions of housing, digitisation and planning policies. He is currently completing his doctorate on the regulation of short-term-rentals and worksas a research assistant at the Department of Spatial Planning Law and Environmental Law of the School of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University.

Diane Matuschek (Roleof the Sharing Economy forthe Housing Marketof Cologne) holds a bachelor’s degree in applied geography with a minor in city planning and iscurrently studying for a master’s degree in economic geography at the RWTH Aachen. In the course of herthesis she deals with the sharing economy and its impacton local housing markets. Since November 2018 she is working as a student assistant at the ILS in Dortmund, where she appliesherknowledge on this topic.

Jan Polívka (AirBnB’s wish to reglement? State-driven vs. city driven regulations) is urban and regional planner and focuses on adaptability and use ofurban fabrics and the development of housing stock. He is Junior Professor for Sustainable Housing Development at the Faculty of Architecture at the RWTH Aachen University and Head of the research group “Spatial Planning and Urban Design” at ILS in Dortmund.

Martin Stark (Regulating Airbnb: Preliminary results with QCA) is senior researcher at the ILS. He is the coordinator of the joint research project KlimaNetzeon transformations in urban climate and resource protection through the design of governance processes. His research focuses on network and governance research, climate protection and climate change in urban development as well as the social and economic history of the 19th and 20th century. He is co-developer of the software VennMaker, a tool for collaborative collection and communicative validation of network data.

26 November 2019, 6-8 p.m. (room 3.13)
Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (ILS), Brüderweg 22-24, Dortmund

Cities and urban regions across the globe face a series of pressures and challenges, of which many come with uncertainties. These uncertainties are complicating urban planning and policy making as developing productive interventions that establish desired outcomes becomes an arduous undertaking. Uncertainties are hard to avoid, as they affect key dimensions of decision making; they can be a consequence of limited knowledge about the phenomena planners aim to deal with, arise from the ambiguity in how actors perceive certain problems and possible solutions, and can be the result of cascading effects in which changes at one place and moment in time trigger a series of changes elsewhere and at later moments.

To advance urban planning and policy making under conditions of uncertainty, a call for more adaptive approaches is made (e.g. Rauws, 2017; Skrimizea et al, 2019). It is argued that such approaches should enable planning and policy making to work with uncertainties rather than reducing or ignoring them, and as such also increase the responsiveness of cities to foreseen and unforeseen change. However, the debate on adaptive approaches to planning lacks conceptual clarity and frameworks for operationalization are limited (Zandvoort & Willems, 2017).

With the aim to advance the adaptive planning debate, an analytical framework will be proposed to distinguish various types of adaptive planning and how they relate. Moreover, critical considerations in establishing more adaptive approaches will be identified.

Guest Speaker: Ward Rauws

Ward Rauws is Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and coordinator of the AESOP Planning and complexity group. His research interests include, among others, urban and peri-urban transformations, urban planning and governance, local initiatives and active citizenship, and self-organization and complexity science. With the talk “Adapt or Perish: the need for complexity-sensitive planning” Ward Rauws will present some of his most relevant and recent scientific achievements.

Rauws, W. (2017). Embracing Uncertainty Without Abandoning Planning: Exploring an Adaptive Planning Approach for Guiding Urban Transformations. disP-The Planning Review, 53(1), 32-45.

Skrimizea, E., Haniotou, H. & Parra, C. (2019). On the ‘complexity turn’ in planning: An adaptive rationale to navigate spaces and times of uncertainty. Planning Theory, 18(1), 122-142.

Zandvoort, M. & Willems, J. J. (2017). What’s adaptive to what? Defining and using the concept of adaptiveness in planning. In Zandvoort, M. (Eds.), Planning amid uncertainty: Adaptiveness for spatial interventions in delta areas (pp. 49-71). Wageningen: Wageningen University.