19.09.08 - 19.12.08
The Vital Legacy of Cities
The Meaning of Urban Heritage
in the Transformation of the City
IntroductionDeze pagina in het nederlands bekijken.
The central question of the course is how in the contemporary transformation of cities urban development can make careful use of the qualities of the urban heritage. Building forward on the path of historical development is considered as the essential challenge for the contemporary renewal of cities. The focus is explicitly not put on the conservation of monuments – however important this may be – but on transformation: The innovation of vital cities. Attention is paid to both the functional aspects (economic, social, and cultural) and the physical component (the spatial structure and urban design) of urban transformation. Furthermore, the related conditions of planning and governance will be addressed during the course. The four elements of the course are briefly elaborated below.
a. The functional transformation and experience value of cities
The functional transformation of cities is induced through social and economic changes. The use value of urban action space is in a continuous process of change. This implies that the meaning of urban heritage is established and re-established repeatedly and that it obtains an altered role in urban regeneration. See, for instance, the reclamation of historic sites for the creative economy, such as new media complexes, the differentiation of housing estates (gentrification), or the reuse of obsolete industrial and office complexes. This also applies to the radical transformations of infrastructure and urban landscape.
b. The physical transformation
With the physical transformation the course aims at the restructuring of material spatial complexes. The main interest is less on singular historic monuments but on larger complexes which are relevant for urban development, combining old and new towards new urban ensembles. This implies, for instance, the regeneration of residential neighbourhoods, the revitalisation of city centres, harbour areas, etc. The examples of urban heritage which will be topical during the course will offer a cross-sectional overview through history to provide a profound picture of the various options of reuse.
Urban planning contains consecutive phases in which special investigations are carried out to examine the opportunities for new urban functions. Monumental value constitutes one important part of such investigations. Thus, the crucial question is how the quality of the place can be integrated effectively in the whole planning process. In the practices of new urban development projects, the debate on the qualities of existing complexes is frequently addressed only in a late stage of the planning process.
d. Public management in the context of governance
The staging of this transformation is difficult because many stakeholders of various backgrounds have to achieve a co-production. In practice many pitfalls seem to exist. Considerable spheres have to be bridged between the different domains of preservationists, planners, and private investors. Also processes of social transformation are challenging as planning often operates in diffuse ownership structure and interferes with private property.
Outline of the course
The course consists of 7 regular seminars – two-weekly – on Friday morning from 9.15 until 13.00 hours and an additional public afternoon session in collaboration with the foundation “Amsterdam Monumentenstad”. In accordance with the customary sLIM formula international and national experiences are exchanged with a mixed audience of professionals and master students. The sessions take place at locations that relate to the topic of the day and therefore add value to the meetings. The course has an educational (non-commercial) interest. Due to the international background of the course and a number of participants the course is taught in English.
The public afternoon session on 12 December is of a facultative character. This session is open for a broader local audience and is therefore held in Dutch.