Opportunistic Urbanism is a two-way exchange between two contrasting metropolises: Southern Randstad, a polycentric urban region with a state led and well-regulated model, and Melbourne, a sprawling monocentric city with a more flexible and 'spontaneous' housing production.
Opportunistic Urbanism is a collaboration between Deltametropolis Association, Melbourne School of Design and TU Delft.
| Photo report - closing event | (Flickr)
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|Opportunistic Urbanism - Closing event:
(inter)national debate, pitches and presentations
(september 9- Science Tower Rotterdam)
Through presentations, short pitches and debate with six (inter)national experts, we sought answers to the following questions: "Do we make the best out of our cities’ potential? How can we best utilize the latent opportunities of the available space in our existing cities?"
| more info | presentations |
With Bianca Seekles (ERA Contour), Rory Hyde (Victoria & Albert Museum), Rients Dijkstra (Maxwan), Daan Zandbelt (DeZwarteHond), Eric van Winsen (BPD), Paul Gerretsen (Deltametropolis Association), Katherine Sundermann (MGS Architects), Andy Fergus (City of Melbourne), Gabor Everraert (Rotterdam) and others.
Based on the outcomes of the on-going project | Atlas Slimme Verstedelijking |, Deltametropolis Association 'opportunistically' invited the students of Melbourne University to work on a selection of unconventional Atlas sites and propose design solutions for new metropolitan living environments in the Netherlands. The Opportunistic Urbanism studio is a two-way exchange between two contrasting metropolises: Melbourne, a sprawling monocentric city, and the Southern Randstad, a polycentric urban region.
|Opportunistic Urbanism is a collaboration between Deltametropolis Association, Melbourne School of Design and TU Delft University.|
Learning from Melbourne
Melbourne is | the world's most liveable city | and offers a promising example regarding urban development challenges, with less government control and a more flexible planning system. Melbourne's market-led development culture and 'laissez-faire' approach to planning has resulted in a unique urban situation. Set within the context of rapid population growth and a strong economy, a dynamic, opportunistic approach to development has emerged. A key component of housing delivery is the diverse range of development parties active in Melbourne: from amateur family syndicates and small time builder-developers through to commercial developers building apartment towers fuelled by foreign investment.
Such a dynamic housing production is supported by a flexible planning system that aims to organize diverse interests under a coherent vision precincts, in order to raise the standard of living environments. As a result, an inventive architectural culture has emerged, providing highly varied and creative responses to unconventional sites within existing urban areas. In Melbourne’s opportunistic urbanism, no site seems to be too difficult for development.
Towards a new model in the Southern Randstad?
In the Southern Randstad by contrast, careful state-led planning - facilitated by several large development agencies - has led to high quality and equitable development, with the rowhouse enshrined in the national psyche. However, this housing system tended to prefer unconstrained urban fringe sites, leaving behind complex and underutilized inner urban sites of considerable potential. There remains a significant opportunity to craft a more dynamic and diverse Metropolis, through the strategic redevelopment of these sites.
The challenges of Southern Roundstad invite the question as to whether lessons can be drawn from the dynamism of the Melbourne context:
- Can more diverse development actors combined with a flexible planning system provide a new opportunity in response to a contracting public sector and growing reliance on private sector development?
- Can encouraging do-it-yourself, participative development create more diversity in existing neighbourhoods to address changing demographic needs?
- Can new typologies and creative design approaches introduce a distinctive metropolitan character to South Holland, unlocking a potential critical mass and intensity within existing urban areas?
| Katherine Sundermann | – MGS Architects
| Andy Fergus | – City of Melbourne
| Alan Pert | – prof. Melbourne School of Design
| Anastasia Chranioti | – Deltametropolis Association
| Paul Gerretsen | – Deltametropolis Association
| Daan Zandbelt | – Technical University of Delft
| Birgit Hausleitner | – Technical University of Delft