Reflections from Eurodelta Podium 2022

Online symposium highlights and presentations

27 mei 2022

The Online Symposium Week, 'Next Generation Podium for Eurodelta' explored the future developments for the territory of Eurodelta bringing out fresh ideas from the next generation urban thinkers. The 5-day conference consisted of three lunch forums and two day online symposium, held from 2-6 May 2022. In this page, you can find the links to the videos of presentations from speakers and highlights from the event.

We will be sharing the compilation of all the discussions from the contributors, results from the participants and recommendations and next steps of Next Generation Podium for Eurodelta 2022 in coming weeks. Stay tuned through our dedicated LinkedIn Group and website to receive the Eurodelta Strategy Catalogue.

With a successful pilot program in 2021, this year we hosted the second edition bringing in 170 participants from over 10 universities to collaborate and contribute to the development of the Eurodelta megaregion. Continuing with the ambitions and support of the SURE Network and an active consortium, this week-long symposium brought together an audience ranging from practice and academia, working in the field of architecture, design, urban studies, economic geography and spatial planning. The week consisted of inspiring presentations held in 3 lunch forums (2-4 May) and two days of guided workshops with participants working in teams (5-6 May).

In addition to the workshop, the participants were given a chance to interact and get to know more about the practice through open office days during the three lunch forums held at three cities in Eurodelta. Some of the participants took the opportunity to interact with the practitioners during the open office days held at Municipality of Amsterdam (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), BUUR (part of Sweco, Leuven, Belgium) and Business Metropole Ruhr (Essen, Germany). We are grateful to our supporters who encourages the young designers and planners in the professional setting. Below are some insights from the 5 day symposium and some videos that you can browse.


Lunch Forum, Day 1

Water Management and Climate Adaptation

Watch the first Lunch Forum here

The first lunch forum focused on the theme of water management and climate adaptation with expert presentation from academia and practice. The program began with interview with Cédric Fettouche from the New European Bauhaus. He explained the ambitions of the New European Bauhaus, links to the European Green deal and their agendas going forward.

“The New European Bauhaus has three visions; sustainable, together and beautiful…Those three values are connected and the idea is to develop activities that have those three values. They work together. It is not one or the other.” – Cédric Fettouche

We then saw presentation on the Mayor’s Manual from Scipio Kok (City of Amsterdam) which is a knowledge community built around a podcast. He explained his work on collecting advice for mayor’s worldwide on various urban challenges and addressing long term sustainability.

“Our cities can’t wait. We have to think big, be courageous and take bold action!” – Scipio Kok

This was followed by presentation from Maarten Gheysen (KU Leuven) explaining the project Blue Space-Blue Park from academia and practice. Situated in the context of Eurometropolis, the project explains shared culture and water as unifying elements.

“The blue park is a federating element, the water is the one thing that connects all the territories, people and culture.” – Maarten Gheysen

The last presentation of the day was from Piotr Kalbarczyk (CITYFÖRSTER) on architecture and urbanism practice based in Rotterdam. He explained the research project on Marconiplein for the municipality of Rotterdam. The project explains how infrastructural spaces (mobility/water) can be transformed into active public spaces.

“Water is often the connection point between countries, however policies often end at the border.” – Piotr Kalbarczyk


Introduction by Paul Gerretsen (Deltametropolis Association)

Lunch Forum, Day 2

Cross-border Mobility and Infrastructure

Watch the second Lunch Forum here

The second lunch forum gave insights on the theme of cross-border mobility and infrastructure and the need for cooperation at the Eurodelta scale, moderated by Cecilia Braun (Braun-Urban). The first presentation was from Klaas van Staalduine, Province of South Holland explaining the experiences from governance and policy sector on cross-border mobility in the Eurodelta.

The following presentation was from Oliver Lah, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy on the research project Urban Living Lab Centre and how they play a role in international cooperation on energy transition and climate challenges.

The last presentation of the day was from Miechel De Paep (BUUR – Part of Sweco) on the project from practice, comprehensive mobility. Miechel explained the challenges of the region of Flanders due to a lack of proper planning and the strategies proposed by BUUR to address this.

“If we are investing in transport corridors we should also invest in the nature and villages around the corridors, not for growth but for quality of life” – Miechel De Paep


Introduction to SURE Network by Helmut Theole (Province of South Holland)

Lunch Forum, Day 3

Smart Specialisation Strategies

Watch the third Lunch Forum here

The final lunch forum focussed on the theme of smart specialisation strategies, moderated by Dagmar Keim (City of Amsterdam). Dmitri Domanski (Metropolitan Ruhr Business) started the program with a presentation on 5-AREALSPROGRAM on the transformation of Ruhr metropolis from coal to renewables.

The second presentation was by Daniel de Klein (Urban Development Initiative, Eindhoven) on the topic of digital cities in the context of accelerating urban solutions in the Brainport Eindhoven region. The digital cities program is one of the three innovation programs from the urban development initiative focussing on the digital solutions for integrated and sustainable area development.

“Cities often think they have to do everything by themselves. Digital twins was set up to share ideas” – Daniel de Klein

The last presentation of the lunch forum was from Ernst van Zuilen (SWECO Netherlands) on material passports and asset management.

“The expectations that we have that digitalization could contribute, could also contribute to unsustainable development. We need an intelligent strategy for that” – Ernst van Zuilen


Keynote by Sandra Pellegrom (National coordinator, UNSDG)

Online Conference, Day 4

Online Working conference and Opening Ceremony

Watch the opening session of day 4 here

The first day of the working conference started with a short introduction and reflections on the lunch forum by Paul Gerretsen (Deltametropolis Associations). This was followed by the presentation on SURE Network by Helmut Theole (Province of Zuid Holland) explaining the context of Eurodelta and the role of SURE network.

“The narrative for the Eurodelta is an open question. It is the only cross-border metropolitan region within Europe without a strategy. That is where the sure network was making a start, forming a strategy.” – Helmut Theole

The keynote presentation was given by Sandra Pellegrom (National coordinator for the UNSDGs). She explained the role of SDGs and the role the national government in incorporating the SDGs into the national policies.

“People think the SDG’s are obvious, it is logical we have to achieve these. But this is not true, it is a unique and special agenda that speaks to all of us.” – Sandra Pellegrom

The keynote was followed by two university studio presentation giving insights into the methodology and working across scales through exemplary student projects. Christian Nolf (Wageningen University and research) presented about the Regional Landscape Architecture – A System followed by Qu Lei (TU Delft) on Spatial Strategies for Global Metropolis.

Further inspirations from research was added by three PhD pitches on Revierknoten Raum by Benjamin Vossen (RWTH Aachen), Infrastructure transformation by Cecilia Chiappin (KU Leuven) and WALK-IN by Halina Zarate (TU Delft). With this the opening ceremony came to an end.

After the coffee break saw the participants divided in their respective teams to develop a ‘strategic spatial plan for the region of Eurodelta’ by connecting scales of action on three specific thematic narratives from 1) Water Management and Climate Adaptation, 2) Cross-border Mobility and Infrastructure and 3) Smart Specialisation Strategies. The participants were urged to think strategically in terms of actions and timeline while developing their project idea on the local scale and upscaling the impact on the mega-regional scale, keeping in mind the overarching challenges and goals set by the global and European goals such as the EU Green Deal, New European Bauhaus and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Presentation Pitches by teams

Online Conference, Day 5

Final presentations and closing ceremony

Watch the closing session of day 5 here

The final day the participants fine-tuned their ideas with mentorship from practitioners and inputs from SURE Network experts. The outputs from the workshop were presented by the participant teams to an eminent jury panel consisting of Rupert Kawka (BBSR), Marie Deketelaere-Hanna (Inspectrice générale CGEDD) and, David Martens (The New European Bauhaus). 


Closing statements by Carola Hein (LDE universities)

The closing statements were provided by Carola Hein (PortCityFutures, Leiden-Delft-Erasmus) who summarised the student works as well as gave reflections on the overall process of working.

We are extremely thankful to all the participants, viewers, universities, contributors, speakers and supports of this symposium and look forward to continue working with you all in coming years.

We are at the moment compiling the results and the final results will be shown as a publication and exhibited during the New European Bauhaus festival in Brussels (9-12 June 2022).  We are also organising some other exhibitions in Amsterdam (July) and Milan (16- 18 June).

Email us and let us know which ones you are attending and how can we find new opportunity to collaborate. Interested to know more? then get in touch with Alankrita Sarkar (

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