Critical Urbanism


Conceptually we understand the urban condition as ‘temporary relation of interdependent elements within a responsive and interacting system’. The boundaries of such system are dynamic and require constant reassessment and re-definition, subject to the applied point of view. New communication technologies and improved accessibility to high-speed networks make large amounts of data instantly avail-able and minimise the time to make major decisions. The result are increased levels of economic and political dynamics but also exclusion and conditions of uncertainty at the regional and local scale. We believe that a new & critical approach to ‘contemporary’ urbanism and its planning methods has become necessary.
The practice of long term master-planning and linear processing is no longer adequate to deal efficiently with the complexity, pace and scale of issues imposed by the built environment today.

We are interested in the research of adaptive and integrated planning instruments: A combination of various tools, such as scenario planning, scheduled programming, prototypical implementation can enable and accommodate change for middle to long-term projects.
Furthermore an increase of complexity of proposals through multitasking and methods of curative manipulation can secure a high level of potential control and influence, enabled through detailed knowledge of ‘symbiotic’ interests of various urban players and institutional bodies.


Conditions of change

Increased levels of migration, accelerated by global capitalism and environmental change contribute to the ongoing trend of urbanisation. Fragmentation and minoritisation as recent phenomena of the urban demographic landscape will influence urban policy and question established procedures of decision-making in growing cities. This will result in a gradual re-definition of our built environment including the responsibilities for public space. Higher urban densities will demand for social and cultural tolerance and will further challenge the negotiation of boundaries, ground and space.