Beyond the scope of ruin porn: Why Detroit matters

“That Dutch assholes come here and all they wanna do is taking pictures of abandoned buildings”, was a remarkable quote in the movie ‘Detroit Lives’ that was shown during the Inspiring Cities Inspiring Films event on September 18th, 2014. It…

Battersea And Bankside: A Tale Of Two Power Stations

This surrealist journey seals the fame of an urban landmark, which had been making regular cinematic appearances since 1936 (including Hitchcock, the Beatles’ ‘Help’ and Monty Python) and was voted second most popular modern building by a score of celebrities…

From Maizena to Extreme Makeover

I wonder what healing power is ascribed to ‘culture’ in urban renewal strategies. Since the 80s, the value of musea, events and shiny waterfront developments for urban regeneration grew to the attention of policymakers. Even in deprived neighbourhoods, culture is…

The structure of happiness

Inspiring Cities was invited by the European Knowledge Network, a network for European cities to share methods of governance, involving residents in their policies and actions. At their closing conference in Almere, Inspiring Cities organized four Salons on the specific…

Arts and culture are outstanding value creators

There are many reasons to introduce arts and culture into a residential area. Now, a research of Jan Brouwer by ABF Culture adds a convincing one: arts and culture and creative industries are the most important causes of higher property…

At Least Partially Homemade: New York’s Industrial Decline

A popular assumption that resonates in much that is said or written about the conversion of industrial urban spaces to new, post-industrial functions, is the idea that contemporary cities in the advanced capitalist world have become almost completely devoid of…

How to make a spatial vision in one day

The city district of Hillegersberg Schiebroek wants to be prepared for the future. What are the challenges facing the district in the coming 25 years? Normally, in these cases, consultants are asked to do a study about the challenges and…

Old city, new life

We cannot claim to speak of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and only look at its historical aspects. Photos Barcelona by Ramon Domènech & Victor LaudyMentioning the Mons Taber, Barcino or the last columns of Augustus’ Roman temple would not be…

Public space in London

Lessons from one of the most succesful cities in the world: what does public space look like when there is plenty of money available?During the Rotterdam week participants of the different salons stressed the importance of well designed public…

Glass Fibre as Urban Regenerator

The Liberties: a former industrial area south of the centre. Most of the original jobs have disappeared, only the Guinness factory still remains. And then came the Digital Hub. Putting Glass Fibre at the heart of the urban regeneration strategy,…

Investing in the City – Odran Reid and David O’Connor

This paper, prepared jointly by Odran Reid and David O’Connor, proposes that the city is something to invest in and that by so doing, Dublin can ensure efficient planning and delivery of services that will support the market and investors,…

Five Minute City – Conor Skehan

Want to know all about the five minute city. And the agenda of urban ambition?Conor Skehan is Head of the Department of Environment and Planning at the School of Spatial Planning in DIT. At the recent Academy of Urbanism…

The Twelve Principles for Cautious Urban Renewal

Kreuzberg, photo ToKi A call for Cautiousness that conquered Berlin, Germany and the rest of the World. In 1984, Berlin organised a double Building Exhibition. Mr Hardt-Waltherr Hämer and his team developed 12 principles for how urban renewal should take…

Statement for Strong Cities

“Let’s not talk about urban regeneration. Its too problem oriented and too physical. Let’s talk about urban development instead. This is about people, about stimulus, about coalitions and about future.”Effects of Good Government on the City Life (detail), Ambrogio…

Creating the Soul of New Town Almere

“Once you live in Almere, you have to get up and do something, otherwise you get depressed.” Connie Franssen works as a freelance journalist. In 1997, she moved from her beloved Amsterdam to new town Almere.  She is one of…

A New Town with a Memory?

Oral History in a New Town??? An interview with Connie Franssen of the storytelling project in Almere. One of the founders of Geheugen van Almere, a website and meeting place for stories of the residents. Creating the soul of a…

Dublin may be rich nowadays but…

… there is still laundry in some streets. foto: Jeroen Laven Over the last decade Dublin has changed from being one of the poorer capitals in Europe, to one of the richest ones. Especially in the innercity it is hard…

New Britain: Cultural Change in the last 10 years

With Tony Blair resigning, after ten years of being in power, how has Britain changed over the last decade? When he started, Blair promised a New Britain. Financial Times has written an inspiring article about a completely new feel of…

OMA / REX Museum Plaza in Louisville, KY

A new Museum Plaza in Louisville, Kentucky It will give Louisville, KY a complete new face. “Museum Plaza is not just a building. It’s a riverfront city centre where commerce and culture thrive. Driven by local leaders, Museum Plaza is…

The CAC and other Urban Projects in Valencia, Spain

Imagine being surrounded by the Pompidou Centre, the Sydney Opera House, the Bilbao Guggenheim and the London Eye all in the one beautiful place and miraculously blended into a single coherent array of architecture and form.  That is no less…

On our way to a childfriendly neighbourhood

On Saturday the first of July 2006 the Prinses Margrietbuurt in Rotterdam celebrated the opening of the new park and playground in the former local swimming pool named voorheen het zwembad. A special occasion that was celebrated with music, speeches,…

The Cultural Coalition for the Amsterdam Olympic Area

The beautifully renovated 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Stadium is the only of two pre-war Olympic Stadium that still exists in the world.It is now the catalyst for all kinds of new activities, related with sports and the Olympic Spirit. It…

“Guard Rails” & “Naked Streets”?

How do we get rid of those awful guard rails?Guard Rails and Naked Streets, those were the buzzwords of the 11th Annual Quality Streetscapes Conference in London, 3 May 2006. An inspiring conference.The question: how do we get rid…

How do I start my own Community of Practice

That was the question. ENTP, the European New Town Platform, asked Hans Karssenberg of Stipo Consult, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer of Mediamatic, and Jeroen Laven and David O’Connor of Erasmuspc and Urban Design Ireland to help them answer this question.Together with…