The public environment is changing constantly. Buildings, traffic, people, vehicles, communication, green, recreation; the public environment belongs to us all and is ever in motion. What does that mean for materialisation?
Rather than the place itself, the experience of the space is now in the centre of the attention. Because of online shops, the direct retail business is disappearing from the urban landscape and is replaced by experiences. How can places relate to people and have their own identity, with activities to make sure those people keep coming back? Aside from that, more space is allocated for nature, not only in flowerbeds, but also in combination with street furniture. Nature is pulled into the cities with urban farming, bee hotels and green façades.
Transport is changing; shared bicycles and shared cars are on the rise; car-free city centres and electric driving has consequences for how we design and allocate our public space. Energy is produced sustainably and locally, and problems with rising water levels as a result of paving our streets are countered with green roofing and materials that absorb water or with just a nicely designed gutter. Urban mining makes sure that all the old materials are repurposed. The city of tomorrow is sustainable, safe for traffic, and green.
Our Urban & Landscapes ambassador
Cees Donkers represents the sector Urban & Landscapes. Until his retirement in 2015, he was the urban architect of the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Donkers redeveloped the neighbourhood in which he lives, Witte Dorp, as well as the former Philips building De Witte Dame as the start of the transformation of the former PHILIPS factories. He helped Eindhoven shake its name as ‘the ugliest city in the Netherlands’ into design pearl.
Donkers also started series of open debates on the redevelopment of Eindhoven, and founded together with Technical University and Design Academy Eindhoven ‘City as a Lab’, a research project on urban beautification.
He is the founder the Architectural Center Eindhoven and Brabant Academy, an online platform for research in urban planning, and has received a national award of the Ministry of Urban Planning. Donkers has a large international network of start-ups and young professionals and gives lectures and workshops on urban transformation.
Sustainable paving tile
‘De Duurzame Tegel’ is a sustainable paving tile made with the bottom ash left over after incinerating household waste. Currently, 15 per cent of sand and gravel in the concrete for the tiles is replaced by bottom ash, and the aim is to make that 30 per cent in the future, amounting of about 15 paving tiles per person in amount of waste.