In this module we focus on the hardware aspects. In our 7-layered model these form the two centre layers, one about spatial planning and design and one about actual physical interventions – in the broad sense, this may vary from small or temporary gardens or artworks to large building projects. Successful development or transformation of existing urban areas fundamentally acknowledges the dynamics and dependencies in the area and the stakeholders. Although there is much focus on process and engagement here, there is still a very important role for spatial planning and design – albeit in different forms and emphases throughout the process.

What do you learn?
> embed your hardware activities in your complete strategy for maximum effect and leverage
> the first introduction of your spatial goals and challenges to different local stakeholders
> build a spatial database of interests to work towards collective action and investment
> set up a structural co-design process with different local stakeholders
> design an adaptive future vision and transformation path that brings you there over the years
> fore- and back-cast between long-term goals, mid-term stepping stones and short term action
> critical success factors for designing future visions specifically for urban transformation
> recognise the dependencies and fragilities in your plans and stay adaptive to different future scenarios
> kickstart your urban transformation by effectively utilising temporary interventions and placemaking
> grow local support and co-ownership around the spatial transformation of your area

What do you get?
> 11 video-chapters (total ca 2,5 hours of content)
> all video is on-demand, so you can replay and keep content as a reference book
> follow on your own pace or use one of our program templates incl assignments: steady, speedy or pressure cooker
> download 1: checklist ‘design an adaptive urban vision’
> download 2: manual ‘set up effective co-design workshops’
> download 3: canvas ‘create your transformation path’
> download 4: checklist ‘effective placemaking projects’
> download 5: overview back- and forecasting
> 1 hour of (online) live individual Q&A!

You get one personal login. In case you like more logins for your team or organisation, please contact us for a quotation.

! Make sure you profit from our special introduction price: now only € 900,- ex VAT p.p. !

Current Status
Not Enrolled
900 EUR
Get Started

Course Content

In this chapter we introduce the topic of this module, make a first sketch of the context and explain the contents of the module. Including 3 templates with suggested timelines & assignments for your optimal learning experience.
The hardware, as in the spatial plans, designs ánd projects, is often considered the real work in urban transformation. This is after all where the results are most tangible and measurable. However, these results are strongly intertwined with the social, economic and the ecological ones. Besides, in urban transformation you do not automatically reach tangible results. This is a complex game where you need to cleverly and consciously integrate your hardware actions with your software and orgware. And last but not least, you need to be very adaptive in building your transformation over time.
In transformation areas with a lot of different owners and stakeholders we cannot design a new future vision and superimpose it on the existing situation. We don’t have the mandate to intervene on somebody else’s property, so we are dependent on many others to act and invest. Therefore, we need a shared vision where we all see our own goals and interests reflected in. Many owners and other stakeholders are probably laymen in the field of urban development and may not be aware of what is going on in the area and where it should be heading. To kickstart real change and build collectivity, you first need to learn how to formulate and visualise it to get it on the different stakeholders’ agenda as something relevant and important to engage in.
For successful transformation with real impact on different major transitions, you first need a broad, multi-thematic analysis. You need to tap into the database and expertise of different expert institutions and the different departments in your own organisation. Besides, different local stakeholders may very well add topics that you had not necessarily identified or prioritised yourself. All stakeholders have their own interests and perspectives in an area, whether it is on the short, middle and long term. Success lies in synthesising and finding overlaps in all hard data, tacit knowledge, stakeholder input and your own goals, analysis and experiences. This will reveal topics and locations where different challenges and interests come together and where collective action can be sparked.
In urban transformation you need to cleverly connect goals and interests for the short, middle and long term. Initially you may need to take the current situation as a starting point and then forecast based on the potential to make upgrades and unlock investments here and now. You may not be able to define a future vision, because you lack both the stakeholder’s input and their support. However, as you move forward stakeholders may feel a growing need for a shared future vision. A shared vision will make the future more concrete. It adds status and direction to the process. When everybody knows and agrees about the future vision, they can then backcast and formulate their own initiatives accordingly, feeling more comfortable to make substantial investments. Including an overview “back- and forecasting”.
The only way a future vision for transformation areas can become reality is by creating it together. How do you organise a good co-design process that considers all different interests and addresses the big overall goals and transitions as well? Your process needs to take the different stakeholders’ involvement very seriously, tapping into their everyday experience, expertise and creative potential. Like this, plans will get more rooted and interesting and you have a large support base from the start. But at the same time the vision needs to make sure it transcends individual self-interests and gives proper interpretation and meaning to the whole area. This is a crucial design, communication and organisation question in one. Including a manual to set up effective co-design workshops.
Urban transformation requires ongoing sensitivity and adaptivity to new trends and insights and also to internal changes in the area. With many different owners, you cannot have full control over when and where actual plans are going to be realised. Together you work towards something amazing, but you also want to reduce mutual dependencies so that one project does not fail in case another does not come through. Next to its spatiality, your vision therefore needs a strong temporal component as well. We need to design how our future vision can play out and evolve over the year while being able to adapt to different future scenarios along the way. How do you design a strategic transformation path, showing how the area can step by step transform from the existing situation towards the envisioned situation. Including a canvas to create your own transformation path.
How do you design adaptivity in your vision and transformation path? The area in a way is always finished and never finished at the same time. It is in constant transformation and therefore needs to be attractive and liveable at any given point in time, regardless economic setbacks or other unexpected events, both positive and negative. It is therefore recommended to define your first steps spatial interventions in a way that you can build a consistently attractive basis for the whole area as soon as possible.In this chapter you learn two opportune spatial strategies that you can use as an underlayment: layering and sparking. Including a checklist for designing an adaptive urban vision.
A mix of existing and new buildings can lead to new, exciting and sometimes unexpected new places and atmospheres. That is nothing new if we look at the revitalisation and redevelopment of industrial sites or harbour districts. But in transformation areas with very fragmented ownership there is a higher level of unpredictability which buildings precisely will remain, and which ones will be redeveloped. And it is this unpredictability that brings with it an extra dimension which requires you to be very realistic in designing the spatial rules and building guidelines for transformation. Diversity needs to be embedded in its core and you may have to find other ways to create spatial cohesion.
Your transformation path both focuses on the desired future ánd on constantly adding new quality impulses to the area. This is not only important because of resilience and adaptivity, it also acknowledges the different stakeholders’ timelines and horizons. Not everybody in the area looks ahead ten years or more, some see their interest on a much shorter term and that is where they will or will not engage. Therefore you need to not only deal with big and permanent interventions but also identify key issues to address and initiatives to build on immediately. These bring immediate positive energy into the collective and provide the essential steppingstones for other projects on the middle and long term as well. Your transformation path is a powerful strategic tool for building engagement and brand power but also collective execution and investment power in the area. Including a checklist for effective placemaking projects.

How do you bring your first placemaking interventions to the next level, increasing their long-term spatial impact? You can start doing this as soon as your first engagement and collective decision-making, execution and investment power are built in the area and you as an initiator have claimed a certain trust and license to operate. How do you design low-threshold interventions that reflect the different stakeholder interests and urgencies and that also have a scope and scale that reflect the long-term future goals and ambitions? How do you realise your long-term vision for the area by step by step prototyping it and building on each other’s actions? We first discuss a few theoretical principles and then give you a very practical illustration of how this was done in our Amsterdam field lab.

Hardware | Transformcity