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Collaborative urban development

In urban transformation you can only achieve tangible results and sustainable goals, if you profoundly acknowledge the different complexities and unpredictabilities and manage to embed them in the core of your processes and your team. Whether you are a public, private or community organisation, you need to structurally join forces and work with your environment and always be sensitive and responsive to what is happening around you while keeping your focus on the big challenges and long-term goals as well. This is what we call collaborative urban development, and this is what Transformcity developed a unique methodology for.

The 7-layer model

TC_7 layer model for website simplified

For the past ten years we have been working consistently on researching, testing and optimising our methodology. We synthesised our findings in our 7-layer model: a simple yet comprehensive framework that helps you to structure all activities into one integral and ongoing urban strategy.

In traditional linear development processes, we often see sequential and relatively separate phases. First you make a plan, negotiate the agreement, get the permit, start construction, start placemaking and branding, complete the project and sell it or shift to operations. Our 7-layer model flips this around into a more lateral approach in which the different phases run parallel and are combined and connected in new and sometimes unexpected ways.

We have first developed and tested our methodology and model in our award-winning field lab in Amsterdam. Since then, we have been working with various public and private clients in the urban domain. This led to further finetuning and enriching our methodology, testing our model and using it to craft strategies for a wide range of urban and organisational contexts.

Needless to say, the model has no strategic power of its own. It is a container that gives you an overview and adds structure to your strategy. The actual strategy is in the content and in how you connect your activities to give them direction. This will be different for every area, because every area is in a different stage of development and has its own characteristics and stakeholder dynamics.

We can help you to both set up your overall strategic structure and fill it in for your specific projects to optimise positive impact. We offer a wide range of services, varying from keynotes and workshops to custom consultancy and support. In the upcoming months we will also release our online courses, helping you to set up or improve your own urban transformation strategy in a collaborative way. If you’d like to learn more about the model or how it can help your project or organisation, please contact us for a free intake.

Our methodology | Transformcity