Architecture and the City

The city is a collective artefact shaped by public processes. The research group Architecture and the City (A&C) considers the notion of public realm as a lens to look at the (trans)formation of built forms. In doing this, A&C explicitly includes the changing socio-cultural dynamics of public institutions along with the development and transformation of physical public infrastructures over time.

A&C’s main goal is to clarify and contribute to ongoing debates concerning the role of the architectural project within complex urban transformations. Moving from case studies in Dutch and European context, A&C research has the ambition of anticipating future Urban Configurations by investigating the potential of architectural projects in dealing with future forms of publicness within the changing social, cultural and political perspectives. A&C actively engages in cross-over research projects, adopting multiple research methods. Building upon the tradition of typo-morphological studies, A&C research includes research-by-design initiatives conducted with (PhD)students, professional firms, public and private institutions, and (inter)national collaborations. The research group edits the magazine OverHolland, an appreciated platform for architectural studies for Dutch cities.

Under the umbrella perspective: New Urban Configurations for the 21st Century, four interconnected challenges form the core of the research program:

1. Architecture empowering the dialogue among stakeholders. The development of complex projects or large scale urban interventions, involves a wide range of specific interests the design(er) has to translate into commonly shared projects.

2. Future types and models for new urban configurations in which public meets private. Hybridity, multiplicity, sharing, customization, leading to the architecture of publicness in the 21st century built environment.

3. The architectural project and its role in contemporary infrastructure networks (mobility, culture, knowledge, data). Ways through which architecture can act as a driver for transformation in the spatial, social and policy agenda of urban areas.

4. The cities and territory of the Randstad conurbation. Elaborating at different scale levels on knowledge and geographical data such as water management, heritage, institutional representation, connectivity, for setting the agenda of future design strategies.

Key projects


Dr. O. Caso


CoordinatorOlindo Caso

Research staff: 

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