Dr. Remon Rooij
Teaching physical design skills to engineering students has long been one of the main building blocks of the ABE (Architecture and the Built Environment) curricula. In studio settings, groups of students are supervised by one or more expert designers and/or experienced design teachers. We observe that our ABE students achieve high level (design) competencies during their study time at TU Delft. But we also observe that design education often goes together with overstrung students and (over)ambitious teachers, leading too often – so we observe - to higher levels of student stress. It goes without saying that this results in (the threat of) underperforming students, increased levels of student drop outs, and increased levels of student burn outs. This Honours Programme project could consist of research on finding the most important stressors and prevention and coping strategies, based on literature review and interviews with design students and design teachers.
See for more info the innovation map of the 4TU Centre for Engineering Education (4TU.CEE).
Dr. ir. Verena Balz
Many recent spatial planning reforms across the world have led to shifts in planning regimes, often from statutory plan-led to development-led approaches. In various countries, regional design and the ‘art’ of making spatial representations and imagination of spatial metaphors has emerged as a powerful tool in capacity- and consensus building in multi-actor settings. These are often used as a way to overcome conflicting rationales and images of desired spatial development and spatial futures. In practice, regional design fulfils different roles in different situations, depending on the actor settings and the nature of the issues at hand. We would like to develop research that focus on the performance of regional design in various institutional settings in different countries and (urban) regions. We are particularly interested in case studies/comparisons which are firmly grounded in theory. Questions may be: how do governmental agencies, societal actors and civil society in general work together in regional design? What is the performance of regional design? What role is played by spatial concepts as normative interpretations of spatial and urban structures and how are such concepts used to bring actors together? What is the role of civil society in regional design?
Dr. ir. Maurice Harteveld, Dipl. ing. Birgit Hausleitner, Dr. sc. dipl. ing. Tanja Herdt and Dr. Claudiu Forgaci
The current COVID-19 crisis is affecting the everyday life in our cities in a drastic way: Lockdown and social distancing force inhabitants and commuters to change their daily routines concerning living, working, and for example shopping, and thus the use of public spaces and amenities. The question is how the current pandemic will affect city life in the mid- and long term and what adjustments will be needed in order to build cities in a more equitable and resilient way. By matter of course this post-pandemic design will pick up on current socio-economic trends concerning the transformation of cities as the change of residents and ways of living, the change of work and work environments as well as the alterations in commercial and social infrastructures.
The Urban Design research group invites 4 students to join their research on urban morphology and public space in times of COVID-19 to elaborate potential adaptations of the city fabric. Our research on that topic is centred around four main research questions:
- What effects in public space have been an immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis?
- Given current trends, what type of public spaces are conditional in changed living, working and shopping environments and provide enough space for safe gathering and mobility?
- What design principles and elements in the public space networks are emerging now under the situation induced by the COVID-19 crisis, and are essential in the on-going changes – and vice versa.
- What adaptation of the urban fabric is desired to address the mid- and long-term challenges?
Your projects will focus on cases in the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam-The Hague and will be centred on analyses which can inform potential redesign of existing neighbourhoods. However, the analyses and choice of design strategies will be conducted on multiple scales, from the regional scale to the study of urban typology and design interventions will derive from an interdisciplinary perspective.
You will work as part of our research group of Urban Design. We will meet monthly for reflections, give feedback on individual projects and cross-link individual outcomes to the undergoing research of the group. During your work you will engage in a variety of tasks and products and learn to apply different approaches and research methodologies from GIS analysis to various methods of qualitative analysis and fieldwork.
Roberto Rocco, Remon Rooij, Carola Hein
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 is an inter-governmental initiative supported by the European Commission (DG Regio) that complements and acts on the UfM Urban Agenda adopted by the Ministers in charge of housing, municipal affairs, and urban development of UfM Member States. The development of this Action Plan is led by TU Delft.
This Action Plan offers a framework for integrated, sustainable urban development across the Euro-Mediterranean region by encouraging coordination of policy and action and by promoting partnerships around the planning and design of the built environment; by highlighting the role of the conservation of cultural heritage in urban regeneration and sustainable development; by promoting local empowerment and capacity building; by encouraging citizen engagement; by supporting implementation and monitoring of urban and regional spatial interventions across multiple scales; and by linking the past to the present and the future.
Honour students in this track are invited to develop research that helps with the implementation of the UfM Action Plan, addressing various issues of urbanisation in Mediterranean countries. These issues include (but are not limited to) climate resilience, port cities as nodes of sustainable development, heritage and the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape approach, energy efficiency, new towns and town extensions, sustainable mobility, sustainable housing, and education for research-based preservation and design, planning and governance.
Students in this track will work closely with the TU Delft UfM team members and benefit from contact with real life policy making for sustainable urbanisation and access to experts and events discussing these issues. Students are expected to integrate a growing community of academic and practitioners discussing sustainable urbanisation in the Mediterranean and education for the city we need.
Associate Professor of Spatial Planning
Associate Professor of Spatial Planning
Van Eesteren Fellow
Social justice is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges of our times. Growing inequality, socio-spatial fragmentation, and lack of access to public goods are threats to the sustainability of our cities, especially when sustainability is understood in its three fundamental dimensions (social, economic, and environmental) (Dillard, Dujon, & King, 2009; Larsen, 2012). Social sustainability is underexplored in sustainability studies and the absence of this dimensions in most sustainability studies means there is an enormous gap to be filled.
Part of the issue is that, while it is relatively easy to measure disparities and inequality in space through quantitative analyses of socio-economic indicators, it is less easy to proactively integrate the concept of spatial justice into policymaking. This is because we lack a set of benchmarks and indicators that would allow policy makers to write policy that is spatially just from the outset.
Students in this track are invited to do scholarly research on how to measure spatial justice and how to use the concept proactively in policymaking. Students are welcome to use case studies, literature review and interview to unveil the challenges to include spatial justice into policy making and to suggest possible sets of indicators or benchmarks for spatial justice. Possible deliverable are essays and reports detailing the findings.
Students in this track contribute to the formation of a research group on spatial justice at the Department of Urbanism.
Associate Professor of Spatial Planning
Education for Architecture and Built Environment is becoming increasingly diverse. Internationalisation, women’s empowerment, globalisation, the European Union, the rise of countries in the Global South, normalisation of LGBT+ persons, increasing diversity in Dutch society at large with increasing immigration, and de-colonization of academic studies; these and other societal, cultural, and economic trends mean that our learning and working environment is now incredibly rich and diverse.
Diversity enriches academic life, as we are called to see the world from different perspectives. Diversity entails a multiplicity of worldviews and knowledge, which means that knowledge does not come from one single perspective but is produced from a multitude of perspectives and experiences.
Diverse cultural perspectives can inspire creativity and drive innovation. They are also a terrific opportunity for personal growth. It is all about understanding the richness and the variety of the human experience. But there are challenges ahead, and many of these challenges are “invisible” to those who do not experience them. It is easy to overlook other people’s subjective experiences and to normalise behaviours that exclude certain groups.
Diversity is therefore not free from conflict, but it is important to harness the opportunities offered by diversity to achieve shared understandings and build common values. This can be achieved through frank conversations, and firm action that leads to increased representation and visibility of certain groups.
Students in this track are invited to develop studies about the value and the role of diversity in education for architecture and the built environment, including curriculum analysis and exploration of how issues of gender, race, sexuality, class, country of origin, etc have an impact on the curriculum (or fail to have an impact). Possible deliverables are scholarly thematic essays addressing one or more issues listed here in relation to inclusive education for the built environment.
Dr. Víctor Muñoz Sanz
Amidst the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission wants to align the Biodiversity Strategy of the European Green Deal (EGD) with restoring local economies. The EGD points at the widely accepted benefits of green urban spaces, ranging from health, recreation, refuge to nature, and mitigation of climate change. More importantly, it points at how the extensive deployment of green infrastructure in urban and perturban areas has the potential to have a positive economic impact in cities: new related jobs can help tackle inequalities and ensure a just transition to climate neutrality.
Framed in context of a cooperation with the city of Almere and Floriade 2022, this research project deals with understanding the spatial conditions supporting productive green infrastructures and related green jobs in cities. In an urban setting, activities linked to rewilding, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions could include: plant production, conservation and management of spaces, biomass production, biochar, development of innovative technologies, urban agricultural and livestock production, and nature-related leisure, among others—each one with specific spatial requirements (including buildings and infrastructure).
Questions to touch upon in your project include: How do green infrastructure strategies in a given type of landscape relate to different kinds of work? What are the exact spatial implications and needs of such productive and care activities? How can those needs be integrated into an urban setting? For that, you will use a mixed methodology (literature review, interviews, fieldwork, analytical drawing) on a Dutch landscape type. Ultimately, the overall aim is to establish links between urban greening strategies, landscape and biotope types, productive activities, and spatial design. Both Urbanism and Landscape Architecture students are welcome to join.
This project will help consolidating research carried out in the Section of Urban Design around the future of production landscapes in the context of current technological and ecological transitions (e.g. ’Cities of Making’ and ‘Automated Landscapes’). The research will also establish links with a new PhD researcher on ‘The New Data-driven Agricultural Landscapes in the Dutch Delta System’, and an elective course in Q4 2022 on ‘More-than-human Urbanization’.