Spatial development? The right knowledge at the right time

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There is a lot involved when it comes to (re)developing urban areas. Many different expertises are required: from technical knowledge about civil construction, water and energy to specific knowledge of the soil on which you’re planning to build. But often the decision makers don’t know which knowledge is required prior to getting started. For example, technical information comes too late, at a time when many decisions have already been taken. This is costly and frustrating. Therefore it’s important to go over all the information at an early stage and figure out what should be the main area of focus.

Our method contributes to climate resilient, energy neutral and cheaper cities

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For example, technical aspects you could well be faced with when (re)developing an urban area are cables and pipes, foundations, archaeology and unexploded bombs. But you also need to know about natural systems such as whether the soil is fertile and the ground water system. Our method takes all these aspects into account early on in the planning and design phase. We demonstrate how to get into productive knowledge exchange and introduce the technical level in the field of spatial development.

At the moment, it’s not properly understood how many different kinds of knowledge are required. For example, people think that they might need to bring in ‘a techie’. But no such thing exists. There are so many different branches and you need to know which doors to knock.  The same applies to the spatial developer: is he a planner, urban designer or landscape architect and maybe an architect?. You can’t look at it superficially.

We make people aware of all the (technical) aspects that play a role in spatial development. And we connect professionals. Our method contributes to climate resilient, energy neutral and cheaper cities. Our method is handy for councils but also for design agencies and housing corporations. For instance, we collaborate a lot with the Rotterdam spatial development department. We develop support with technical input for a vision on the port and docks area: how can you transform this area? With a group of students we also travelled to an area containing highly polluted soil in Sweden. There we studied what you can do with this soil. 

Why is this so important

With each project we analyse the right way of going about it. Sometimes, I look at it as a ‘Symphony of the Soil’, a musical score whereby the conductor indicates who should do what and when. In the end, this method will cut many costs. You needn’t lag behind events or have to reverse decisions.

Biography

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My name is Fransje Hooimeijer and I am assistant professor Environmental Technology and Design. We help cities, but also design agencies and housing corporations develop new areas. We bring the right professionals together and we show you which road to take. Which knowledge do you need in the technical field and the field of spatial development? By having all this knowledge handy at the right time, you’re able to develop climate resilient, energy neutral and cheaper cities. We also help professionals to work in a more integral way.

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My expertise

Urban development, Spatial development, Soil, Energy Neutral, Area Development,  Water, subsoil systems, Urban design, Sustainability