Animated debate during Urban Summit

The panel and moderator during the Urban Summit - Photo: Michelle Muus

Over one hundred international ‘city makers’ gathered in Rotterdam on Friday 20 April at the start of the 5th IABR: Making City. They came together to discuss what we need to do to make socially, economically and ecologically sustainable cities. The point of departure for the discussion was the ‘Agenda for Making City’, the report that documents two years of research and design study conducted by the 5th IABR: Making City together with 33 cities around the whole world.

The day started with a number of inspiring lectures that showcased concrete examples of innovative ‘city making’. These were followed by a lively debate chaired by Xavier de Souza Briggs (American sociologist and planner, affiliated to the MIT, and Associate Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2011) that sought to elaborate further on the findings of the ‘Agenda for Making City’.

This Urban Summit continues the concerted international quest for new ways of ‘making city’. The key question was what the findings to date mean for the various parties involved in the process of city making. The aim is for as many people as possible to contribute to this agenda, to embrace it, and to shape it to suit local conditions. 

The agenda will be developed further in the coming period with input from the delegates who attended the Summit. The next occasion when the elaborated results will be presented is the Meeting of Director Generals, Spatial Planning and Territorial Development of the European Union, which takes place in Copenhagen on 8 and 9 May.

The lectures were delivered by:
Anna Skovbro (Head of the Urban Planning Department of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Damon Rich (Urban Designer of the City of Newark, USA)
Joachim Declerck (Founder and Program Director Architecture Workroom Brussels, co-curator 5th IABR)

The panel comprised:
Mark Frequin (Director General for Housing, Construction and Integration, Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Netherlands)
Michael Speaks (Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Design, USA) 
Alexandros Washburn (Chief Urban Designer, New York City Department of City Planning, USA)
Leendert Bikker (President Rotterdam Economic Development Board, Netherlands)
Tom Smit (Director Management Consultancy Royal Haskoning, Netherlands)