Presenting: Experiments and Flexible planning

Last May I was asked to present about Flexible planning at the SAPI conference Planning Africa 2014: Making great places. Of course I was honoured, talking in South Africa about a project that I started with Platform31 in the Netherlands is kind of surreal. The conference was going to take place from 20-22 October in Durban and everything would be arranged for me. At that time it seemed that I had plenty of time to prepare for it. But to use a cliche, time flies when you’re having fun. And so, suddenly it was October. I prepared a presentation and flew to Durban for the first time. Continue reading

Why design is crucial for urban planning

For some time now I have been following the debate on affordable or social housing. In the blog Vision, Apartheid and Gentrification I touched upon some of the general challenges in South African housing and urban development. The last three weeks I have been talking to several experts and I have attended two conferences (Social housing and municipalities & Department of Design). I noticed that I missed one challenge in my previous post: design. This doesn’t mean interior design or art, rather it means architecture, infrastructure, use of materials, human capital and local factors. So how does design fit in with social housing and urban planning? Continue reading