In January 2012 we launched the Knowledge Lab for Urbanism in a unique place in the city of Amersfoort. The students involved in the Lab investigate innovative ways to improve the quality of the city. What is the impact of the Knowledge Lab on Urban Planning and what is the outcome of the research work?
THE KNOWLEDGE LAB IS AN EXTERNAL R&D LAB
Within the Knowledge Lab for Urbanism, companies, research institutions, government, media and other organisations work together to develop and test new knowledge for today’s urban challenges. The Knowledge Lab for Urbanism is an external R&D lab. Partners from the private and public sector can submit questions to the lab. The students in the lab will explore creative solutions that will be tested in the city of Amersfoort.
THE KNOWLEDGE LAB ANSWERS THE QUESTION “HOW TO”
In the Netherlands, we often start a research program by asking the question ‘why?’. People find the question ‘how to’ solve the problem less interesting. The Knowledge Lab for Urbanism considers ‘how to’ the only truly relevant question. Therefore, we expect the students to answer this question in an as detailed way as possible, and develop a business model.
THE KNOWLEDGE LAB WORKS WITH TOP STUDENTS
The Knowledge Lab is the most interesting learning place for the best students engaged in training towards urbanism. Together with top students from other courses and guided by leaders from the course, students work on specific problems in the city of Amersfoort and the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region. This contributes to exploring new solutions, not only for the test cases, but also for other cities. The internship or graduation product will contribute to a better future for urban society. The results will have a positive impact on the understanding of the topics and will influence the transformation of urban society.
THE KNOWLEDGE LAB CONCENTRATES ON URBAN VITALITY
‘How do we keep the city fit and vital?’. That’s the main question in the Knowledge Lab for Urbanism. We are living in an interesting time. As a result of the economical crisis, combined with the population decline in the border areas, urban growth is no longer obvious. Cities that still want to survive must find new ways to create momentum. The existing instruments in spatial planning need to be discovered again. The Knowledge Lab for Urbanism believes that cities with this integrated approach, both from a physical and a social and economical perspective, will be the most successful.
THE KNOWLEDGE LAB IS A UNIQUE NETWORK
The Knowledge Lab for Urbanism is being made possible by the (financial) contributions from partners. They find it important for this research to continue and are interested in the innovative results. But contributors will also benefit from the many advantages the lab will offer them. For example, the constant media campaign in the magazines of Elba-Rec, the meetings the Knowledge Lab organises and the unique network of established organisations.