Urban renewal: matter of opportunities; Design projects for East Amsterdam
As part of the research project Renewal of Urban Renewal the master specialisation Hybrid Build-ings2 launched several Design Research Graduation Studios proposing as main theme of investigation the role of architecture in contemporary urban renewal. The research project is starting from the observation that most urban renewal approaches until now have been focusing very much on the scale of the housing block, concentrating on the relationships within the neighbourhood itself. Considering the Dutch scene, despite a rather convincing renewal of the housing stock, this neighbourhoodbased approach does not seem to deliver the desired results. In addition, this subject deserves particular attention in the current postcrisis period, in which the official authorities too are clearly switching their position, from a leading role to almost an undefined player seeking new operational strategies and opportunities. Therefore, starting from the acknowledgment that urban renewal is no longer driven by a predefined economic, social and spatial agenda, the Renewal of Urban Renewal research project propagated the need of finding new balance, consensus and perspectives in the approach to urban transformations. Instead of massive restructuring processes characterising the first urban regeneration flow, nowadays reality argues for a more bottomup driven urban renewal, for more limited interventions involving facilities, infrastructures and/or public space, in short, for new challenges and opportunities.