Invitation to autumn lecture: The Liveable City

What makes a city liveable? How do you translate health and other social challenges into the physical environment? For the answer to these questions, come to the autumn lecture De leefbare stad (‘The Liveable City’) on Wednesday 16 September. The evening’s speakers will be Dr Martijn Duineveld, associate professor at WUR, and Thomas Steensma of Adema Architecten.

Date:             Wednesday 16 September
Time:             8 pm (doors open at 7:30 pm)
Location:       TBA (Wageningen), on location and through live streaming

Registration

You must register to take part in this evening. The number of seats is limited, so register soon by sending an email to omgevingswet@wageningen.nl. In the subject line, please write ‘registration for 16 September autumn lecture’ and indicate in the body of the email whether you would like to attend in-person or watch the lecture via the livestream.

Speakers

Thomas Steensma of Adema Architecten investigated what the Positive Health concept by Machteld Huber (IPH.nl) can mean for the design of an urban neighbourhood. Steensma translated the Positive Health radar chart into spatial themes. Every segment of his spatial translation comes with concrete instructions. For example, ‘Quality of life’ deals with access to healthy food and characteristic buildings that tell you something about your history. ‘Social function’ deals with meeting places and being able to undertake activities together in the neighbourhood. Steensma then coloured in the map of Delfzijl city centre. “Where are those buildings that Delfzijl is known for? Where is the green space? And where do people have access to healthcare?” He conducted street interviews with the residents of the neighbourhood and asked them to determine whether it was sufficient or not. Based on his findings, Steensma described the urban planning challenges for the city.

Dr Martijn Duineveld is associate professor at Wageningen University’s Cultural Geography Group. “The liveability illusion: an argument for creating a city together. We often think that we know what is good for the liveability of a city and what is not. However, there are no straightforward links between the city as a physical environment and its liveability. Presentations legitimised by research and consultancy firms about the positive relationships between green spaces and such aspects as health, heritage and local identity, economy, and appeal may stop the public debate about the future of the city in its tracks. A liveable city is one in which its different users are heard about what they think makes a city ‘liveable’. The inherent conflict in that approach should not be seen as an obstacle for civil service and politics, but as productive potential for local democracy.”

Inspiration

The municipality wants to work together with the people of Wageningen to create a vision for the built-up area, paying special attention to the city centre. We have therefore asked interesting speakers to give lectures on three evenings to provide knowledge and inspiration to everyone. Every evening has its own theme. This is the final lecture of the series.

We hope to see you on 16 September!