Reconstructing the city. Reflections on scenario planning at the Laurens quarter in Rotterdam

The 1995 'what if?' question: reflections on the Laurens quarter Rotterdam

(Jan van Teeffelen, Independent urbanist, Former advisor on urban affairs to the city of Rotterdam Amsterdam, September 2016)

In this essay I like to reflect on the skills and abilities of the so called 'city makers' to construct possible futures, to debate on them and to apply results in their work, either as input for plans and designs or as a test for durability of those. Not the desirability is the key question but the thinkable.

"At a time the reconstruction of the post war city of Rotterdam is nearly completed around the year 1995 and the city becomes more and more part of a greater and more complex urban reality, what are the next objectives for city planners and administrators?".

The so called 'Reconstruction plan' from 1946 became obsolete. The city began to bite its own tail, being nearly completed. What are the next sources of inspiration, the next challenges for transformation and modus operandi for planners? Is it possible to learn from the future? Or are we tied to the 'science of muddling through', 'fuzzy logic' or work under the 'delusions of the day'?

Read the article ...