Summer School Thinking City 2014: The Dynamics of Making Amsterdam

Summer School Thinking City
The Netherlands

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As a city with an extensive history of planning, a highly appreciated quality of living and a wide range of innovative developments, Amsterdam will host this upcoming summer programme about city planning and city making.

Considering cities worldwide, one can conclude that a high-quality urban environment is often the result of a delicate balance between government control, market initiatives and citizens’ input. The Netherlands has a strong tradition in the field of architecture and urban planning, in which this balance is carefully maintained. An intricate structure of planning and participation tools and a strong culture of reflection has allowed for a continuous adaptation and refinement of its systems. In today’s rapidly urbanizing world, this knowledge and expertise can contribute to the development of cities and regions elsewhere. At the same time, the current state of planning and future planning tasks in the Netherlands raise questions. Questions this programme sets out to explore.


Two weeks of exploring, discussing and developing the future of the city, together with a team of top talents.

Sustainable, liveable and socially just cities can no longer be created with a mono-disciplinary approach. Holistic, interdisciplinary ways of working are crucial. During the Summer School we will therefore work on generating innovative solutions for urban issues, while simultaneously testing new working methods. In interdisciplinary groups both students and young professionals will explore models of cooperative planning. The groups will work on case studies that are Amsterdam based and topical. Diverse actors throughout the city—citizens, companies and local government—will act as client and conversation partner. As a result of the programme, each studio will create a narrative about the future of Amsterdam—a narrative to inspire the city and mobilise it for further action.


Events to get people talking about the city, inviting a wider audience to take part in the debate.

Parallel to the summer school programme, a public lecture series will be organised that offers a platform for the local and global community to discuss current issues regarding the planning and creating of cities. Speakers from diverse professional backgrounds will be invited to share their views of Amsterdam—on their bond with the city and how they see its future. From a reflection on Amsterdam’s past, we would like to initiate for a discussion about the city’s future.


The final presentations of the case studies will be published in the Post Box as well.

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