From 20 to 23 August 2019, professor and researcher Florian Urban will visit Rotterdam through the Open Call of Het Nieuwe Instituut's International Visitor Programme, invited by the Office for Metropolitan Information (OMI).
On Thursday 22 August at 20:00, Urban will give a public presentation at OMI, titled 'The Oude Westen and ‘Gentle’ Urban Renewal in European Cities', as a prelude to ‘West Side Stories’, a manifestation with an exhibition and extended public programme.
In his presentation, Urban will re-assess the regeneration of the Rotterdam’ district Het Oude Westen in the context of current debates concerning inner-city restructuring and residential architecture in the city center. The Oude Westen was one of several case studies from different European cities as presented in Urban’s book ‘The New Tenement – Residences in the Inner City since 1970’ (Routledge, 2018).
During his visitor programme from 20-23 August Florian will visit OMI, the archives at Het Nieuwe Instituut and heritage office at the Municipality Rotterdam. He will visit the Oude Westen area with architect Endry van Velzen (De Nijl Architecten), meet with Aktiegroep Oude Westen, and will be given a tour along recent urban projects in Rotterdam.
On 23 August, Urban will take part in the expert session 'Contemporary Meaning and the Future of Urban Renewal', with Anita Blom (the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands /Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed) Evelien van Es (architecture historian), Wijnand Galema (architecture historian), Paul Groenendijk (writer) and Lidwine Spoormans (Heritage & Design, TU Delft).
Florian Urban is professor and head of Architectural History and Urban Studies at the Mackintosh School of Architecture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Berlin (1996), a Master of Urban Planning from UCLA (2001) and a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Architecture from the MIT (2005). His recent focus on new tenements started with a research project in 2014: dense and multi-storey urban residences that have been built in European cities since the1970s were analysed. His detailed expertise about tenements and building blocks can be found in his book ‘The New Tenement, Residences in the Inner City Since 1970’. Besides Berlin, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Vienna, he analyzed the housing structure and examples of urban renewal projects in Rotterdam. His research interests include furthermore the 20th century history of architecture in the urban context, the discourses on (post-)modernism, historic preservation and identity.
OMI is an initiative of Perplekcity and Ossip Architecture Photography, based in Rotterdam. They offer city explorations, urban programming and photography combined in one place. OMI also offers space for partners to create and present new city programs.