The Wise City summer school

TargetGroup of Russian students
(architecture & urban design)
PartnersCees Donkers, Anne van Strien, Isis Boot
PeriodAugust 2015Collaboration17 contributors (lectures & workshops)

The world, the city and the neighbourhood are all places in transition.

One of the essential themes is sustainability, a goal that seems to be closer within reach than ever. The Wise City summer school created space for discussion about the paradigm shift and essential assets The Wise City should entail. In August 2015, seventeen Russian students and many Dutch and international designers and researchers together explored the road towards a sustainable neighbourhood. Focusing on the themes of Nature in the city, Inter-generational community and Local circular economy, the summer school explored Doornakkers over a period of three weeks, and worked towards creating sustainable future scenarios for the neighbourhood.

The Wise City started in May 2015, when urban designer Cees Donkers organised an informal meetup at the Corner Spot in preparation of ISOCARP 2015, an international congress dedicated to urbanisation. Here, a dedicated group of architects, designers and researchers shared an interest to act upon an important theme of ISOCARP 2015: rethinking traditional methods of urban planning and approaching it bottom-up. With the devotion of design researcher Anne van Strien we drew up The Wise City concept.

The spontaneous three-week programme was organised and hosted on a voluntary basis, only asking the students to contribute in covering costs. The four co-organisers prepared the summer school and hosting for the students, while seventeen designers, researchers and other professionals contributed by offering lectures and workshops. Eventually, the project was exhibited at the Van Abbemuseum during the Who Owns The Street? Exhibition. You can learn more about this project by reading our visual report online.