Jan Brouwer


European cities are entering a new phase During the 20th century there was growth in nearly every aspect of society such as population, production, labour force, income, social security, education level, real estate, urban area, infrastructure, mobility, etc. Urban and rural planning were in fact the management and allocation of growth. During the last 30 years growth was still an important item but less dominant. In some areas we’ve seen stagnation or even decline. A new general jump in growth after the current crisis is not expected. In urban development there will be more emphasis on the preservation, transformation, reuse and redevelopment of the existing city. This new phase demands a different approach in urban and rural planning.
The long period of growth brought prosperity and new values but also imbalance in many areas. In the search for new opportunities a new approach has been developed based on societal values. Every city and it’s region develops physical, social, cultural, economical and other different values. In a vital city these values are in balance within the city and in balance with the surroundings. Whether one seeks a cooperative, smart, creative, sustainable, productive, hospitable, mobile or globalized city there is always a choice to be made in resources. Each project has an impact on several societal values. Each perspective emphasizes different values. Steering based on these values is an important means to achieve the right choices. The process is done by dividing the existing city into smaller units, such as neighbourhoods and by measuring and calculating the different values per unit. After evaluating the outcome with stakeholders, the civic demand is formulated and the search for an adequate response can start. This can result in projects on different fields. After a process of co creating new values can emerge. This all seems very simple but is difficult enough to find the right balance in times of limited resources. The article gives a description of the method.

september 26th, 2016