(Planning for the region around Amsterdam as a metropolis in 2040)
In a year-long series of conferences, the local authorities in and around Amsterdam had to develop a plan for the social and infrastructural demands facing the region in the times ahead.
The region is set to become a ‘Metropolis’ rather than a group of individual cities and towns, which meant great changes and power shifts for the cities involved. Through a series of staged conferences, plans developed by city planners and experts from social, environmental and architectural backgrounds were put before groups of governors, local representatives, civil servants and other stakeholders. Each stage demanded different experts, giving a specific type of information to varying audiences. Each time the conference would have a different goal, from shaping, informing, discussing through to the actual voting on the proposal. For a far-reaching process such as this one, it was of great importance that there was a trust and understanding between the parties involved and full cooperation and a true exchange of knowledge for those attending the conferences.
Sandra Rottenberg, organiser and discussion leader asked me to join and aid this complex series of conferences with a communication-design concept. This resulted not only in the graphic design of the printed material, but also directives for conference settings, events, locations and communication tools with which the conference goers could sharpen their ideas.
In 2008 this project won the ISOCARP award for excellence
BOUWSTENEN: In the first of the conferences, experts met and exchanged ideas. In an open and stimulating setting, participants were made aware that the plans they were developing were to be executed by the next generation.
HORIZON IN BEELD: In a later conference, the first outline of plans were presented, pointing out the issues at the base of the proposals. They were presented to citizen’s representatives and (non-) governmental stakeholders. Guided by students from the technical en engineering university at Delft, participants talked in small groups to the planners and discussing the issues amongst themselves. The conference was set in an old industrial building amidst new housing developments in the countryside. The visual design was led by a continuation of the main theme ‘man with binoculars’, this time developed into a series of commissioned portraits of people living in the region, representing the diversity of groups.
AMSTERDAM METROPOLITAN REGION: At the last conference, the agreed proposal was presented to a wider audience of civil servants and local politicians. They were the ones who now needed to start implementing these ideas. As an introduction to the factual information, specially-designed bus tours of the region were organised, so the participants could see for themselves what would be affected by the changes. Looking at the present landscape, they were asked to look to the future, a ‘futurologist’ guide and a locally sourced and ecological lunch were there to help them on their way.