City of Optimism


City of Optimism was our submission for Europan 11. The competition theme was: ‘Resonance between territories and ways of life – what architectures for sustainable cities?’ We created a design for incremental urban development in Amsterdam South East (The Netherlands). Our proposal talked about connections: 1) Literal programmatic connections: from the buildings of Decathlon/Prenatal, Ajax Arena/Heineken Music Hall, through Bijlmer Station to the new IKEA-town; 2) Spiritual and social connections: a new public space has been designed as a green strip that is made for wandering, meeting, shopping, hurrying, working and living for everyone and no one in particular as opposed to the existing one-dimensional offices spaces that have been scattered around the modern wasteland of cheap building fabric. For this new public space to be successful, a blunt but yet optimistic vision was being laid out: large urban blocks will provide for a clear framework. These urban blocks sit in a orthogonal grid, cut diagonally by the public strip. This lay-out also structures a strategic incremental transformation process.

Competition: Europan 11
Submitters: Mo Smit (COCOCAN), Daan Petri, Eric van Noord.