Pier Vittorio Aureli
DOGMA Architecture; Berlage Institute, Rotterdam; Architectural Association, London


Pier is Unit Professor and Head of the Capital Cities programme, Berlage Institute, and Visiting Professor at the Architectural Association in London, Columbia University in New York, and Technical University, Delft. He is co-founder of Dogma, an architectural office carrying out projects ranging from housing renovations to neighbourhood master plans. Dogma won first prize in the international competition for Korea's new administrative city for 500,000 inhabitants (2006).

Topic: The city as a political form

In a world of liberal-democratic imperialism, in which cities are represented in terms of statistics, we have to, in political terms, rediscover the city as a form through which to decide, and not simply produce, the contemporary city. If the political is the decision of the organization of the space among individuals, and the formal is the very materialization of that space, then cities must be seen as political forms: examples of a conscious, and politically responsible idea of how people can coexist.


Sylvia G. Borda
Artist and writer, Vancouver and Queen's University, Belfast

A Vancouver-based artist, Sylvia is a research associate at Emily Carr Institute of Art, Design and Media, and a guest lecturer at Queen's University Belfast and Krems University, Austria, with interests in socio-historical issues and art. She has numerous public art commissions to her name.

Topic: EK Modernism

Borda reflects on the urban plans developed for Scotland's 'first new town', East Kilbride, in her book, EK Modernism, and on the website ( Borda suggests that a balance in ecological and settlement patterns created for the new towns, alongside other modernist ideals, deserve being revisited. Sylvia will discuss her art and research leading to a summation of EK Modernism, and how former new towns can continue to inform urban planning.


Nick Falk

Founding Director of URBED, which offers practical solutions to urban regeneration and local economic development. Current work includes urban extensions to smaller towns such as the city of Ely, where URBED has been commissioned to draw up a masterplan for sustainable growth, and the Cambridgeshire Quality Growth Charter, which provides guiding principles.

Topic: Smarter growth and sustainable suburbs

Falk reviews recent experience in this country and Europe in developing new settlements. He focuses in particular on new models for suburban locations.


Francesca Ferguson
Urban Drift, Berlin

Founding director of the Berlin-based transcultural platform for new tendencies in architecture, design and urbanism, Urban Drift Productions Ltd. Francesca curated the Deutschlandscape exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum (2005).


Sir Peter Hall

Bartlett College, School of Architecture and Planning,
University College London (respondent)

From 1991-1994 Sir Peter served as special advisor on strategic planning to the Secretary of State for the Environment, with special reference to issues of London and south east regional planning, including the East Thames corridor and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. He was a member of the Deputy Prime Minister's urban task force, founding member of the Regional Studies Association and has received the founder's medal of the Royal Geographical Society for distinction in research. A former chairman of the Town and Country Planning Association, Peter is an honorary member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a fellow of the British Academy.

Topic: A 110 year history of the New Town movement

Sir Peter Hall also formally comments on the presentations and leads the discussions after each panel.


Nick Johnson
Urban Splash, Manchester

Nick is Deputy Chief Executive at urban regeneration company Urban Splash, currently responsible for over £300m of development projects including the 3rd Millennium Community project, and working with various architects from Alsop and Foster + Partners, to new practices who have never built in the UK. Nick is the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow at Yale University, USA and has recently been appointed a Commissioner for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) following 5 years as a regional representative.

Topic: It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it

There's a lot of rhetoric being spread about the quest for the new, where the next generation has just lived through a decade led by a political party with 'new' in the title. Architects make their living out of the new, constantly reinventing the wheel; isn't it about time for some good, old fashioned forward thinking that's rooted in the past?


Joe Kerr
Royal College of Art (chair), London

Author of Strangely Familiar: Narratives of Architecture and the City (Routledge 1995), The Unknown City: Contesting Architecture and Social Space (MIT: 2000), Autopia: Cars and Culture (Reaktion: 2002) and London From Punk to Blair (Reaktion: 2003), and a regular contributor to local and international art and architecture journals.


Professor Lars Lerup
Rice University, Texas (guest lecturer)

Lars Lerup is the William Ward Watkin Professor and Dean at Rice School of Architecture, at Rice University, Houston Texas. With degrees in engineering (Sweden), architecture (UC Berkeley) and urban design (GSD, Harvard) he is an emeritus professor at UC Berkeley and holds a Doctorate Honoris Causa in Technology from Lund University, Sweden. Lerup has published numerous essays and written several books: Villa Prima Facie 1976, Building the Unfinished 1977, Planned Assaults 1987, After the City 2000 and forthcoming My Houston 2008. Lerup has lectured extensively at universities in the US, New Zeeland, Asia, South America and South Africa. He was elected Swedish American of 2004, Educator of the Year by AIA 2005, and ACSA Distinguished Professor 2006.

Topic: The Self-Organizing Metropolis

Houston is a metropolitan field with a working smoothness expressed by 'leap-frogging' and the resultant 'holey plane', which makes it possible for a variety of 'attractors' (built stuff) to appear. While causing considerable change, and often damage, the openness of the field allows its development to continue. This allows a behavioural 'synomorphy' (similarity in form) in the metropolitan community among makers as well as citizens. All are engaged in a spontaneous yet coherent dance, alas not unlike fireflies in a summer night. And just as those who believe in intelligent design, the metropolitan dance appears orchestrated, when in fact it is not. No one is running this huge Monopoly Game.


Professor David Lock
David Lock Associates, Milton Keynes

David is Chairman of David Lock Associates Ltd (planners and urban designers in Milton Keynes and Melbourne, Australia) and chairman of DLA Architects Practice Ltd. He was chief planning advisor to the Department of the Environment, 1994-1997, and is Visiting Professor at the Centre of Planning Studies, University of Reading. Chairman of the Town and Country Planning Association and Chair of the environmental education charity City Discovery in Milton Keynes. He was recently appointed CBE for services to town and country planning.

Topic: Building sustainable communities

To the comfort zone of environmental performance must be added social and economic development strategies. The eco town initiative opens a Pandora's box which may raise standards all round.


Rowan Moore
The Architecture Foundation, London

Director of the London-based think tank since 2002, and architecture critic of the Evening Standard.


Michelle Provoost
Crimson Architectural Historians, Rotterdam

Architectural historian, curator and consultant on urban planning and architectural affairs, Michelle is project leader of WiMBY!, an urban regeneration project in Rotterdam-Hoogvliet.

Topic: WiMBY!

A central issue in the WiMBY! programme is the use of architecture, planning and art projects to contribute to urgent social and cultural phenomena. Examples of these are individualization, exclusion of immigrant groups, the large number of teenage mothers in certain ethnic minorities, but also the preservation of greenery, new ways of collective housing, and the participation of inhabitants in urban renewal. Based on a creative analysis of the modernist city of Hoogvliet in all its social, economical, physical and design aspects, WiMBY! has developed a decisive number of projects to transform this sleepy suburb into a more lively and urban part of the Rotterdam region, using its existing physical and social qualities as a starting point.


Richard Rees

Building Design Partnership, London

Architect and Urban Design Director at BDP, Richard has worked as the master planner for Wimbledon, the Paradise project in Liverpool and numerous city centre and town centre studies including Dartford, Watford, Sittingbourne, Yeovil, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Stevenage and Swansea. He is currently working on major settlement projects in India, China and Russia, and preparing a book on the future of the city, for publication in 2009.

Topic: New town centres and eco towns - viability in the diffuse society

The purpose of this paper is to examine the main areas of sustainable regeneration in terms of their viability in a changing society. Covering: town and city centre regeneration; eco towns and their main characteristics; the changes in shopping and living habits, car ownership and social behaviour in 50 years that demand a different sort of town centre; the return of residential to the town centre; and examples of new work in Stevenage, Bracknell, Crawley, Welwyn and Hatfield.




Arnold Reijndorp
University of Amsterdam

Rotterdam based independent researcher and consultant at the cutting edge of urbanism, social developments and cultural trends in the urban field. From 1968-2000 he was Visiting Professor of urbanism and urban sociology at the Technical University of Berlin. Co-author of books including Suburb; Urbanity at a Distance; In Search of the New Public Domain; Adolescent Almere - How a City is Created. Since January 2006 he has held the Han Lammers Chair for social-economic and spatial developments of new urban areas at the University of Amsterdam

Topic: From new town to new city? In search of a new (suburban) urbanity
From their constitution European post war new towns have been in search of a new kind of urbanity, trying to match the best of both the urban and suburban worlds in an amalgam condition. Most commentators position the new towns in suburbia with all the prejudices we are used to. Compared to the urbanity of real cities, they will never come up to the mark. The interesting and very actual question is where the search for a new suburban urbanity, or urban suburbanity, was, and - more importantly - should be, aiming.


Vicky Richardson
Editor of Blueprint Magazine, London (summary) Vicky Richardson, an architecture and design journalist, took over as Editor of Blueprint (the international authority on contemporary architecture, design and culture) in March 2004. Previously Deputy Editor and Practice Editor of RIBA Journal, she has also been Editor of Public Service and Local Government Magazine. A regular contributor to exhibition catalogues and public events about architecture and the city, her book, New Vernacular Architecture (2001) was published by Laurence King Publishing.


Derek Walker
Architect, London

From 1970-1976, Walker was chief architect of the new town Milton Keynes, recruiting a talented design team to implement a development for 250,000 people. With his firm, Derek Walker Associates, he has been called one of the greatest British architects of the 20th century. He has subsequently carried out and is working on many large scale projects worldwide, including Kowloon Park in Hong Kong; Jubail, a new town in Saudi Arabia; Ushiku, a new town in Japan; and the National Museum of the United States Army, Washington DC, alongside a large leisure portfolio. Derek is a former professor of architecture and design at the Royal College of Art, and visiting tutor at USC, UCLA and University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Topic: Milton Keynes

Derek Walker discusses the challenges and successes of Milton Keynes in light of issues relating to contemporary new towns.


Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss
Normal Architecture Office, New York

Architect and Founder of Normal Architecture Office (NAO) Srdjan is also a founding member of the School of Missing Studies, a collaborative scouting for missing knowledge about cities that have undergone abrupt transitions. He teaches geo-politics and architectural design at the University of Pennsylvania, and has recently collaborated with visionary architect and artist Yona Friedman, and Jacques Herzog of Herzog & de Meuron.

Topic: Balkanisation

The concept of 'balkanisation' and how to integrate it into future planning strategies. Individual appropriations, ad hoc and self-built transformations, illegal adaptations and architectural plug-ins are common features of cities in the Balkans. Weiss' strategies deal with the terms of legal/illegal and flexibility in long-term planning; according to Weiss, (almost) every city can be 'balkanised'; differences can be exciting, and fragmentation can be positive.