DE URBANISTEN are inspired by the polytechnic origins of urbanism. Until late in the 19th century urbanism was involved in the design of ‘public works’. The aim was to make the city a healthier place to live. With broad visions and magnificent plans, the urban designers provided the city with clean air, clean water, energy and a system of waste management.

We see in this combination of the ‘art of engineering’ and urban design a both fascinating and relevant perspective for our profession. A revival of a polytechnic urbanism, driven by water- and energy systems, by material cycles and smart transport plans. All these systems have a radical impact on our urban environment and should be treated accordingly. We regard these technical systems as spatial instruments in our urban designs. By doing so we aim to contribute to a better city climate. That is the mission of DE URBANISTEN.

With this engaged polytechnic urbanism, we shift our focus away from the ‘beaux arts’ tradition, where urbanism is being captured by a fixation on the architectural image. DE URBANISTEN are strong in creating perspectives, where the spatial layout both strengthens the functionality of technical systems as well as the quality of urban spaces. We therefore take a firm position among specialists that shape our cities, like traffic engineers, energy experts, civil engineers and hydrologists. Here DE URBANISTEN join forces to become collaborative partners in delivering excellent urban plans for current and future generations.

In the projects of DE URBANISTEN our engagement and ideas on a polytechnic urbanism are illustrated best. Our work shows an elaborate experience in water related urbanism. Like our recent research and design for flood protection and adaptation in dense urban areas. We also developed the ‘watersquare’ as an attractive solution to increasingly intensive rainfall in cities. We found smart ways to turn the reducing carbon dioxide emissions into spatial designs that people can benefit from. In our urban plans we continue to develop ideas, design measures and instruments to engage energy, water and material cycles into the spatial lay out for the city and its public spaces. Our goal is to combine a more sustainable world with a better quality of life in our cities and to realize this in the urban plans and public spaces we deliver in close collaboration with our clients.