Book presentation by Design As Politics

Are We The World’ is a thought provoking polemic about the values of Dutch planning. All over the world designers and planners from the Netherlands are being invited to solve complex questions with their ‘Dutch approach’ of integral planning, wherein technical skills, planning and process management are combined. Simultaneously the role of public design and planning in the Netherlands seems to be diminishing. By comparing the Dutch Randstad, and the cities of Sao Paulo, Istanbul and Rotterdam, the book tries to understand the effects of design cross-pollination. At the same time it is a plea for a town planning that is at once visionary and idealistic, contextual and curious about the world.

Together with Dutch People working abroad, and people from abroad working in the Netherlands, we will search for a shared set of urban values that might unite the different countries, in order to create common ground for the exchange of design expertise. What happens to the ethical and political ideas behind certain planning models once they are pasted into an entirely different context? Are we exporting something that we ourselves no longer believe in? Or is the world accepting the Dutch Approach as the way forward?


– Book presentation by Wouter Vanstiphout
– Short statements by Marta Relats, Roberto Rocco and Ekim Tan
– Round Table debate with:
Wouter Vanstiphout (Professor Design as Politics, TU Delft)
Carolien Gehrels (Director Big Urban Clients Europa, Arcadis)
Markus Appenzeller (Director and Partner, MLA+)
Henk Ovink (Principal ‘Rebuild by Design’)
And others

Moderator: Saskia van Stein

Tuesday 20 January, 20:00 – 22:00, Pakhuis de Zwijger
Free entrance. Please RSVP at



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