For decades, Dutch design has been exported across the globe. After a successful period in which the polycentric Randstad model was held in high esteem, followed by the fresh, modern approach of the SuperDutch architects, the resources and expertise of organisations such as NAi, IABR, and DutchDFA are now being employed for projects in Asia and South America. But, are Dutch ingenuity, pragmatism and process management the ideals that the explosively expanding or shrinking cities of the 21st century are most in need of? Isn’t the city more of a political question – of accessibility, equality and democracy? What does the Dutch model offer global cities and what can the Netherlands itself learn?
The book compares the Randstad with São Paulo, Istanbul and Detroit, and speculates about alternative visions for city planning and idealistic architectural intervention for the cities involved. ‘Are We the World?’ is not only a plea for a central role for city planning, and an active exchange of ideas, but primarily for new political involvement.
The Design and Politics series is an initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, and examines the relationship between planning, design and politics. The book launch takes place at April 24th @ 20.00 in the Auditorium of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi). The entrance is €7,50 ( €3 for students) and the event will be held in English.