Spring School
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Organizers: CANactions School (UA / NL), The Independent School for the City (NL)

Dates: March 18—25, 2019

Location: The Independent School for the City Delftsestraat 33, 3rd Floor 3013 AE
Rotterdam, NL

Course Directors: Mirjam Niemeyer (CANactions School), Vladyslav Tyminskyi (CANactions School), Michelle Provoost (Independent School for the City), Mike Emmerik (Independent School for the City)
Participants: Up to 30 Master-students and graduates from the fields of Architecture, Urban Design and Planning, Architecture History, Sociology, Anthropology, Political and Cultural Studies, Arts and Media, and other related fields. Minimum of 15 participants required.

Language: English

Fee: € 500

Application deadline: February 4th, 2019 (23:59 CET)
The Transformation Area Nieuw Mathenesse in Rotterdam Harbour (photo: Erik Prins)

'Uit Je Eigen Stad', Urban farm and restaurant on a former railway yard in Nieuw Mathenesse, Rotterdam (photo: Jan Sluijter)
The Spring School 'Borders are for Crossing' is an 8-day program organized by the Independent School for the City and CANactions School, exploring how the intra-european transfer of people, ideas, goods and finances effects spatial, social, economic and political conditions in a western city. Together with an international group of participants and a multidisciplinary team of tutors and lecturers, you will research manifestations of migration and develop stories, strategies and actions for an urban renewal area in the City of Rotterdam: Oud and Nieuw Mathenesse — former workers and harbour areas between Rotterdam and Schiedam. The Spring School takes place from 18 to 25 of March at the Independent School for the City in Rotterdam.
Migration in Rotterdam

As the largest harbour in the world, Rotterdam in the 20th Century was a prototypical City of Comings and Goings. This resulted not only in a present population with over 170 nationalities, but also shaped the morphology of the city with harbour areas, quays and docks, railways and dikes as characteristic features. Nowadays many of these industrial terrains are being or will be transformed as the harbour moves to the West. In their temporary state, many of these terrains are an exciting and experimental proto-urban environment. In the centre of the city, Rotterdam wants to profile itself more and more as a city for expats and aims to compete with The Hague and Amsterdam. The city is investing to attract international start-ups and technological companies. However, amenities that would make the city attractive for expats such as suitable housing and international education are lagging behind.
Prewar workers-housing Oud Mathenesse
Simultaneously the city has seen an increase of people from new member states that have joined the European Union between 2004 and 2007. Over the last decade approximately 37.500 people from Central and Eastern European countries have come to work and live temporarily or permanently in or around the city of Rotterdam, mostly from Poland, Romania or Bulgaria. Naturally, their presence has had a considerable impact on the city scape, most visible by the appearance of grocery stores and restaurants specialized in products and dishes from Central and Eastern Europe. There are, however, countless realities related to the eastern European presence in Rotterdam which are less obvious and often unnoticed by policy makers, urban planners or designers.

During this Spring School you will explore the invisible realities related to the migration from the East and try to uncover their traces within Rotterdam — a city which is increasingly becoming more popular, but at the same time faces challenges such as gentrification and displacement. Subject of study are the harbour terrains of Nieuw-Mathenesse which lie adjacent to the workers' neighbourhood of Oud-Mathenesse in between Rotterdam and Schiedam, where many migrants from the East have settled. Considering the popularity of the city it is to be expected that both areas will transform within the near future. To this end, new ideas and strategies are needed. By revealing the underlying dynamics of the city we aim to gain a better understanding of the city of Rotterdam and develop integrated urban strategies that are more inclusive and sustainable.

Integrated Approach to Urban Development Strategies

To be transformative and sustainable, but at the same time, sensitive to the context, urban development strategies should be interdisciplinary, integrated and rooted in research. In addition, the universal "know-how" and globally traveling "best practices" should be critically approached and carefully localized by urban professionals today.

Therefore, in the frame of the Spring School, its participants will challenge and link Architecture, Urbanism, Sociology, History and Policy-making, learn and practice the principles of the integrated approach to elaborate strategies based on the key findings of the interdisciplinary and multiscale empirical research.

The proposed methodology will advance the holistic thinking skills of the participants, and the ability to apply strategic design tools to shape the inclusive and livable cities and urban areas.

What will you learn?

This Spring School builds upon the expertise of various institutions and practices in both Ukraine and the Netherlands. The Independent School for the City, which is based in the Rotterdam and rooted in the practices of Crimson Historians & Urbanists and ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles), combines a critical, activist approach to the city with effecting real change through architectural and planning projects. CANactions School runs interdisciplinary research-and-design programs investigating and reflecting on the western (EU) and eastern (CEE) urban planning and architecture practice in the context of local and global challenges the cities are facing nowadays.

By participating in the Spring School, you will be introduced the methodology of both institutions by gaining a better understanding of the city's invisible realities and underlying dynamics. You learn how to reveal them and to interact with them in order to develop inclusive and sustainable urban strategies. This is done by looking at the impact of migration from East to West on the selected urban area of Oud-Mathenesse. Moreover, working in mixed groups will facilitate professional and cultural exchange between the Spring School participants from all over the world.

Application and costs

The Spring School is open for (post-) graduate students from all over the world with a background in urban studies such as design, planning, sociology, history, architecture etc. You can apply by submitting the application form below including your full name, email address, phone number, CV, a motivation letter (max 1xA4 / 400 words) and examples of your previous work (max 4xA4). The application deadline is on 4 February 2019. Selection will take place based on the provided documents and your motivation while considering a professional and cultural diversity within the group. The selected participants are announced on the 11th of February 2019.

The registration fee is € 500 (including VAT) and includes field trips, lectures, study materials and bike rental. Travel to the Netherlands, accommodation and cost of living are not included.
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