2 October 2023 News

New choices for mixed-use spaces in the city

Think of places with friction: industry opposes housing, mobility opposes liveability or nature opposes agriculture. In What if Lab: Rethinking shared space, designers, in collaboration with Sweco, make new choices for these areas. Space & Matter, Starling Associates and cocosmos have each developed future-proof, integral and adaptive solutions to shape the mixing of functions (mixed-use) in a positive and future-proof way. Curious about the concepts? Then read on.
The Third Zone

The Third Zone – Space & Matter

Cities have long been pushing industries away and distancing work and living areas, leading to social and economic challenges. Just societies require mixed-use neighbourhoods for job access, energy transformation, and circular economies. Through stakeholder engagement, involving the municipality, local businesses, and residents, we asked: “What if industry stays in the city?” Our key insight revealed that the primary challenge lies in managing the transitional phase, focusing on mobility in transformed industrial zones.

Introducing The Third Zone concept—an innovative approach that introduces intermediary spaces between industrial and residential areas. These zones foster the coexistence of sport, culture, hospitality, and services, infusing places with temporal activation, social cohesion, and vibrancy, thereby initiating positive transformations within industrial neighbourhoods. During Dutch Design Week 2023 (DDW23) you get to see with what such a zone can look like and what questions need to be asked.


Valuescapes – Starling Associates

Starling Associates introduced Valuescapes. Valuescapes offers a holistic and comprehensive approach to understanding the multifaceted nature of mixed-use areas. By categorising and measuring values ranging from economic to environmental and social factors, Valuescapes create a detailed, layered representation of an area’s strengths, challenges, and potential. This systematic approach allows urban planners, stakeholders, and decision-makers to pinpoint areas ripe for investment or requiring attention. 

Through identifying such challenges (valley areas), interventions can be made that maximise positive ripple effects throughout the community. Simultaneously, the recognition of strengths (peak areas) can be leveraged to enhance their beneficial influence on surrounding zones. The resultant optimised investments and strategic planning not only boost the economic vibrancy of mixed-use areas but also enhance the quality of life, sustainability, and cultural richness. Valuescapes serves as a compass that guides urban development towards a more harmonious, prosperous, and better living environment.

Cocreation In Friction

Cocreation In Friction

Cocosmos recognises that in the process of (urban) area development, friction between different functions and interests is often seen as a challenge to be solved as quickly as possible. But what if we recognise, analyse and embrace this friction as a catalyst for urban development? This is why cocosmos introduces the Cocreation In Friction (CIF) toolkit that allows project managers in urban development to include friction between functions, ambitions and interests in progress discussions with stakeholders and project partners. With the CIF toolkit on the table, current challenges can be addressed constructively and as such, friction is utilised: for better cooperation.

During DDW23, cocosmos will present an installation where you can explore the complexity of friction in urban development. By experiencing friction first-hand, you get to hear the stories of SWECO experts, who share their personal experiences about the value of friction. By facing friction, you will gain insight into the nuances and challenges of decision-makers and planners and what added value this friction can bring if not avoided.