5 January 2015 – The magazine Stedenbouw en Architectuur [Urbanism and Architecture] invited me to edit an issue about urban renewal. The issue that just appeared contains an interview in which I discuss the theme of sustainable urbanism. Urbanism means so much more than to invent energy reducing measures. Dwelling ultimately includes the entire urban realm. It is a challenge to make sustainable urban design.
‘To me, the crux seems to be that architects thematise the collective interest. Sustainable urbanism can never be a product of private initiative alone. The problem of energy production for instance could be solved at the scale of a block or a neighbourhood. People never choose for a house alone. They choose for a domestic environment. The real estate broker’s cliché is that the value of a house is determined by three factors: location, location and location. Architects must develop a sharp eye for the urban quality of housing. With knowledge of sustainability techniques, but they also have to be able to discuss urban aesthetics and ultimately it is all about a responsible way of negotiating on imagery, technology and function.’