A clear strategy is the key to every success; a long-term vision of how we’ll achieve our desired goals. Sometimes an urban challenge requires an entirely different way of thinking and approach. Cases such as these call for pure innovation.
This is why we go further than simply coming up with a great idea and elaborating a viable solution. Our focus is to design a workable, effective strategy, and to do this we hold a series of ‘inspiration sessions’ with our client, as well as with residents, companies, visitors, governments and other stakeholders. Through this collaborative process, we identify the big ambition: the dot on the horizon that we’re working towards. In addition to this, we collaborate on defining the unique character of a place: the identity that makes it unique. We ask users to tell us what they need from the space. And we summarise the ambition, identity and needs on a sheet of A3: the Urban Canvas. This convenient tool visualises the strategy, so everyone involved in the project is clear about what’s going on. We also develop a campaign plan, possibly followed by a campaign concept and / or a creative concept to initiate the implementation of the strategy.
Some cases require an entirely different approach and way of thinking. Such as when the urban challenges are so complex that the solution can’t be found in just one component. When pure innovation is called for, we collaborate in multidisciplinary expert teams. The team could include urban planners and marketers, economists, behavioural scientists and public health experts. We hold several sessions to focus on identity, future vision and programming. Next, we invite residents, companies, visitors, governments and other stakeholders to have their say. What do they think of the vision for the future and the programming? Are they excited? Do they have the resources? The ideas of the expert team and the users are often complementary. Then comes the place testing phase when we try out the ideas. This gives us a hands-on way to experiment with concepts and initiatives so we can see which activities and concepts have the most potential for success in the long run.
In Eindhoven, we developed a new strategy for De Heuvel, a large indoor shopping centre. Partnering with the area developer AM, we developed the Health Hero Challenge, a unique project that translates healthy urban living into concrete concepts. The prototype, devised by a multidisciplinary team of five experts, will be trialled later this year on the site of the former Hero factory in Breda.
For everyone who knows that the key to city making is coming up with an effective strategy. Are you curious about our approach? Then contact us. We look forward to working with you.