We enthusiastically shouted ‘Happy 2028!’ almost two years ago. Some of you thought we accidentally missed a decade with our New Year’s greetings, but it was really our intention. By 2028 we want to have made the lives of 28 million urbanites a little more beautiful, fun or better. Last week we reflected on where we contributed to urban happiness in 2019. Inspired by Instagram’s ‘Best of Nine’, we have listed nine projects of which we are proud. Good news; we are now only 25,908,211 urbanites away from our final goal. On to those 28 million!

Best of Nine 2019 - BRAND The Urban Agency (1-3)

1. A city centre for everyone

In the coming years, the Rotterdam Koopgoot and Beursplein will change from a pure shopping centre to a real city centre; a place where all ‘Rotterdammers’ and visitors will feel welcome. By now, all real estate owners, entrepreneurs and the municipality have supported this repositioning and ambition. The first actions will be visible next year.

2. We make the city together

We were able to use this mantra in our cooperation with the municipality of Delft, a leader in the field of participation. With the event ‘Ons Delft, maak de stad’ (Our Delft, make the city!), Promoters were made aware of their influence on their own living environment and thus the interpretation of their own future in the city. The municipality explicitly invites residents to actively think about the future of Delft in the coming years.

3. The power of a unique area identity

Amsterdam Zuidoost is on the doorstep of an enormous development. The ‘living room of the Bijlmer’, the Amsterdamse Poort shopping centre, is growing along with it. But how do you keep track of what is ‘typically Bijlmer’ in a development of this size? We offer space to the entrepreneurs, residents and organisations that – literally and figuratively – make the Bijlmer during the development. Together we are working on the new interpretation of Amsterdamse Poort.

Best of Nine 2019 - BRAND The Urban Agency (4-6)

4. For a healthier city!

As cycling fans, we are committed to all healthy forms of mobility. It is therefore important to make the Dutch cycling knowledge and experience known worldwide. Together with the team and the members of Dutch Cycling Embassy we worked on the brand ‘Dutch Cycling’. The crux is in consequently telling the story. With more than 60 DCE members working all over the world, the potential of spreading this story is enormous. 2020 will be the year of action!

5. A building that is rooted in the neighbourhood

The Amsterdam neighbourhoods outside the ring road are on the rise and the new West Beat building will soon play a key role in New West. In order for this rookie to take root in the neighbourhood, we started by making visible all the good that New West has to offer. The special stories of residents and entrepreneurs from the area were given an online stage.

6. Let residents be your city ambassador

The New Zealand city of Christchurch has a turbulent history. Two earthquakes a few years ago wiped out the entire city centre. Does that change the story of the city or is it just a new chapter? We shared our experiences in the field of place branding and placemaking and the insights of reconstruction of Rotterdam with architects, city makers and the team of City Council Christchurch. The result was that attention to the pride of residents is at least as important as attracting visitors.

Best of Nine 2019 - BRAND The Urban Agency (7-9)

7. Create a pleasant place

From a financial district to a nice place in the city, where innovation, entrepreneurship and science come together. With this ambition, we, together with the Vrije Universiteit, IXA, Amsterdam UMC and the Municipality of Amsterdam, positioned ‘Kenniskwartier Zuidas’ as a new branch of the Zuidas parent brand. In this innovative part of the city, a lot of attention is paid to programming, cooperation and placemaking. This will make knowledge in the Zuidas experienceable.

8. Make the best place for young talent

Isolated campuses are a thing of the past. More and more educational places are developing into urban campuses. Together with Fontys University of Applied Sciences and Studio For New Realities, we worked on the future Fontys campus in Tilburg; a place where not only all current developments in education find the right place, but also a great place to stay, study and meet.

9. You can create an even better centre together

The Municipality of Rotterdam chose ‘Tree House’ as the winner for the Delftseplein development location, right next to Rotterdam Central Station. Together with Provast, PLP Architecture, ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles], Royal HaskoningDHV, Groos and many others, we are going to make the station area of Rotterdam even more beautiful, fun and better. Not only with a building that is a leader in sustainability and climate adaptation, but also by creating a place with local parties such as Dé Dependance and internationally operating organisations such as TQ that fits in perfectly with the city and the identity of Rotterdam Central District.

‘Sharing is caring’ We like to be inspired by others and in turn share experiences and insights from our projects in different ways. So…


Amsterdamse Poort: Randy da-Costa
DCE: Chris Bruntlett
Delftseplein: PLP architecture
Kenniskwartier Zuidas: Peter Valckx

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