Zef Hemel is urban planner, is professor Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Amsterdam. While big pretentions in the past have jeopardized the future of urban planning, in his research and planning Zef Hemel tries to focus on its core: economy, ecology, democracy, art and imagination. He is searching for a new kind of open planning – a planning which can easily adjust to permanently changing circumstances and benefits from unexpected opportunities.
We must search for a new kind of open planning – a planning which can easily adjust to permanently changing circumstances and benefits from unexpected opportunities.
In all his planning projects, Hemel works with artists, invites them to engage with citizens, thus using the city as a ‘brain’, as a potential space of ‘collective intelligence’. Such a radically different – ‘open source’ – planning is needed, because the world is urbanizing fast and seems to be rushing into one crisis after another. Because of the growing complexity, the type of planning required is local, at the level of individual cities and their spheres of influence. The paradox is that this localized planning is global at the same time.