Although the urban environment is incredibly dynamic, existing organisational forms are completely ill suited to it. Ellen van Bueren, the brand-new professor of Urban Development Management of TU Delft, and Principal Investigator at the Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, believes that experimentation and a bottom-up approach are essential in order to guide us in the right direction towards more sustainable cities. In her inaugural address entitled ‘The Great Urban Bake Off’, she explores how the decentralisation of technologies and infrastructure and changing demands in cities call for new forms of governance. She sees a need for substantive and organisational renewal in the process of urban development.
These are turbulent times for cities. As a result of the necessary energy transition, environmental and climate issues and technological innovation, they are set to see major changes. In addition, it is not possible to tackle each of these issues separately, because the solution to one can make the solution to the other more difficult. In other cases, it is possible to kill two birds with one stone. “However, in order to achieve that, the parties responsible need to join forces”, explains Van Bueren. “The major issue that I am focusing on is how these various parties can find each other, work together to deal with obstacles and take advantage of any opportunities.”