The workshop will take place at AMS Institute between 6-10 May 2019 and will bring together students, young professionals, young researchers and experts from different disciplines, as well as stakeholders including representatives of the City of Amsterdam, to develop spatial design solutions to problems found for three different riverside urban areas in Amsterdam. The design instruments, recently developed at TU Delft, will support the participants to develop social-ecologically integrated spatial interventions.

Why is this topic of importance?

Is your city crossed by a river, canal or waterway? It most probably is and water most probably has a significant relationship with the city. Yet, that relationship is very often functional, as the riverfront is occupied by transport or flood-defense infrastructure, industrial activities, or privatized land, in addition to the engineered character of the river itself. As a result, the quality of riverside public spaces does not meet its social and ecological potentials. Current riverfront regeneration projects around the world signal a trend of re-appropriation, driven by the need for establishing a more sustainable and resilient relationship between the natural dynamics of the river and the socio-economic importance of riverside public spaces. The design of those spaces is crucial for both people and ecosystems and it requires an integrated approach.

Diagram of the design instruments for sustainable riverfronts

About the workshop

In response to these challenges and potentials, between 6-10 May 2019, the Chair of Environmental Technology and Design from the Department of Urbanism, TU Delft, in partnership with Amsterdam-based AMS Institute (Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions) and the City of Amsterdam, organizes a design workshop on the development of spatial design solutions in different riverside urban areas in Amsterdam. The workshop is part of the NWO-funded design research project “I surf – Instruments for sustainable urban riverfronts”, which tests, refines and demonstrates the use of four spatial design instruments previously developed by dr. Claudiu Forgaci at TU Delft (Forgaci, 2018) that can aid designers in developing social-ecologically integrated solutions for urban riverfronts.

The workshop is a follow-up to the international design workshop URCB - Urban River Corridors of Bucharest organized in the Romanian capital in 2017. Impressions of the URCB workshop can be seen here.

The I surf workshop will be organised at the inspiring new location of AMS Institute, at Marineterrein in Amsterdam (Kattenburgerstraat 7; 1018 JA, Amsterdam).


  • Project lead: Arjan van Timmeren, Professor of Environmental Technology and Design, TU Delft Faculty of Architecture, Scientific Director of a joint initiative by TU Delft, WUR, and MIT; AMS Institute (Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions)
  • Workshop conducted by:
    • Claudiu Forgaci, Architect and Urbanist, Postdoc Researcher at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment and Research Fellow at AMS Institute
    • Nina Bohm, Program Developer Education at AMS Institute

Who can apply?

Application is open for master students*, young practitioners and young researchers in the fields of urban design and planning, landscape architecture, and architecture, but also from connected fields, such as sociology, anthropology, geography, hydrology, civil engineering and environmental studies.

*MSc TU Delft and MSc MADE students will gain 3ECTS with this workshop, upon the submission of a follow-up report, references and reflection. All participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance.

Find the poster of this event here.

Poster: Sustainable urban riverfronts design workshop

How to apply?

If you are interested to participate, please fill in our online application form and send an e-mail to Claudiu Forgaci before March 31, 2019 with the following documents, combined in one PDF:

- A CV (including a photo of you), no longer than one A4 page.

- A sample, no longer than one A4 page, of your work that can be any form of creative or professional work (a project sample, a rendering, a research finding, etc.), including a brief description (one or two sentences), that is representative for your interests, skills and knowledge. Please make sure that the sample contains only one item.

Selection criteria

There is a limited number of places, therefore the applications will go through a selection process, which will take into consideration the following criteria:

  1. The motivation and background of the applicant.
  2. The mix of disciplines required for the composition of the teams. At least 50% of the selected participants need to be trained designers (urban designers or planners, landscape architects, architects) and at least 20% need to be from a different discipline.
  3. The availability of the applicant throughout the days of the workshop.

The selection will be made by the I surf steering committee at TU Delft and AMS Institute.


Participation is free of charge. Lunch will be provided during the week to the workshop participants.


On the last day of the workshop, the workshop outcomes will be exhibited and discussed with local experts and stakeholders.

This workshop is organized by Delft University of Technology and AMS Institute, in partnership with the City of Amsterdam.