New ways of funding civic infrastructure


Material flows through cities need efficient redesign, their corresponding infrastructures need massive investment. In a context of municipal budget cuts and the proliferation of online communities, urban developments are increasingly funded by alternative means. Can we scale up locally funded community projects to include civic infrastructure? How will this influence the practice of urban design and development? And what kind of cities will this result in?

–Urban flows
There has been a massive shift in populations toward cities, straining on our urban systems. Our greater understanding of the flows through cities (whether they are mineral, biological, digital, etc.) has increased our appreciation of the complexity of urban networks. Many have speculated that these flows must not be seen as separate, but could be more strategically utilized and grouped in order to maximize efficiencies and create spatial qualities.

–Funding the flows
However, while the need for investing in effective urban flows expands, many municipal government budgets have been slashed. Partially as a response, many alternative forms of funding have emerged – community activated, crowd sourced, etc. Is it possible to merge these two contradictory realities? Can we devise new forms of funding urban infrastructures?

–Scaling-up the bottom-up
We thus address one of the core questions of urban development in a period torn between tiny community driven initiatives and massive (inter)national projects. Alternative forms of funding may well become a complement to and even a viable alternative for existing forms of government funded infrastructure projects in the urban realm. Is that desirable? And, if so: How might we actually fund civic infrastructure?

–New communities, new clients, new business
A third series of questions addresses the entrepreneurial dimension of those involved in urban development. Innovative design and development practices are tapping into social media to create online communities of clients. Are they an attractive alternative to the traditional business model with its static and hierarchical client-designer relationship?

–In short: How can new forms of funding improve urban flows and impact our cities?



Saturday 23 August

10.00-14.00    Excursions by bicycle to significant urban initiatives successfully funded by alt. means:

Katshoek, ZoHo, Post Office (urban development)

Uit je Eigen Stad (urban farm) (tbc)

Jeanne van Heeswijk / Wijkcooperatie Afrikaanderwijk (tbc)

Kluswoningen Duyststraat (Urbannerdam) (tbc)



14.00-18.00    Pitches, presentations, interviews by and with local and international experts of urban flows and alternative forms of funding. The event partners take turns in hosting:

14.00-15.00    Wonderland: interviews with developers, economists and law specialists who are actors and protagonists of alternative funding models for urban regeneration projects at various scales


Ramon Marrades (University of Valencia, Urbego)

Egbert Fransen (Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam)


Skype interviews by

Bryan Boyer (Brickstarter, Sitra, Helsinki)

Daniela Brahm (Ex-Rotaprint Berlin)

Gorka Espiau (Young Foundation, London)

Jas Bains (Ashram Housing Association, Birmingham)




15.15-16.15    New Generations: pitches by young designers, curators and developers

Marteen Desmet and Tim Devos (ndvr, B)

Thomas Dieben (Denieuwegeneratie, NL)

Alison Killing (Killing Architects, NL)

Marco Lampugnani (Snark Space Making, Italy)

Chanfang Luo (Architecture In Development, NL)

Dario Tundo and Lorenzo Cristoforetti (IRA-C collective, Italy)




16.30-17.15    Round table

Indira van ’t Klooster (A10 new European architecture)

Bernardina Borra (the spontaneous city, Amsterdam)

Gonzalo Herrero Delicado (UK)

Brendan Cormier (VOLUME)

Vera Sacchetti (superscript)

Egbert Fransen (Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam)

Ramon Marrades (University of Valencia, Urbego)


17.15-18.15    Pamflet: interviews with NL architects, economist, civic representatives on funding

Marthijn Pool (Space and Matter architects, NL)

Jan Jongert (Superuse Studios, NL)

Douwe Jan Joustra (Circular Economy)

Alexander Keizer (Urbannerdam) (tbc)



18.30-19.30    Dinner with informally moderated break-out discussions per topic, informal networking

20.00-21.00    Flows & Funding Talk Show

                               Followed by drinks


BAR, Schieblock

Schiekade 201, 3013 BR Rotterdam, the Netherlands
The Rotterdam event was possible thanks to the collaboration of:  
Pamphlet architecture:
New Generations:
Wonderland Plarform for European Architecture: