As part of the launch of B-city, Marcel Smets was our guest during last week’s Bcafé, a monthly after work event where we alternately invite internal and external guest speakers to give a lecture for all B's. The former Bouwmeester kicked off the first edition of 2021. We debated with Marcel about the revised English version of his book ‘Fundamenten van het Stadsontwerp’.
Due to the current circumstances, the Bcafés are now held via Zoom.
Smets' quest for the ‘Fundamenten van het Stadsontwerp’, a very appropriate title, is not a long-winded textbook, but a fascinating and accessible essay. Twenty short chapters analyse central concepts from the practice of urbanization and urban design, on the basis of complementary pairs of concepts and characteristic examples. The former Bouwmeester starts from agglomeration forms (“Lint & Tros”, “Ladder & Ster”), typifies morphological categories (“Street & Road”, “Hole & Void”, “Island & Archipel”), examines design processes (“Creator & Curator ”,“ Step-by-step plan & Growth trajectory ”) and unravels spatial dynamics (“ Change & Continuity, “Growth & Improvement”). (text: VAi)