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FUP conference looks at the future of planning

The day-long conference organised by FUP (For Urban Passion) and entitled ‘New Use, New Move – Land Use and Mobility’ took place at Bozar in Brussels yesterday.

It featured a number of presentations followed by a total of seven workshops, where participants found out more about topics which interested them, and then discussed these with the presenters. Topics covered the workplace, the home (including co-housing), mobility and much more. Starting the day, FUP President Paul Vermeylen (photo) said it was all about designing the future we want for ourselves, and understanding how the city worked as a micro-system. Adding further weight, one of the speakers, Ryan Fix of Pure House New York, said that the future of humanity depends on some of the things being dealt with during the conference.

It is too early to draw definitive conclusions from the day, but Paul Vermeylen said that indications from his ‘spies’ in each workshop showed what the participants considered to be important issues. The first of these is that it is all about people, not buildings. Within the same framework, there is also a necessity for planners to manage not just the buildings, but the flows (of people and goods) within cities. The paradox of so many empty office buildings across the world was also highlighted. And perhaps in a stark reminder that not even our highly automated and digital world can control everything, the city of Nice was evoked. This city is going down an extremely digitalised and automated route, but then a single unforeseeable event can throw everything into turmoil.

At the end of the day a competition was launched for urban planning projects, under the auspices of the ‘Chamber of Urban Planners’ (Chambre des Urbanistes). This invites projects which take into account future modes of life, the impact of technology… to retain a degree of professionalism, at least one qualified urban planner has to be present within each candidate team. Winners will be announced on October 20 at an event in Namur.

| 12/05/2017

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