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Lecture series:’New Towns on the Frontier of Geopolitics’
Spring Semester 2012

In the second semester of the academic year 2011 – 2012, INTI, the Graduate School for the Social Sciences (UvA), and TU Delft will offer a lecture series for master students. This series can be attended by students from UvA and TU Delft, but students from other universities are also welcome.

The content will focus on the planning and (re)design of New Towns all over the world as well as sociological and cultural aspects of new urban environments. This course will be attended by students from Human Geography, Spatial Planning and International Development as well as by students from Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences from Delft University. The interaction and exchange between both groups will contribute to the interdisciplinary approach. The course consists of a chronological as well as a thematic order. Chronologically it covers the period of the 20th-21st Century. Thematically it is organized in three blocks:

The New Town in History

Tracing the planning of New Towns back to their political and social roots in either the 19th Century social reform movement, the shaping of Communist society, Cold War politics or the emerging economies in Asia.

The New Town in Design.
Examining and analyzing the urban planning and design models of New Towns in different periods of the 20th Century, as well as studying contemporary planning issues of (existing and future) New Towns.

The New Town in Sociology

An overview of the research of sociologists in new urban areas in Western Europe from the fifties up to the present day, analyzing different methods and positions.

New Towns are different from ’normal’, organically grown cities. They are planned differently, their political origins differ and their urban culture is different. In this lecture course New Towns are examined through the lense of historical context, urban design and sociology. 
Issues that will be tackled in this course are: How can we understand New Towns as manifestations of their socio-political background? How can we analyze the design models used by urban planners and how have they evolved? What is the culture of a New Town, how does it differ from a ‘normal’ city? What methods exist to research social developments and tendencies in new cities and how can they be evaluated? What are the contemporary planning issues of the new cities of the 21st century? How can we conceptualize and explain these urban projects as part of the present global urbanization, what challenges do new and vastly growing cities face and how to deal with them?

One meeting each week of 4 hours will be the main interaction between lecturers and students (10 meetings for the entire course). In general, the meetings will consist of a lecture (2 hours) and a workshop (2 hours)
Students will prepare for each meeting by reading, analyzing, and summarizing literature within the field of planning and (re)development of New Towns. Related to these meetings, students will be required to write statements and questions for discussion during the workshops

Excursions will be made throughout the Netherlands as well as abroad: this year Milton Keynes, UK.

Study Materials
Literature will be provided through our website

The cost of the excursions (including travel and accommodation) will be covered by an additional fee to be paid by the student (around EUR 250-300,-)

Academic Credits
10 credits (280 hours of study)

The lecturers will assess the students in particular on:
Attendance at the meetings and excursions
Participation at the workshops (presentation of analyses, statements, questions for discussion)
A written / multiple-choice exam

Lectures are scheduled at UvA Amsterdam (Roeterseiland Complex, Building G) and at the TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture.

The address of UvA is Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, Amsterdam. This can be reached easily by (any) metro from Central Station (3 stops to Weesperplein), then 5 minutes walk.

The address of TU Delft is Julianalaan 134, Delft. The faculty can be reached by walking 10 minutes from Delft Centraal.

Lectures will generally take place on Wednesdays, from 13:00 – 17:00 hours.



  • 8 February 13:00-17:00 (TUDelft - BK Room U, Julianalaan 134)
    • General introduction on new towns & themes in the lecture series / dr. Michelle Provoost
    • + workshop: course practicalities by drs. Sophie van Ginneken
  • 15 February 13:00-17:00 (UvA - REC room P2.27, Plant. Muidergracht 27)
    • Socio-spatial-political overview: "What kind of problem is the new town?" / prof. dr. Arnold Reijndorp
    • + workshop on New Town Almere by drs. JaapJan Berg


  • 22 February 13:00-17:00 (UvA - REC room P2.27, Plant. Muidergracht 27)
    • Ebenezer Howard and the start of the Garden City Movement / prof. dr. Len de Klerk
    • + workshop ‘the Contemporary Garden City’ by Len de Klerk

--- 24 February 10:00-14:00 Excursion to Noordoostpolder ---

  • 7 March 13:00-17:00 (TUDelft - BK room U, Julianalaan 134)
    • New Towns in the communist block in the interbellum, Stalin and Khrushchev era / dr. Cor Wagenaar
    • + workshop on the modernist New Town by dr. Cor Wagenaar
  • 14 March 13:00-17:00 (TUDelft - BK room V, Julianalaan 134)
    • The modernist New Town as export product to the developing world during the Cold War / dr. Michelle Provoost
    • + workshop ‘Exported New Town in developing world: Dodoma (Tanzania)’ by drs. Sophie van Ginneken
  • 21 March 13:00-17:00 (TUDelft - Room T, Julianalaan 134)
    • Contemporary New Town development from Dubai to Shanghai in the emerging economies / ir. Rachel Keeton
    • + workshop ‘Cities & Urbanization in China’ by ir. Rachel Keeton
  • 28 March 13:00-17:00 (TUDelft - BK room K, Julianalaan 134)
    • New Towns in the 40s and 50s: Stevenage and Nowa Huta / prof. dr. Wouter Vanstiphout
    • + workshop ‘Eisenhuettenstadt’ by drs. Saskia Hulskes


  • 3 April 13:00-17:00 (TU Delft - ChemE Building, Julianalaan 136, Room C ) (NOTE: this is a Tuesday!)
    • The design of the first generation Garden Cities, Siedlungen and Estates in Western Europe and the US, 1900-1940 / dr. Marinke Steenhuis
    • + workshop on Vreewijk by ir. Catherine Visser
  • CANCELLED!! 25 April CANCELLED!! (NOTE: New date is 13 June)
    • CANCELLED!! New Towns in the 40s and 50s: Milton Keynes & Toulouse le Mirail / prof. dr. Wouter Vanstiphout
    • CANCELLED!! workshop ‘Groeikernen’ by ir. Like Bijlsma
  • 2 May 13:00-15:00 ((UvA REC P.1.23, Plantage Muidergracht 24)
    • + Preparatory meeting for the excursion to Milton Keynes: group assignments / Sophie van Ginneken & Saskia Hulskes

--- 6-9 May: 3 day excursion to Milton Keynes ---


  • 23 May 13:00-17:00 (NOTE: Lecture will be held at Making Almere, Belfort 13, Almere)
    • Empirical sociological studies on urban culture and daily life in new cities and villes nouvelles / prof. dr. Arnold Reijndorp
    • + workshop on Herbert Gans by Jaap Jan Berg

--- 6 June 9:00-12:00 Excursion to Amsterdam West ---

  • 6 June 13:00-17:00 (UvA - REC room E1.50, Roetersstraat 11)
    • Empirical sociological studies on urban culture and daily life in new cities and villes nouvelles / prof. dr. Ivan Nio
    • + workshop Travel Guide presentations.
  • 13 June 15:00-19:00 (TUDelft - BK room R, Julianalaan 134)
    • 17.00-19.00 New Towns in the 40s and 50s: Milton Keynes & Toulouse le Mirail / prof. dr. Wouter Vanstiphout
    • + 15.00-17.00 workshop ‘Groeikernen’ by ir. Like Bijlsma

Final Exam: Friday 22 June 10.00-13.00
Location: UvA, Plantage Muidergracht 24, room P1.25


Milton Keynes: 6-9 May (3-day excursion)
Noordoostpolder New Towns: 24 February
Amsterdam (Western Garden Cities): 6 June

Students can enroll themselves according to the procedure as valid for their own university and by informing INTI. Send a mail to Ms. Sophie van Ginneken

study materials