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* Michelle Provoost
* Marit Geluk
* Saskia Hulskes
* Rachel Keeton
* Jacob Buitenkant
* JaapJan Berg
* Sophie van Ginneken
* Paul Kroese
* Linda Vlassenrood
Program director New New Towns
* Felix Rottenberg, chairman
* drs. N. (Nathal) van Rijn, treasurer, Rabobank Almere
* prof. Dr. Ir. V.J. (Han) Meyer, Delft University of Technology
* prof. Dr. S. (Sako) Musterd, University of Amsterdam
* Rieke de Vlieger, Hogeschool Windesheim Flevoland
Who we are and what we do
The International New Town Institute (INTI) is a non-profit scientific knowledge institute based in the center of the New Town Almere, close to Amsterdam (the Netherlands). INTI is dedicated to improving the quality of global urban development, with a focus on New Towns. INTI is independent and not necessarily an advocate or promotor of New Town planning.
We believe that in order to improve the quality and sustainability of future New Towns, we can learn from existing New Towns today. Why? New Towns have many similarities: they were designed from scratch according to planning doctrines of one specific period, they have experienced relatively fast urban growth, they demonstrate specific demographic patterns and they contain a homogeneous housing stock. The result of all this is that many New Towns struggle with the same problems: a uniform demography, a lack of educational, cultural or other facilities and too little diversity in the housing stock. Because of their young age, New Towns also face a lack of history and identity and usually suffer from image problems. Because many New Town developments are quite similar, also their challenges are often quite predictable.
In the 1950-1970 period, many New Towns were planned in order to control and regulate urban growth in Western Europe. It is shocking, however, how many of these planned cities are nowadays regarded as unsuccessful economically or socially. Today, we see a new wave of New Towns being built at an unprecendented rate in the fast-growing economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. In order not to make the same mistakes as during the twentieth century, it is important to learn from the experiences with New Towns in Europe, the USA and elsewhere. Therefore, a specialized platform for the exchange of knowledge and practice is required.
INTI is that platform. INTI studies the past, present and future of planned communities in an urbanizing world. It serves a unique role in bringing together multidisciplinary expertise and experience in a wide range of activities in collaboration with public, private and academic partners. INTI initiates studies, offers educational programs, and organizes public events and lectures. All of these activities contribute to the institute’s objective to improve the quality of life in new cities worldwide.
Two tendencies justify the work of INTI. The first one is that of global urbanization, leading to a boom of future New Towns. Our focus includes not only the architectural and urban design of these New Towns, but also the intricate political, economic, and social motivations that bring them into being. How can we contribute to the improvement of these New Towns to make them livable places? The second one is the necessary rethinking of existing New Towns, mainly in Europe, Russia and the United States. Here, our focus is on studying the genesis of the New Towns and the social, economic and spatial transformations of the past decades, in order to discover the potential for future developments and improvements. Restructuring New Towns brings about large investments, radical social implications and farstretching cultural changes.
Many similarities exist between the way in which New Towns have been designed in the 20th Century and the planning of the current generation. However, people seldom exchange expertise and experience related to these two topics. Therefore, one of INTI’s raisons d’etre is to provide specialized knowledge about building, developing and restructuring New Towns to professionals in (existing and future) New Towns worldwide. In this way, INTI aims to contribute to the quality of the newest generation of New Towns.
Integral and multidisciplinary research
INTI’s comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to a clearly defined research scope, (i.e. New Towns) distinguishes this institute from other comparable urban research organizations. Through research, education and public activities, INTI takes an integral approach to the New Town issues, focusing on all phases of urban development, from initiative, finances, design to buildig, maintenance and redevelopment. The research is multidisciplinary, servig a unique role in bringing together historical, sociological and socio-economical research projects with design, environmental and planning studies. In this, INTI is innovative and experimental.
Setting the agenda
INTI has two ways to work effectively towards the mission of improving the quality of New Towns. Firstly, the institute develops its own, autonomous program with a wide range of activities e.g. research, education and public events. Representatives from universities and institutions related to INTI serve as advisors. The program is based on present and future challenges concerning New Towns worldwide. Secondly, INTI is working on a commission base with a wide variety of clients, e.g. governments, institutions and commercial parties which need expertise, reflection, concepts or advice on New Town development (both existing and future planned). Through these market-based assignments INTI continuously engages in dialogues with all parties involved. In this way, INTI remains rooted and relevant in the social reality and diversity of contemporary New Town development.
Exchange of knowledge and experience
Publications: INTI makes several publications each year in order to make new knowledge accessible. Selected publications from recent years include: Model Town: Using Urban Simulation in New Town Planning (2009); New Towns for the 21st Century: The Planned vs. the Unplanned City (2010); The organic city, Method or Metaphor? (2010); Berichten uit de Nieuwe Stad 1 (2010); Vernieuwing van de Nieuwe Stad (2011); Rising in the East: Contemporary New Towns in Asia (2011); Leren van Almere (2011); New Town Roots, Geboren en getogen Zoetermeerders over hun stad (2011); Making Almere: Wie maakt de Stad (2012).
Education: INTI initiates and organizes educational activities: academic courses featuring an elite group of experts, custom-made master classes for professionals, PhD studies, lecture series for the general public, excursions, and summer schools.
Events: INTI organizes annual international conferences, like ‘New Towns | New Territories’ in 2012. Other international conferences in the last years were e.g. ‘Simulation Models for Planning New Towns’ (2007), ‘Planned vs. the Unplanned City’ (2009) and ‘New Towns and Politics’ (2010). Future topics will include: ‘The Green New Town’, ‘New Towns and Africa’, ‘New Towns and the Cold War Era’, and ‘New Towns and Regeneration.’
Lectures and debates: INTI has been well represented at a number of leading professional conferences and debates, organized by e.g. Harvard GSD, Hong Kong Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture, University of Liverpool, Netherlands Architecture Institute. Staff members of INTI have delivered a large amount of lectures, talks and guided tours.
International program: The program New New Towns is the international exchange program INTI started in 2012, working together with universities and institutions in Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Chandigarh, Moscow. In the next few years this cooperation will expand to otehr cities in Africa and Latin America. The exchange of knowledge and experience is organized between students and professionals in a wide variety of disciplines e.g. design, sociology, economy and international development studies.
Co-operation: INTI is active in finding strategic collaborations to expand its knowledge and experience and connect to an growing and increasingly international target group. These include private organizations, research and cultural institutions, media and universities e.g.:
Also in the future INTI will continue to invest in contacts and strategic collaborations with public, private and academic partners. The International New Town Institute serves a unique role in bringing together a multidisciplinary and diverse group of professionals and uniting them in an inspiring way to contribute to our shared objective to improve the quality of life in new cities around the world. Recognizing this role, INTI intends to actively expand its network of collaborations in the next few years, to work even more efficiently and effectively.
What is a New Town?
New Towns are cities or towns that are designed from scratch and built in a short period of time. They are designed by professionals according to a Master Plan on a site where there was no city before. This distuinguishes a New Town from a ‘normal’ city that gradually grows and evolves over time. Also, New Towns are mostly the result of a political (top-down) decision. The building of a new city ‘from scratch’ is a heroic enterprise that challenges the architect or planner to find the ideal shape for the urban program according to the state of the art planning ideas. A New Town is always a reflection of one moment in time and the ambitions of that moment.
International New Town Institute
Grote Markt 43
1315 JB Almere
+31 (0)6 39812612
Chamber of Commerce: 32134604
Rabobank Almere the Netherlands
Account number: 116333146
Account name: International New Town Institute
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