Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Transdisciplinary Lecture Series—5 Conversations on the Present (state of)—Session 7 (Habitat)

Within the framework of:

Section of Urban Design
Delta Futures Lab
Delta Urbanism Research Group
Graduation Studio—Transitional Territories
(Joint Studio with AA, Diploma Unit 9, Third Territorial Attractor)

Dalhousie University
Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning
Graduate Design Studio—Facts or Fictions: Cities on the Sea

Hosted by:

Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Section of Urban Design—Delta Urbanism, TUDelft

Catherine Ann Somerville Venart
School of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Planning
Dalhousie University

Luisa Maria Calabrese
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Section of Urban Design—Delta Urbanism, TUDelft

Isabella Coutand
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science
Dalhousie University

Two views points on the subject, followed by a short discussion on overlaps, differences, provocations, oppositions.



17:00—19:00 CET / 13:00-15:00 Atlantic
Hosted on Zoom by TUDelft, to register please write to t.bacchin[at]


Han Meyer
“Habitat, Economy, Technology: in which order?“
It is time to change the order between habitat, economy and technology radically. Instead of subjecting our environment to economic goals, we should create conditions for the systemic and evolutionary character of our habitat, and adapt our land use, technological interventions and economic exploitation to it. The urgency of this change in thinking and acting will be illustrated with the development of the Rhine river basin during the last 200 years, focusing on the current state-of-affairs of the delta and the need to design a new discharge system for this river. This leads to a common challenge for urban design, landscape architecture and civil engineering.

Prof. V.J. (Han) Meyer is Emeritus Professor of Urban Design at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). He was an urban planner at the Rotterdam City Planning Department from 1980 to 1990, and an Associate Professor Urban Design at TU Delft from 1990 to 2001. He was full Professor Urban Design at TU Delft from 2001 to 2019. His main focus is on the fundaments of urbanism and on ‘Delta Urbanism’, which pays special attention to the search of a new balance between urbanization processes and climate change in vulnerable deltaic territories. More information can be found on


Matthijs Bouw
Design as a tool for complex urban climate adaptation planning
In the lecture, Matthijs Bouw will discuss ONE’s role in New York City’s climate adaptation and resilience projects, starting with the Big U to the current masterplan for the Financial District and the Climate Adaptation Roadmap. He will posit design as a social tool that helps navigating the complex environment of agencies, communities, and challenges.


Matthijs Bouw is a Dutch architect and urbanist and founder of One Architecture (est. 1995), an award-winning Amsterdam and New York-based design and planning firm. He directs the Urban Resilience Certificate Program at the Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is an associate professor of practice and the McHarg Center fellow for Risk and Resile.

Bouw’s work at UPenn theorizes and positions design as an integrator and innovator among scales, disciplines, actors and issues in urban resilience and water management projects. Additionally, he researches how to achieve and increase ‘resilience value’ in the implementation of complex projects. He is a member of the ULI panel that writes the ’10 principles for building resilience’.

Bouw’s practice is known for its unique approach in which programmatic, financial, technical and organizational issues are addressed, communicated and resolved through design. Bouw has been a pioneer in the use of design as a tool for collaboration, for instance through the development of ‘Design Studios’ as an instrument to support the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment with its long-term planning, with such notable projects as the Deltametropolis Studio and Randstad 2040.

The office works on flagship resilience projects in New York, Boston and San Francisco. A co-leader of the BIG Team that won the Rebuild by Design competition for the flood protection of Manhattan, ONE is currently part of the multi-disciplinary teams executing the first phase of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project for Lower Manhattan, as well as planning the Lower Manhattan Coastal Protection project. In Panama City, Bouw is the urban designer in the ‘Water Dialogues’ team. In the Philippines, he is the urban planner for the Asian Development Bank on New Clark City, works on nature-based disaster reduction in Tacloban, and leads the design for Building with Nature Asia. In the Netherlands, One are part of the ‘Hackable City’ team for Buiksloterham, a large scale brownfield redevelopment in Amsterdam-Noord based on the principles of the circular economy, and is currently working on the climate adaptation strategy for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region.


After Territory Symposium / Inland-Seaward End-of-Cycle Exhibition – Transitional Territories Studio and Research
Section of Urban Design/Transitional Territories Lecture Series—After Territory—Session 3