creative industries fund nl
Grant Programme for Architecture

Grant Programme for Architecture

Closing dates:

1 February 2017
10 May 2017
9 August 2017
18 October 2017

Budget: € 1.100.000

The Grant Programme for Architecture is a grant programme through which the Creative Industries Fund NL supports projects that promote the quality of architecture and augment its societal and economic added value from a cultural perspective. In addition, the Fund aims to stimulate a cross-sector approach and cooperation between private parties, individuals and the government. Projects that stimulate interest in architecture are also eligible for support. This applies to projects in the Netherlands and abroad.

The Creative Industries Fund NL issues grants to projects developed and implemented within the sphere of activity of architecture. By ‘architecture’ the Fund means architecture, urban design, garden and landscape architecture and interior architecture.

In 2016, four application rounds will take place for this grant programme. The annual budget is made available and shared equally over the application rounds.
Research, design, implementation, production, reflection and debate in the various phases of the development of architecture, urban design, garden and landscape architecture and interior architecture are eligible for support.
The applications for project grants through the Grant Programme for Architecture are assessed by the Architecture Advisory Committee. The members of the advisory committee are:
Henri Snel (chair)
Riëtte Bosch
Marjolein van Eig
Albert Herder
Lada Hršak
Job Floris
Ruurd Gietema
Marieke Kums
Bart Reuser
Johan Snel
Ekim Tan
Francien van Westrenen

grants issued Architecture


Grant Programme for Architecture Open Call

Urban Lab Ghana

Ningo Prampram - Planned City Extension in the Greater Accra Region

The growth of Accra is a matter of concern: within 30 years, Accra grew from a city with a radius of 10 km into a continuous, urban agglomeration that stretches over 60 km along the coastline. With a staggering growth rate of 4.6 per cent, the population is expected to grow from 2.5 million in 2011 to 4.2 million in 2020. In Accra, the speed of speculation has consistently outpaced the speed of planning, resulting in regular severe flooding, daily traffic collapse and the absence of basic utilities and basic services in many parts of the agglomeration.

Good spatial planning and design assistance directly affect the municipalities’ capacity to meet these challenges and deliver a more liveable and resilient piece of city.

On UN-Habitat’s initiative, a National Priority Project has been established that will entail a planned extension of Accra into the adjacent Ningo-Prampram district. Both local and national government – and the private sector – have shown considerable interest in the plan, and support its moving forward towards implementation with a steering committee that has the mandate to approve and a development body tasked with implementing the plan. The Ghanaian-Dutch team of planners, consisting of urban and landscape designers and water and infrastructure experts, is helping to further build this momentum and to design the city extension of Ningo Prampram, which encompasses a total land area of about 100 km. In the future it will be able to accommodate a significant amount of the growth predicted in the Greater Accra Agglomeration.

Planning a city extension for an assumed 1 to 1.5 million people is beyond what typically can be grasped by the experience of humans. One cannot design a city of that size. But one can put basic systems into place that allow a city to grow over time. The approach to the planned city extension in Ningo Prampram therefore consisted of three key aspects: How can a system be established that mitigates the biggest risk – regular flooding? How can a system be crafted that provides basic services, that can mature over time and that is relatively easy to understand and manage? How can the often finite ideas of ‘Newtownism’ be avoided, and instead room be made for growth and gradual maturing as an integral part of urban development?

Making a big plan never works without local rooting. In dialogue with local planners, representatives and through site visits, the design team defined the plan’s key objectives. In these conversations it became obvious that creating broad support is essential to making the plan happen on the ground. Consequently, recent focus – besides on refining the plan – has been on activating all key players in the process, from the local stakeholders to the President of Ghana. So far this has been successful on all political levels. In a next step the plan has to find the acceptance of the local population and start attracting investment from both the private sector and global institutions. A much greater challenge, but one that is essential to inclusive planning.

Markus Appenzeller – MLA+,
Eric Frijters – Fabric,
Martin Knuijt – OKRA,
Ingeborg Thoral – MIXST URBANISME,

Grant Programme for Architecture Open Call

Urban Lab Mexico

Urban Renewal Strategy in Doctores, Mexico City

In Mexico, urban renewal has become a major development strategy. In the case of about 7 million houses built in remote areas, increasing commuting costs have forced many residents to move, abandoning their homes. An adequate framework for urban renewal could tackle sprawl, reduce congestion and bring residents closer to their work. In this context, the national housing programme Sustainable Urban Development (DUIS), introduced in the late 2000s, could become a powerful tool for sustainable housing. Combined with urban renewal strategies, DUIS can contribute to the supply of low-income housing in a way that is less environmentally damaging and more socially inclusive. UN-Habitat is organising an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) to discuss the urban renewal of seven project areas in Mexico Federal District.

The establishment of a planning lab will enable Dutch planners to engage in one of the salient urban challenges in Mexico. The planners can tap into international expertise by using the recommendations and instruments suggested by the EGM and applying them to an in-depth strategy for one of the seven project areas. For local counterparts, this is an opportunity to tackle the complex legal and financial context behind urban renewal with a project approach.

The UN Mexico team is working on Doctores, a central neighbourhood in Mexico City. Doctores has a rather low density – like most of central Mexico City – and is slightly run-down. SEDUVI (Secretaría de Desarrollo Urbano y Vivienda ) sees chances to densify and improve Doctores so more people can profit from its proximity to jobs and infrastructure. The creation of an SAC (Sistema de Actuación por Cooperación) should open up development. But this is a new and mostly economic-juridical instrument. The key challenge is to show how the application of the SAC can be used to direct urban quality and give opportunities to different social groups in the area. The UN team defined the following ambitions:

Intensify the area with a mixed programme to reach a more compact city, respecting existing qualities and scales, and intensify green space within organic and flexible growth.
Social Mix:
Mix existing and new inhabitants, to avoid gentrification. Build new housing for social groups, including a mix of functions and urban economies for different groups.
Develop with smart governance, publicprivate collaborations and strategies, smart rules and financial mechanisms and interweave participation in the process.
Doctores is the pilot project for sustainable urban renewal.

At the moment, the UN Mexico team is developing different densification scenarios using the SAC rules. Densification is connected to improved, sustainable public space structures. By taking the mechanism of building, land, rent and sales prices into consideration, we are trying to discover what housing types are feasible (or can be made feasible). Finally, we are focusing on new ways of trading potential air rights, to connect supply and demand at fair and transparent prices. The challenge remains how to develop a clear strategy that aligns with existing regulations, clearly shows the value for all stakeholders and can be incorporated into the urban renewal process in the next decade.

Jaap Klaarenbeek – Klaarenbeek Stedenbouw Architectuur & Strategie
Marco Broekman – marco.broekman urbanism research architecture,
Kristin Jensen – Morgenstad,
Gerwin de Vries – LINT landscape architecture,

UN Habitat Urban Lab (Nairobi), UN Habitat (Mexico City) and SEDUVI (Mexico City), Urban Lab Doctores, Mexico City

Grant Programme for Architecture Open Call

Urban Lab Myanmar

New Economy and New Paradigm, Yangon Myanmar stands at a defining point in its recent history. Since 2011, the country has seen a general trend towards social and economic liberalization and a more marketoriented economy, which will inevitably lead to increasing urbanization. Ambitiously, the country is anticipating this growth by preparing plans for over 200 cities. The new planning law, which is expected to come into effect at any moment, encourages cities to make plans and offers a unique opportunity to define the future of many of Myanmar’s cities.

The current urban development practice, however, has to deal with the multifaceted pressures of rapid urbanization and can best be described as lagging-behind or reactive planning: the governmental bodies have limited capacity, limited resources of valuable data and are operating in a period of governmental restructuring, while awaiting the new planning law. There is a great demand for a new comprehensive planning vision. Establishing a lab of Dutch planners collaborating with local planners enables them both to significantly contribute to a better urban future for Myanmar.

The assignment is to create a comprehensive master plan for an exemplary city extension for the township of Htantabin, located in the western part of the Capital of Yangon, which is planning six new expansion areas to accommodate its rapid growth. The Htantabin city extension site is currently mainly agricultural land with a few villages and limited infrastructure. The projected population for the Htantabin city extension in 2040 ranges from 2.4 to 2.7 million people. The aim is to develop a master plan and implementation strategy together with local planners, using the recently formulated Guidelines for Urban Planning by UN-Habitat as a starting point. Now that Myanmar is decentralizing its planning expertise, the process includes a strong ‘learning by doing’ component for the local counterpart.

Htantabin is located along the main roads to the west coast and to the agricultural lands in the north known as the ‘ricebowl of Yangon’. Because of this and its proximity to central Yangon, the Htantabin area is under great pressure from growing industrial sites, (private) residential developments and the sprawl of the informal settlements of rural-to-urban migrants. At the same time it faces a multitude of issues: both flooding and insufficient water provision, polluting solid waste management, traffic congestion, (illegal) land speculation and all challenges related to the typical ‘Arrival City’. The aim is to tackle these issues not with singular solutions, but through an integral master plan that functions as a strategic framework rather than a blueprint design, thereby setting ambitious goals for future urban plans.
During a first mission in February, the team took a group of local planners from the Ministry of Construction (MOC) and the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) through the design process of analysis and assessments towards synthesis and concept development.

The current concept master plan is based on a series of principles, an elaboration of the five principles of UN-Habitat. The next step will be to elaborate the plan in conjunction with the governmental bodies within the urban development framework for Yangon City, as part of the 100 days programme of the new government, as well as the formulation of an Implementation strategy, based on legal and economic foundations. Moving forward to a new planning paradigm, the main challenges in this process will be the following:
Making the switch from a lagging-behind, reactive planning practice to a more proactive one with the current limited capacity and available resources.
Dealing with the international ‘help overdose’. There is an influx of international consultancies and NGOs to assist these governmental bodies in capacity building to an extent that their limited manpower is being challenged.
Dealing with the aspect of identity: Is the identity of a place a result of cumulated developments or a prescripted one based on a vision? And how does one maintain one’s genius loci with the abovementioned foreign influx?

Jean-Paul Hitipeuw – Urban Codes,
Han Dijk – Posad,
Michiel van Driessche – Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners,
Darrel Ronald – Maketank,

UN Habitat Myanmar, Ministry of Construction (MOC) and Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC)

Grant Programme for Architecture Open Call

Urban Lab Palestine

Build Back Better in Khuza’a

Extensive destruction of housing and infrastructure, displacement and insufficient shelter, scarcity of land and territorial fragmentation resulting from the Israeli occupation in Palestine are among the main challenges facing the Palestinian human settlements today. The massive scale of physical damage suffered after the 2014 conflict in Gaza has displaced over 500.000 people. Many are housed in refugee conflict camps or temporary shelters, while others live in the ruins of their cities and villages. At the same time, settlements have seen an influx of displaced people, leading to uncontrolled development and expansion in the cities and around the fringes of towns, encroaching on agricultural land. Beyond damaging the housing stock, the crisis has left Gaza with significant damage in road infrastructure, water, electricity and waste.

The damage has been devastating for the livelihood of Palestinians, as the already fragile economy dependent on Israeli policies and restrictions has been further impaired by the physical destruction of many economic centres and a great deal of agricultural land. In the Palestinian town of Khuza’a the post-conflict situation of 2014 is persisting to this date, as the international community has been hesitant to step in and rebuild the town under the Hamas-led de facto government of the Gaza Strip.

Recently, UN-Habitat has taken the initiative to show that a participatory design approach can work in post-conflict situations and has assembled a local team of planners (NTSC) to support the Khuza’a municipality in drafting a master plan, under the motto ‘Build Back Better’. Working in a challenging context, with limited logistics and resources, the team of international experts are helping the local partners develop a new and innovative approach to urban reconstruction that could be tested in Khuza’a and replicated in other areas in Gaza.

Eric-Jan Pleijster – LOLA landscape architects,
Naomi Hoogervorst – Freem open architecture,
Martin Sobota – CITYFÖRSTER Rotterdam,
Peter Vanden Abeele – Maat Ontwerpers,

Grant Programme for Architecture Open Call

Urban Lab Philippines

Resilience to climate change, Tacloban City

Tacloban was one of the cities severely hit in 2013 by typhoon Yolanda. This typhoon was one the strongest tropical typhoons ever recorded and killed at least 6.300 people in the Philippines alone. The local government of Tacloban has, with support from UN-Habitat and the United Nations Development Programme, organized several planning charrettes to brainstorm and discuss strategies for the spatial development of Tacloban, addressing emergency, recovery and long-term rehabilitation needs. The city is visited by on average of 20 typhoons a year, and 42 of the city’s 138 villages are classified as danger zones. Besides reconstruction issues, however, rapid urbanization also poses a great challenge to the country’s ability to achieve sustainable urban development. Urbanization in the Philippines is expected to increase from 50 per cent currently to 84 per cent by 2050. This growth is expected to happen not only in the capital city Manila, but mainly in small and intermediate cities such as Tacloban. The only way to obviate this growth by urban planning is to take the postdisaster and flooding context into account very carefully.

When the team arrived in Tacloban, it soon became clear that it was dealing with a post-relief-planning situation instead of post-disaster-planning: typhoon Yolanda and its aftermath had started a dynamic and elaborate rehabilitation planning process with many relief organizations providing financial and expert support, volunteers organising mapping marathons, and local government being invited to many planning workshops. The team immediately reformulated its original assignment: instead of designing rehabilitation and resettlement plans, it focused on giving advice on the comprehensive land-use planning process
and integrating the numerous constructed settlement sites and infrastructural works into an integrated and clear structural urban plan. The availability of extensive site data made it possible to make detailed specialist studies such as geo-hazard maps, land value analyses and space-syntax maps. The organic state of the planning process as well as the challenging economic and infrastructural situation on the ground required the team to work with adaptive and flexible planning procedures and principles that will allow Tacloban to continue the most positive development in the future. While writing this text the team is in Tacloban working on the final formation of the comprehensive land-use plan in collaboration with UN-Habitat and the City of Tacloban. In June the plans will be presented to Tacloban’s inhabitants in a public consultation.

Marieke Kums – Studio MAKS,
Neville Mars – MARS Architects,
Harmen van de Wal – Krill o.r.c.a.,
Christopher de Vries – Rademacher de Vries,

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