The days when housing districts were dormitory suburbs packed with similar-looking buildings with similar functions and heavily dependent on external resources may be numbered. A new urban vision from Brainport to be realized with the help of UNStudio aims to create the “smartest neighborhood in the world.”
Community Data Will Shape the District?
Netherlands, breaks with town-planning tradition with a flexible grid plan that will develop in response to user demands.
Of course, there are no residents yet. But the latest advances in design for safety, social cohesion, environmental health, transportation, independent energy systems, and more will be implemented as a basic start for the community which will shape its neighborhood over a projected ten-year development period as a “living lab.”
Greater Efficiency Through Diversified Land-Use
The Brainport neighborhood will not be purely residential. Apart from the 1,500 homes planned for the Smart District, 12 hectares have been earmarked for businesses. Ultimately, the sustainable ideal could be to develop neighborhoods so that everything, including the workplace, is close to home.
The basic layout is focused on the community. A mixed residential neighborhood is organized around a central park space, and will be surrounded by businesses and nature reserve areas. The landscape itself will be designed for productivity, whether in the form of biodiversity, food-growing, energy production, or waste processing.
A New Way of Looking at Data Ownership
A flexible spatial plan will allow Brainport Smart City to “learn by doing.” – data is at the heart of learning. In Brainport Smart District, residents would “own” their data and could exchange data for goods or services. In addition, the findings coming from data analysis would be used to inform the rest of the development in such a way that it best serves community wellbeing.
Encouraging Community Participation
Ben Van Berkel, co-founder of UNStudio, says he believes that by bringing together a wide range of concepts, Brainport will result in a community that’s livelier and communicates better.
What Brainport Wants to Achieve
According to Brainport insiders, the primary aims they want to realize are greater quality of life for residents and greater community self-sufficiency. This will include the circular use of resources wherever possible. But, despite these high ideals, Brainport will be an affordable neighborhood too.
Although the Netherlands already has some of the smartest cities in the world and consistently does well in city sustainability rankings, Brainport is a real-time, real-life experiment that is sure to produce interesting findings useful in the development of the self-sustaining, community-oriented cities of the future.
Stichting Brainport Smart District is a joint venture between the Technical University of Eindhoven, the University of Tilburg, the province of Noord-Brabant, the communities of Helmond and Eindhoven, and Brainport Development. The initial phase of the Brainport project will be completed in 2020.