This first debate from the series Letters to the Mayor will focus on the inclusive city. How can Rotterdam remain open to everyone, and how can the built environment sufficiently represent its inhabitants? Are Rotterdammers being forced out of their city? With guest debaters Eloah Udenhout, Barbara Luns, Dirk van Peijpe, Elma van Boxel and Dirk Osinga. Moderation by Daan Roovers.
In early 2018, in partnership with Storefront for Art and Architecture, Het Nieuwe Instituut exhibited Letters to the Mayor: Rotterdam, an installation of open letters to Rotterdam’s Mayor Aboutaleb written by architects with links to the city. Several questions came clearly to the fore: How can Rotterdam again become an accessible city where diversity reigns? How can the city restore its relationship to nature and the water and become a healthier and more sustainable place? And how can urban co-creation take place on the basis of self-organisation?
The project attracted considerable attention, and the mayor has expressed a wish to continue the conversation with the architects this summer. In advance of this, Het Nieuwe Instituut will host two Socratic debates with the architects and engaged Rotterdammers, a group of people who would not ordinarily meet. In the conversations – which will be explicitly public and recorded in written reports – the values and ideas underlying the first two questions will be investigated in greater detail and depth. The results of the discussions will be presented to the mayor.
This first debate will focus on the inclusive city. How can Rotterdam remain open to everyone, and how can the built environment sufficiently represent its inhabitants? Are Rotterdammers being forced out of their city? With input from guest debaters: Eloah Udenhout, Barbara Luns, Dirk van Peijpe, Elma van Boxel and Dirk Osinga.
The debates will be led by the philosopher Daan Roovers, a lecturer in public philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and an events programmer at De Rode Hoed. With the Harvard University philosopher Michael Sandel, she developed the moral discussion show What’s the Right Thing to Do? for the Human broadcasting company. A frequent leader of debates, Roovers lectures and writes about philosophy, parenting, education, politics and media. She is currently working on a dissertation about the formation of public opinion.
Letters to the Mayor
Letters to the Mayor is a presentation series comprising a set of personal letters written by architects to their city mayors. For the edition in Rotterdam, a group of architects who have had a relation with the city were invited to deliver their thoughts directly to Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb as a means of bringing innovative ideas and visions of the city closer to its decision-makers, and vice versa. The presentation comes as a result of a year-long collaboration between Het Nieuwe Instituut and Storefront for Art and Architecture around the theme of City Forces. On Friday 12 January 2018, the Letters to the Mayor: Rotterdam will be opened in the presence of Rotterdam's Mayor. The presentation is on show until 11 February.
Before the Thursday Night you can grab a bite to eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut. At 18:30 Het Nieuwe Café will serve soup with bread or a quiche with salad. Dinner vouchers are available for € 7.50 up to a day before the particular Thursday Night event via the Tickets link.