Cities all over the world are reinventing their positions; either driven by changes in national policies decentralizing governance or reacting to the reality of competition and collaboration on subjects such as economy, services or the changing number of inhabitants. This is often out of a desire or perceived necessity to respond to the changing ambitions of industries and citizens. One only has to think of notions like ‘Creative Cities’, ‘Metropolitan Regions’, ‘City Branding’ and ‘Self-regulation’ to understand that traditional ways to organize one’s community will fail to adequately address these emerging ambitions.

There’s a need to improve decision-making and policy processes just as much as there’s a need to service and renew spatial structures as demands are changing. One can state that changes in urban developments are driven by changes in population and their needs. Energy and sustainability issues have become a common consciousness deserving appropriate response in terms of policy and spatial planning. One can easily add to these examples.

design thinking

These current challenges are becoming more complex and interwoven. Fed by a large number of sometimes contradictory and definitely various ambitions they need to be addressed in a manner that justifies all involved. Changes are good. And by nature, changes are complex and difficult to implement. They are disruptive and evoke resistance. Change needs community, involvement and commitment. The more complex a challenge is, the more actors or stakeholders need to be involved, and the more inadequate traditional means to development becomes.

One needs to build robust solutions, or better, robust environments and contexts. Solutions tend to address current situations incapable of adjusting to changing realities. It is exactly those rapidly changing realities – economical, political and social – that have led to the realization that innovation in governance and policy- making processes is crucial for a city to keep operating successfully. Intelligent ways to address and implement developments are needed. Intelligent in terms of creating efficient and economically viable solutions for both processes and implementations; intelligent as in being informed by relevant parties.

Current notions on ‘Design Thinking’ move towards inclusive and collaborative processes. These are aimed at efficiently producing inventories and analyses of stakeholders and context. Organizing effective prototyping presents essentially different strategic options and scenarios. Finally and foremost, these processes create collaborative structures for professionals, administrators and citizens.


Delft Scenarios 01 is a casestudy based research program. Public administration students from Leiden University and design students from the University of Kentucky took on the challenge to research potential interventions for the municipality of Delft. To gain a position as a ‘Knowledge City,’ Delft must improve the retention rate of local students, ultimately extending its population of well-educated residents.

The Leiden students started by conducting a series of interviews with representatives of the educational institutes in Delft, including students and student organizations, housing corporations and the municipality itself. This inventory of ambitions, foresights and perceptions guided by SWOT analyses and the identification of Driving Forces (happening for sure) and Critical Uncertainties (happening, but unsure how), led to a first indication of five essentially different scenarios.

These results were taken by the students of the University of Kentucky to investigate further. Scenario specific information was collected and implemented in more precise descriptions of plausible futures for Delft. The scenarios present extreme positions aimed to unveil current conditions and realistic future situations. They operate as context to test current plans on their robustness and adaptability to remain significant regardless of how the future actually unfolds.


UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY: Zach Allen, Amanda Bryant, Laurel Christensen, Liz Feldman, Katie Gray, Jennifer Seymour  UNIVERSITY LEIDEN: Lotte Alofs, Devin van den Berg, Christel van Binsbergen, Ebe Blok, Auke Borges, Sheila Bronswijk, Thérèse Faber, Souhail Ftiah, Fleur van de Gevel, Emiel de Groot, Steven de Groot, Jade Hilhorst, Niels Honders, Joelle van Kerkum, Jorn Kersbergen, Manouck van der Knaap, Mandy Koenraads, Tessa Lansbergen, Sander Leenman, Kirsten Lelieveld, Ragnar Klabbers, Jeroen Nederpelt, Daniel Rustenbrug, Erik Salverda, Diana Sisto, Jesper Van, Renske van der Vlugt, Ikram Zohri INSTRUCTORS: Siebe Bakker, Ad van der Kouwe, Sjoerd Louwaars, Mark Reijnders  SUPPORT: Pieter Guldemond, Norbert de Leeuw, Robert Schneider, Richard Toussain, Miriam Wardenaar  PUBLICATION: University of Kentucky students; made possible with contribution from Delft Municipality

SCENARIOS: Destination Delft NL – Liz Feldman, Regionovation – Jennifer Seymour, Two Faced Delft – Zach Allen, DELFTUNIVERCITY – Amanda Bryant, INDelft – Laurel Christensen, Hybrid Dwelling – Katie Gray

INFO: mail@bureaubakker.com / www.bureaubakker.com


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