If you are planning to visit the Netherlands during the winter, it should be warmly recommended to visit the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR). Under the theme “Open City”, the IABR presents three exhibitions and an extensive side program of events such as lectures, film screenings, debates and workshops. This year, the biennial invades the streets, museums and docklands of both Rotterdam and Amsterdam, and is open until 10 January 2010.
The theme “Open City” raises questions of social cohesion in the city from the point of view of its designer. The open city should be ”diverse, lively and socially sustainable, where people can productively relate to each other culturally, socially, as well as economically”.
In the context of Urban Dream Management, the exhibition “The Free State of Amsterdam” is particularly interesting. The exhibition gives new meaning to the expression “Stadtluft macht frei” – looking for a form of planning that is liberating rather than restricting. The issue of planning for a city that is “multi-layered, open-ended, full of paradoxes and, in some respects, chaotic and open”, is relevant not only in Amsterdam but in a multitude of cities in the world.