Innovative Thinkers Fellowship Prize - MIT Pandemic Response CoLab

  Competition Copyright: © Schwab, Al Balushi, Hoppmanns, Kucharski  

We are delighted to announce that one of the projects from the Integrated Project III studio (Spatial Justice and the City) has won The Innovative Thinkers Fellowship Prize in an international competition on the “Post Covid-19 City”. This competition is organised by the MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Pandemic Response CoLab and has international experts on various topics.

The winning project group consists of four TCR-students: Lea Schwab, Amal Al Balushi, Eva Hoppmanns and Vanessa Kucharski. Their project title is: RETHINK. RESTART. RECOVER. RESILIENT - Post-Covid-19 in Amsterdam.

The authors about their project:

The work of our interdisciplinary team focuses on how to overcome a pandemic in a spatially just way and recover as soon as possible. The pandemic has brought many challenges, and we have seen trends speed up or fall apart. For this reason, innovation is especially important now and as Emanuel Rahm said in 2008: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”.

The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (AMA) is used as the main study site to develop such a prototype for crisis management. Preparations to “start-up” normal life again need to begin now to generate a quick recovery. For a resilient future outlook, the pandemic can act as a learning point. Therefore, we propose an interactive, data-driven online platform, called Access as a response to spatial injustices that were illuminated by the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions. The platform is both informed and a collector of data. It is a method that can help residents understand the policies that affect their spaces at any given time or place and offers them alternative activities and spaces nearby. It also works with local businesses, by providing adequate information on current laws, and advertising their areas as "alternatives" when possible. Additionally, it includes forums and tools to discuss the spaces and their experiences, as well as pin-point areas of issues. Such information could then be conveyed to municipalities and help direct developments in the long run, as well as temporary provisions to help residents of certain areas to cope with the pandemic changes in the short term. Spatial changes and proposed plans are regularly updated onto the platform, providing a transparent tool for AMA residents and authorities to interact. We discuss recovery phase initiation sequences in the case of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and advertise a new approach not yet attempted by municipalities, based on data and participation. While the focus is on the AMA region, Access can grow to benefit and be applied in other regions of the world.

We would like to congratulate our students on behalf of the studio supervisors, Prof Reicher, Prof Beetz and Dr Ceren Sezer, and wish them the best for the public presentation of their project!