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    While the belief in a socially engineered society has been renounced to a large extent, in cities actors continue to struggle with the question how their plans can be steered on goal achievement. This article addresses a steering philosophy that is based on an emergent adaptive urban development process. This means that urban strategies adapt during the process by connecting to initiatives from the market and civil society. The central question of this article is how specific projects are ‘made’ in accordance with the intentions of the actors involved and how these projects are connected to larger policy stories for the city. In this article perspectives are explored that have replaced the old thinking in terms of ‘social engineering’. On the basis of two case studies in the Netherlands (Brainport Eindhoven and Mainport Rotterdam) an emergent adaptive strategy is explored as a perspective for action. This perspective is not only about ‘social engineering’, but also about ‘social connecting’. An emergent adaptive strategy is not designed on the drawing table, but it emerges during the practice of project development out of an attitude that is conscious of the environment, connective and reflective.


Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul is verbonden aan de Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculty of Architecture & Built Environment, sectie Urban Development Management.

Dr. ir. Tom Daamen
Dr. ir. Tom Daamen is verbonden aan de Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculty of Architecture & Built Environment, sectie Urban Development Management.
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