The study of development of public-participation in housing practice under changing socio-economic, political and urban environment in Amsterdam, from Dutch Golden Age to contemporary period

AR2A011 Architectural History Thesis (2022/23 Q3)

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Public-participation in housing practice not only happens with architectural participatory notion, instead it was already exercised differently in the history of Amsterdam according to the governmental urban planning visions. To provide more insight for contemporary participatory practice, instead of interpreting architectural public-participation as an isolated architectural concept, this paper studies public-participation holistically by using both contemporary visions of public-participation and governmental visions of urban planning to re-evaluate the participatory situation in housing practice in the Dutch Golden Age(17th century), post-industrialization period(20th century) and contemporary period(21st century) of Amsterdam. The analytical session evaluates levels of public-participation in both building scale and urban scale in relation to the socio-economic, political and urban planning visions of government in each period, and indicated that public-participation arose in levels of ‘degrees of citizen power’ under the incomplete plan in Dutch Golden Age, ‘non-participation’ in fully controlled plan in post-industrialization period, and ‘degree of tokenism’ under controlled participatory movement in the contemporary period. The discussion session indicates that public-participation was more influenced by governmental planning instead of architectural participatory concepts, and discusses how the governmental visions in each period together led to the current imbalanced and individualized challenges for public-participation in housing practice in Amsterdam. Accordingly, the conclusion questions the role of architects under the current trend of public participation.