Three cities compared. The time it takes to be able to pay for different products. Image: Jessica Bridger
Lecture/Debat/symposium | NAi Rotterdam - Auditorium | 11/12/12 20:00 - 22:00
Why is the quality of life in Berlin so much higher than in other cities with higher salaries? Is purchasing power a good indicator of the quality of life? And how does it relate to spatial quality? The American landscape architect Jessica Bridger presented the results of her year-long Jaap Bakema Fellowship project: Purchasing Power and Spatial Consequences: A 21st Century Mashup. ‘You can tell a lot about a city from the pavement it chose’.
Robert Kloosterman, Professor of Economic Geography and Planning, responded in relation to his own research. NAI director Ole Bouman moderated the evening’s proceedings.
Photos by Ashley Govers
Quality of life
Purchasing power is the measure of the value of a sum of money, meaning the actual amount of goods or services that a given amount of money can purchase. It is considered an indicator of quality of life. Spatial analysis is used to quantify and understand physical relationships at all scales. When these two forms of quantitative analysis are applied to specific cites, what does this reveal about life in those places?
Economic and spatial data are of different complex orders, but what happens when they are examined concurrently? Jessica Bridger’s research explores these quantitative conditions in large cities in Europe, and adds a qualitative dimension through case studies of a selection of those cities. She will explain why the ‘mashup’ or combination of seemingly disparate elements to make a new whole is vital and useful in our increasingly interdisciplinary age, using texts, mappings and diagrams based on the economic, spatial and experiential data she has amassed.
Jessica Bridger is an American journalist, researcher and consultant based in Berlin. She holds a Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Jessica’s research, editorial projects and writing are published internationally in various books, magazines and journals, including Volume, MONU, Topos, uncube and ’scape. Her work is focused on the confluence between the built environment and economic/cultural processes at all scales.
Robert Kloosterman is Professor of Economic Geography and Planning at the University of Amsterdam. He was the Director of the Amsterdam Institute of Metropolitan and International Development Studies (AMIDSt) from 2003 to 2008. He is also Honorary Professor at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, and on the Editorial Board of the Built Environment journal. Richard Florida recently discussed a publication by Kloosterman on The Atlantic Cities.
The Jaap Bakema Fellowship is a grant of €10,000 for research at the cutting edge of architecture, technology and society. The main criterion in the evaluation of applications is the likely significance of the research for the development and understanding of contemporary architecture and the built environment. Jessica Bridger will conclude her fellowship with a lecture at the NAI and a publication in the magazine A10 new European architecture.
Jacob Berend Bakema (1914-1981) was one of the most important post-war Dutch architects. He played a major role as a designer, theoretician, teacher and populariser of his field. Bakema was the fount of inspiration for this fellowship because of his wide-ranging interest in architecture (from chair to city), his belief in the social significance of architecture and urban planning, and his international orientation.
For further information, visit www.nai.nl/jbf, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or contact Chris Luth on: +31 (0)10 4401224.
Oliver Thill announcing Jessica Bridger as the 6th Bakema Fellow. NAI, 15 December 2011. Photo: Fred Ernst
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