The functional system of a city: the surplus in effect resulting from holistically relating functionalities.
How can the current functional system transform itself into one that is more suitable for the future?
The quality of the daily living environment, as defined by stakeholders and locals.
Design that focusses on the wishes of stakeholders and (thereby) creative appropriation of top-down policies.
The climatological responsibility of each project, to the future generations of the city.
How can active projects contribute to climate, biodiversity, watercontrol and social-cultural changes in existing human habitats?
Office for Urban Planning specialises in the holistic approach of cities.
Trained and experienced in the holistic approach of cities:
"Each city has a recognisable history, that explains how the natural landscape of the city has been modified, to make the city perform better.
The result, every time, is a specific and local identity, grounded in functionality."
Founder Jeroen Heester has been working for the Central Planning Department of Amsterdam, for 18 years. Mostly designing or leading the city its most prestigious projects. Such as the northern- and southern IJ-embankments, western central station island (WSE), eastern trade dock (OHK), transformation Olympic Stadion square, south-axis Strawinskylaan, restructuring Foodcentre terrain and more. For approximately five years, as a team member of projectteam IJburg, Jeroen Heester designed at dock-island, northern neighbourhood, centre island and the second (development) phase of IJburg: the largest new town in The Netherlands. His most recently realised project, as a project leader, concerns the highly complex and ambitious project Transformation of the Olympic Stadion square in one of the most prosperous districts of Amsterdam. In the neighbouring city of Zaanstad, Jeroen Heester worked as a strategic City Developer and successfully realised a Strategic vision that integrated the social and the urban aspects of the city, contributing to a more intimate connection of both departments within the municipality. For many years in the evenings, he taught students at the Academy of Architecture the course 'City Analyses.' In 2019 he accepted a position as visiting professor 'urban planning and landscape design' at the university of Iceland. There, he taught unexperienced students in designing complete and complex neighbourhoods according to their own wishes. In addition, until 2016, he has been active as a museum exhibiting artist.
Jeroen Heester is officially registered urban planner at the Dutch Architecture Association. He won a prize in the international Archtecture ccompetition Europan9, won the intern design competition at the municipality of Amsterdam and was selected with his team for the final round in the LaGa-competition for Strassbourg-Kehl. His visions, accompanied by design, have been (inter) nationally published in professional literature. Also, recommended to the French government by the cultural dependance of the French embassy. His master thesis concerned self organising cities and in 2008 he published a large text on self-organizing cities in Volume. His graduated studies landscape design (VHL), urban planning (Academy of Architecture, Amsterdam) enable him to unify and combine approaches.
We are witnessing the beginning of a new era in western planning: An era which allows for residents to shape their own world.
Office for Urban Planning unifies landscapes, functions en sentiments, on three levels:
Strategic planning. As long as transport and destinations align, there is a fundament for the system of a city. The closer a system operates to its optimum, the more freedom can be given within. Freedom for societies to shape their own worlds to their own wishes and demands.
Office for Urban Planning focusses on the functional optimal of the city its system,
in order to generate and guide the freedom within.
Functionally seen, Office for urban Planning offers intelligent, strategic and creative solutions that favour the system of the city. Resulting in a patchwork of isolated freedoms for districts and neighbourhoods. Sentimentally seen, we attune to the specific identity of cities, resulting in a recognisable language in interventions. All together, Office for Urban Planning integrates specific functionality with specific identity,
in our search for the inner beauty of each urban area.
As the Strategic City Developer for the Municipality of Zaanstad, Jeroen Heester developed a strategic vision, based upon the optimisation of the transportation networks. Land use was oriented towards the related transport and attuned to sustainability, economic- and social functions. In combination with recognisable preservation areas, the optimal and safe infrastructure contribute to climate demands.
PS. Not changing the world completely, yet searching for overlapping combinations, all existing margins combined resulted in an over-all improvement, suitable for fast or slow transformations of daily city life.
Working as an urban planner for the municipality of Amsterdam Jeroen Heester co-created a strategic vision for the northern IJ-Embankments of Amsterdam. The vision proved a successful combination of tourists networks with commuting routes, as a reaction on Amsterdams' limitation in its car parking policies. The proposal combined bicycle networks from the surrounding agricultural wetlands as well as from the city centre, with the existing green zones. In combination with the northern embankments a green network and zoning is established that offers commuters, new inhabitants of the embankments toursits and nature enthousiasts a unifying circuit around the beautiful IJ.
Urban Design Office for Urban Planning is extraordinary curious for the ideas and ideals of inhabitants, concerning their daily living environment. We deploy our knowledge and experience to the maximum in our ideal to realise them. To our understanding, societies are developing knowledge and vision about their environment. Office for urban planning focusses on the guidance of this fresh and exiting new chapter in urban planning.
Given the impression that great visions maintain vulnerable to poor (landscape) architecture, resulting in a sub-optimal city atmosphere, Office for Urban Planning accentuates the importance of style and image, in our supervision. Office for urban Planning endeavours to maintain and create attractiveness in cities.
In the function a project leader for the municipality of Amsterdam Jeroen Heester was responsible for the creation of a quality framework that would allow for transformation of the post-war G- and H-districts. The specific separation of car traffic from pedestrians and cyclist in a claustrophobic and unsafe green landscape resulted in the idea to connect existing tunnels by straight, visible, spaces. The network of pedestrian and bicycle lanes became an opportunity to filter the polluting air by planting trees, collecting rainwater by open surfaces and an over all attractiveness by the biodiverse, green, safe and healthy framework.
Existing post-war high-rise buildings fit perfectly in the orthogonal structure of the transformation fields.
As a urban planner and -designer, working for the municipality of Amsterdam Jeroen Heester co-created various alternatives for the various modes of infrastructure and (to be) built developments. With a focal point on public transport, private traffic and ongoing traffic, demands and wishes of the surrounding inhabitants were acknowledged. The communication tool to simplify and to envision possible outcomes, turned out to be a sunlight oriented model.
Working as a projectleader for the municipality of Amsterdam Jeroen Heester focussed on the quality check of the entire transformation and developments. Including the guidance from design towards competitive tender procedure with ambitious demands concerning sustainability. Extra attention was drawn to the integration of new buildings into the atmosphere of the existing neighbourhood. Clarification: Due to the market function of the square, a vast and paved surface turned out to be most functional solution.
As a submission for the highly regarded international architecture competition Europan9 location Almere Jeroen Heester his team searched for the optimal balance of freedom and privacy. The design made use of privately planted forests strokes that guided the location of each development, based private choices and various conditions. (Honourable mention.)
Future needs. The expected future rise of temperatures in cities allow for a spacious network for the flows of cooling air. Comparable to polluted air being purified by planting more trees, abundance of rainwater being retained or infiltrated by using less pavement surfaces. Since many small interventions together count as one gigantic intervention, Office for Urban Planning seeks for efficient and effective combinations that work well together. We envision ways to make use of the landscape structure of cities to achieve this ambitious goal.
It is within our strength to find combinations that achieve a higher result, than financially expected. Given the close relation between Future and Vision (and strategy how to get there), we underline the importance of responsibility and policy.
The so called beach-island of IJburg, has been researched and designed by Jeroen Heester, in relation to water level rise. In this study, the placement of blocks according to the campus-typology opened up possibilities for the surrounding water to alter the surroundings dramatically, due to a very low gradient of the beach slope. tiny rises in water level can in this case be monitored live, by simultaneously watching the beach shrink, comparable to the Mont St. Michel -effect. Free placement of the blocks within the frame of small rules that guarantee quality of the public space contribute to joy-full awareness by the combination of freedom and drama.
During his position as a Visiting Professor of the university of Iceland, Jeroen Heester orchestrated for the Metropolitan area of Reykjavik a combination of municipality-borders with melting water rivers, nature reservates, forest strokes, slow traffic and tourism as orienting zones that connect the ocean to the hinterland. As a result of choosing quality over quantity, new plots for inner city densifiation presented themselves, without stressing the functionality of the existing green zones.
Office for Urban Planning feels strongly for the emotional values within each city.
art installation by: Jeroen Heester.
Office for Urban Planning offers professional guidance to societies that are willing to shape their own world.
Office for Urban Planning
Strategic advice, research and design.
Office for Urban Planning specialises in the holistic approach and vision of the city.
In close agreement with stakeholders and residents frameworks of the city can be assembled and drawn. Within these frameworks, our focal point is the relation functionality - identity. This way we are fully able to explain and disentangle sentiments that mostly accompany change and transformation of our daily living environment.
We attune transportation to development, and vice versa, in our search for most efficient planning, and investments. We find even greater effect in allowing combinations to happen. Such as green ways with water-infiltration, nature and air filtering, and so forth. To our understanding cities have plenty room for improvement, if prioritised clearly.
Office for Urban Planning has no political colour. We are professional, flexible, experienced and neutral in our advisement. Office for Urban Planning investigates, listens, explains and assists.
Office for Urban Planning designs, plans, researches and advices holistically. The holistic functionality of the city. The identity of the city. Masterplan/city plan and design.
Strategic visions. Priority strategies. District planning. Social aspects of planning.