Project Description

Spatial Justice refers to the fair distribution of spatial benefits and burdens (distributive spatial justice) and the realization of the ‘right to the city’, understood as the opportunity to shape the built environment to the one’s needs and wishes (procedural spatial justice). This seed project comprises the organization of a symposium on the topic, which will serve as a springboard to the compilation of a handbook on the topic. The symposium and handbook build on several related initiatives in which researchers from Delft University of Technology were involved in the past decade.

Leading academics are expected to contribute to the symposium on Spatial Justice that is made possible by this seed grant. Results of the symposium will be made available in a report and will feed into the compilation of a handbook, titled The Handbook on Spatial Justice: Values for the Built Environment. This handbook discusses how to teach and study issues connected to spatial justice: democracy, the nature and role of the State, rule of law, participation, governance and ethical values in planning and designing for people.

Both the report and the handbook will be made available online. The handbook and website will in turn provide resources and building blocks for the future development of a MOOC on this topic (not part of this proposal). The seed project is part of existing efforts to systematize education in the area of spatial justice.

Background of the project

Since approximately 10 years ago, the Department of Urbanism of of the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment has been trying to integrate issues of spatial justice, ethics and democracy into its Master track. This was often done in partnership with the Department of Research for the Built Environment (OTB), the TU Delft Faculty of Technology, Policy & Management (TPM), the Rotterdam base Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) and other groups/institutions.

This partnership has so far resulted in several outputs, including

  • dedicated sessions on ethics for the built environment, spatial justice, democracy and public goods in the Urbanism master track
  • discussion on the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda launched in Quito in 2016 and the European Urban Agenda, also launched in 2016 with the Pact of Amsterdam.

This discussion has already spurred several further activities, such as

Events Resulting from this Seed Project

Follow Up Event: It Could Happen to You 2: Insurgent Citizenship, Democracy & the City (Symposium)

Thursday, 13 June @ 12:30 - 13:45
In the first event, the rise of far-right politics was discussed. Colonialism, race, and gender were discussed. As well as the suppression of pleasure as a tool for political control. In this second event of the series, Professor James Holston from UC Berkeley will talk about insurgent citizenship, ...

It Could Happen to You: Far Right Politics and The City (Symposium)

Thursday, 2 May
Our hypothesis is that, we must achieve agreement through inclusionary, democratic communication and participation, in which public conceptions of justice, democracy and the redistribution of the benefits and burdens of urban development are discussed and decided upon democratically.

DDfV Researchers Involved

  • Marcin Dabrowski
    Marcin Dabrowski
    Assistant Professor at Architecture
  • Haye Hazenberg
    Haye Hazenberg
    Postdoctoral researcher & project manager 'TU Delft in The Hague'
  • Roberto Rocco
    Roberto Rocco
    Associate Professor Spatial Planning & Strategy