Over the last years five shiftN has deepened its expertise in dealing with strategic challenges related to urban and regional development. We position ourselves as partners to architects, urbanists and planners who seek to include a systemic perspective in their approach. Assignments include a systems analysis of the Flemish food production and consumption system (in collaboration with VITO and KULeuven) and the development of a framework to assess mid-sized cities’ readiness to develop a more sustainable mobility system (with BUUR).
More recently we produced a concept paper ‘Space as a System’ for the Flemish Environment Agency. We were tasked to write a report on a series of masterclasses on the concept of Urban Metabolism by the Flemish Waste Management Agency. And we have been invited to take up an expert role in a designerly research project focused on the Belgian coastal area (Stedelijk Systeem Kust), piloted by Labo Ruimte. The focus there is on the development of a systems model of ‘sustainable real estate development’ for a region that is subject to rapid ageing, important seasonal shifts in employment and the threat of climate change.
Soon we will team up with TIP Architects in Stockholm to develop solution scenarios around an innovative new building concept where mobility needs will be exclusively met by mobility services rather than ownership of cars.
Our long-term ambition is to develop a wider repertoire of systemic approaches that dovetail with strategies adopted by designers, developers, engineers and local governments.