DIAGNOSE! Lecture 

Framing the City

By: Prof. Dr. Maarten van Acker // Faculty of Design Sciences, University of Antwerp


Lecture held on November 11, 2020

Integrated Infrastructure Design as Catalyst for Sustainable Urban Development

Living and working in Belgium, a country known for its high degree of urbanisation and dense systems of railway and highway infrastructures, as well as for its traffic jams, Maarten’s research has been focused at the interface of urban and infrastructure design. While infrastructure design today seems to be rather driven by engineers, and urbanism is often part of multiple disciplines, such as architecture, urban planning, social sciences and policy studies, historically these two fields were more integrated.

Thus, in his lecture Maarten gives a brief overview of the history of infrastructure design and calls for a more integrated approach. He introduces different concepts of how to rethink our approach to urban infrastructures. These concepts are illustrated by a variety of best practise examples from France, the Netherlands, Spain, Luxembourg, Norway, and many other countries. 

As one of these examples Maarten goes more into depth about the “Over de Ring” project. Antwerp’s ring road has one of the highest traffic volumes in all of Europe. “Over de Ring” tries to provide a sustainable solution for this site by not just expanding the ring road but also covering it with a layer of public and green infrastructures.

Length: 49:24 min

About Maarten:

Maarten van Acker is professor of Urban Design and Architecture at the Faculty of Design Sciences at the University of Antwerp and director for the Research Group for Urban Development. Maarten is board member at JUXTA architectuur and has been working as a consultant for many cities and architecture offices with the realisation of complex urban development and infrastructure projects.


[EN]   Berlin Brandenburg 2040 was initiated by the Habitat Unit in cooperation with Projekte International and provides an open stage and platform for multiple contributions of departments and students of the Technical University Berlin and beyond. The project is funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation.

[DE]   Berlin Brandenburg 2040 wurde initiiert von der Habitat Unit in Kooperation mit Projekte International und bietet eine offene Plattform für Beiträge von Fachgebieten und Studierenden der Technischen Universität Berlin und darüberhinaus. Das Projekt wird von der Robert Bosch Stiftung gefördert.

Organized by:


In cooperation with: