Urban Form is a course offered by the Department of Built Environment. Its goal is to understand how urban areas have developed over time, to build better cities tomorrow. Through a historical analysis of Breda, a city in the Netherlands, we discovered how urban areas are formed, from the influence of old inner-city walls to new construction projects and the placement of schools and public facilities. We also explored how Breda can further change in the future and what this would mean for the city.
The course gave me insight into cities and their evolution, imparting an appreciation of the factors that have made the urban environment into what it is today. I developed an understanding of the strengths and limitations of such a technical approach to urban planning, and the value of data in exploring the fascinating evolution of our society. Furthermore, I gained the knowledge of specific tools and skills applicable to the Built Environment, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the ability to gather data from sources such as OpenStreetMap and the Rijksoverheid. As a designer, this experience can further aid me in designing for transformation in the urban social context.