Critical cartographies for assessing and designing with planning legacies: The case of Jaap Bakema’s Open Society in ‘t Hool, the Netherlands

Juan Sanz Oliver, G. Bracken, V. Muñoz Sanz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

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The Open Society appeared as a concept in planning discourse at the Congrès
International d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM XI). It attempted to create urban
conditions which would allow society to prosper. Despite its good theoretical
intentions, the project did not always translate well into practice. We observe that
historic approaches and tools have tended to be neglected in urban regeneration
projects and discussions, yet we think that they can bring valuable urban
transformations. This paper therefore considers the extent to which historic
planning tools and theories can be useful for assessing built projects to provide
fresh approaches for urban renovation. This paper will reappraise the concept of
the Open Society empirically by analysing, critiquing, and imagining its relevance
in twenty-first-century planning projects and discourse. This research uses a
mostly qualitative approach through critical cartographies as a main medium and
to draw conclusions that highlight the power relations in the Dutch neighbourhood
of ‘t Hool (Eindhoven) as well as the local conditions and materials that can enable
them to plan for a more resilient future. We aim to bridge the gap between theory
and practice through a methodology that allows for a broader and deeper
understanding of place, history, potentials, and urgencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1117
Number of pages15
JournalPlanning Perspectives: an international journal of history, planning and the environment
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Jaap Bakema
  • Open Society
  • T Hool (the Netherlands)
  • critical cartographies
  • modernist planning legacy

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