27/10/2012 - THE (OLD) CITY AND THE SEA


27 Oct 2012

Vrijstaat O, Zeedijk 10, 8400 Oostende

For decades, we have shamefully abused our cities and waterways. Urbanization, the increase of population, and climate change have forced us to find a sustainable way to develop the available spatial resources to their full potential. Over 50% of the global population currently live in cities and the vast majority are located in waterfront areas. Therefore we need to go beyond reducing environmental harm and try to find new approaches to littoral and urban development.


At the occasion of the release of the book ‘Bridges Over Troubled Waters’, this salon addresses challenges associated with water governance and environmental issues.


20.00: Inleiding

20.10: Prof. Dries Tys (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) - Het (on)evenwicht tussen samenleving en maritieme dynamiek in de kustvlakte tussen 500 en 1800 en het belang ervan voor het heden

20.25: Prof. Patrick Meire (Institute of Environmental Management, University of Antwerp) - De kust, een schat aan ecosysteemdiensten maar hoelang nog?

20.40: Peter De Wolf - Masterplan Kustveiligheid: de bescherming van onze kust tegen de zee

20.55: Maarten Vanden Eynde (artist) - Plastic Reef 2008-2012

21.10-21.30: Break

21.30: Start discussion



Bios / Slides

Dries Tys is lecturer in medieval archaeology and landscape history at the Department Art Sciences and Archaeology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He obtained his Phd in 2003 on the development of the coastal landscape, environment and settlement pattern. He directs projects on early medieval terp settlements in coastal Flanders, forest history and the origin of early medieval Antwerp. He is amongst others a Member of the Royal Commission for Monuments and Landscapes, and co-editor in chief of Medieval and Modern Matters.

Patrick Meire studied biology at the University of Ghent were he also obtained his PhD. In 1990, he became senior researcher at the Institute of Nature Conservation, a research Institute of the Flemish Government. Since 1995, he holds the chair of Integrated Water Management at the Institute of Environmental Studies of the University of Antwerp (part time visiting professor) and since 1999, is full time professor at the University of Antwerp, Department of Biology and head of the ecosystem research group. Since 2008, Patrick is also chairman of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Sustainable Development of the University of Antwerp. The main objective of his research is to provide a sound scientific basis for nature and ecosystem management in general and integrated water management in particular.

Maarten Vanden Eynde is an artist who has devoted his life to exploring the mysteries of our future past by investigating the concept of Genetology, a self-invented ‘Science of First Things’ ( His work is situated exactly on the borderline between the past and the future, sometimes looking forward to the future of yesterday, sometimes looking back to the history of tomorrow. Maarten studied Free Media at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His postgraduate studies have included a year at the Mountain School of Arts in Los Angeles, USA, and two years at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium. His work has been exhibited internationally in independent art spaces, centers for contemporary art and museums of modern art. In 2005, he founded the organization Enough Room for Space, a mobile platform for site-specific projects, together with Marjolijn Dijkman. Since 2008, he contributes to the Generali Group Strategic Leadership Programs as an active facilitator, consultant and participant in think tanks to create possible future scenarios.

John Palmesino is an architect and urbanist, born in Switzerland. He has established, together with Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Territorial Agency, which has designed the integrated vision for the future of the Markermeer, in the Netherlands. He is in charge of the Master course at the Research Architecture Centre, Goldsmiths, University of London. He has been Head of research at ETH Zurich, Studio Basel / Contemporary City Institute, between 2003, and 2007, a research platform for the investigation of the transformation patterns of the city of the 21st Century founded by the Pritzker Prize winner architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. His researches at ETH Studio Basel focus on Paris, Napoli, San Francisco, St Petersburg, Hong Kong, and the Canary Islands. He also has co-founded multiplicity, a research network on contemporary territorial transformations. The Milan-based organisation deals with contemporary urbanism, representation of inhabited landscape transformation, visual arts and general culture. Multiplicity is a research network of architects, urbanists, social scientists, photographers, filmmakers and visual artists. 

His work has been exhibited at documenta11, the Biennale di Venezia, the Triennale in Milano, the KunstWerke, Berlin, the Musée d'Art Contemporaine de Paris, the Vanabbe Museum in Eindhoven, and IABR Rotterdam.