YMS-30306 Metropolitan Innovators


Studiepunten 6.00

Individual Paper1
Group work10
Course coordinator(s)dr. R Rocco (TUD)
dr. ir. CPG Driessen
Lecturer(s)MSc IV Barba-Lata
dr. ir. CPG Driessen
dr. R Rocco (TUD)
dr. A Ersoy
Examiner(s)dr. R Rocco (TUD)
dr. ir. CPG Driessen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Relevant Bachelor level understanding of metropolitan issues in a socio-technical discipline, including basic understanding of multi-actor settings, and insights into materials, energy, and/or nutrients as technological entities in innovation (see application requirements MSc MADE). AMS MOOC: Sustainable Urban Development: Discover Advanced Metropolitan Solution.

Continuation courses:

YMS-61312 Metropolitan Solutions


Please note that this course is offered at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions in Amsterdam. Students who are not studying the master MADE but who would like to participate in this course should contact the course coordinator prior to registration.

The innovator's course enables students to use, contrast, discuss and integrate the many contemporary methodological and conceptual approaches to engage with metropolitan problems and potential solutions. This course complements the Metropolitan Challenges course. Students are introduced to the broad scope of human actors, ranging from civil servants, public sector professionals, entrepreneurs, engineers, to pro-active citizens, and can relate them to a variety of entities in the urban environment. The course discusses tools and frameworks for unravelling the complex metropolitan challenges, and presents approaches from different areas of knowledge dealing with metropolitan problems. These areas of knowledge are socio-technical analysis and design engineering, primarily related to urban studies, and humanities. Teaching methods include a mix of short lectures, practical workshops, and individual exercises for specific case locations in Amsterdam. Students experience the various approaches by investigating related actors and entities. They report on findings in specific case locations in Amsterdam from the point of innovation, and get acquainted with metropolitan interventions that improve or even optimise intermediaries between all actors and entities.
Contemporary metropolitan regions face a variety of complex challenges that concern large numbers of stakeholders. Metropolitan challenges often have several dimensions: cultural, political, technical and aesthetic, to cite but a few. Those challenges cannot be addressed by planners, engineers and designers alone, as they require engagement with a multiplicity of perspectives necessary to understand and tackle all the dimensions involved. For any actor working to contribute to advanced metropolitan solutions, it becomes crucial to be able to understand, communicate and to co-operate with other actors in order to integrate their knowledge about issues at hand and to understand different (and often conflicting) objectives. Awareness of this context, as well as the implicit and explicit values and cultural norms operating in a specific place, are essential to achieve suitable solutions. The course includes meta-discussions, namely on the value and role of urban theories in metropolitan innovation commonly present in different communities of knowledge and in large groups of people working together. It does so by promoting a discussion on metropolitan challenges and the theoretical and practical frameworks and tools being used by different disciplines, via interactive lectures and student workshops evaluating and acting on the issues being treated in the Metropolitan Challenges Course.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe the merits of various modes of organising, governing and discussing metropolitan innovation;
- identify and discuss the implicit values of particular technological interventions, including what interests are at stake, what actors are involved, what subjects are produced, networks configured, experiences generated and scripted behaviour promoted;
- explain the role of theories of urbanisation in metropolitan innovation practice and to find useful connections between theory and practice;
- understand the kind of roles engineers have in a multi-actor setting, and the role innovation has with respect to the availability of resources and other related entities;
- creatively move from critical problem description to valid research questions and to proposing desirable interventions, through critical use of different methods from different logics of enquiry.


- work forms used in the course:
- lectures, including guest lectures;
- tutorials;
- peer reviewed exercises;
- group work leading to presentations ;
- role playing and other games ;
- drawing and sketching (mind mapping, brainstorming, actor mapping, life stories, etc.);
- movies and clips for discussion;
- one or two significant field trips;
- mentored essay writing.

The 'Metropolitan Innovators' course consists of sessions, which introduce multi-actor settings from a transdisciplinary viewpoint, quantitative methods to assess, to map, and to evaluate, and understand innovation with respect to the networks of actors and other entities.


Students will be invited to reflect, explain and unfold different aspects of their work in the Metropolitan Challenges Course: identifying different stakeholders, different approaches to knowledge/logics of inquiry used in the course, different ways of explaining success/failure of a particular design/engineering intervention.
Students will be also invited to explain how different knowledges, interests, scripts, experiences and political arguments have contributed to their analysis, and how scientific methods and approaches have played a role.


A digital reader with selected texts and assignments, including suggested literature. A digital platform, in the form of a BLOG, to which students and teachers will contribute.

Verplicht voor: MMDMetropolitan Analysis, Design & Engineering (JD 2020)MSc2WD