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Brainport Smart District

Brainport Smart District

Helmond, Netherlands, 2018

Unlike anything we have designed before, our urban vision for Brainport Smart District is a flexible grid that will develop around the demands of its inhabitants. As such, Brainport Smart District is not a pre-determined fixed plan that is designed first and built afterwards; it is a responsive urban ambition, where design and construction will go hand in hand with step-by-step development, guided by its users. Over the next 10 years, 1,500 new homes and 12 hectares of business premises will be built around the needs of people who live and work in the area. The ambition is to achieve a sustainable, circular and socially cohesive neighbourhood that enjoys joint energy generation, food production, water management, joint digital data management and revolutionary transport systems. As such, the development will be characterised by the application of the latest technologies and knowledge, becoming a ‘living lab’.

A Community of Innovators

Brainport Smart District (BSD) aims to contribute to the creation of a unique, sustainable living concept, one that embraces experimentation and ‘learning by doing’. As such, BSD is seeking early adopters: local and international users who are open to experimenting with these new ways of living and working. Residents are encouraged to adopt communal resource schemes such as shared energy generation and land cultivation, while businesses will primarily focus on innovative research. The productive urban environment and landscape will generate a local economy that is specifically ‘Made in BSD’.  BSD’s technology universe is introduced as a framework for sharing data and information that can enrich the efficiency of the landscapes, buildings and public spaces, while offering seamless connectivity. 

Urban Vision

The district aims to develop a new relationship between buildings and landscape, whereby both strengthen each other qualitatively. A mixed residential neighborhood is organised around a central park, surrounded by business spaces and natural reserves. The landscape is used as a productive environment for food, energy, water, waste processing and biodiversity. Our urban plan offers opportunity for growth with a flexible framework of incremental density. Factoring future economic and social flux, the site is parcelled into a series of strips (from north to south) that demarcates the district into ten parts, offering a diversity of urban and landscape densities and use.

Our vision translates BSD’s high ambitions regarding climate adaptation and circularity into a framework that ensures that ecologic, social and economic sustainability are within reach. Incorporating circular economic strategies early in the process (related to materials, energy, climate adaptation, biodiversity, human health and economic opportunities) the goal is to harness synergies between innovative solutions on different scales.