'The city as a brain' - Zef Hemel

Inaugural lecture Wibaut chair (2011 - 2023)

From 2011 to 2023, urban planner Zef Hemel held the Wibaut chair. During this period he focused on the question of how to further develop Amsterdam in a sustainable manner. At the end of his chair he published 'Once upon a time a city: visionary in spatial planning'. In this period he also contributed to the municipal course: De Nieuwe Wibaut.

Below you can read his inaugural lecture 'The city as a brain' in Dutch. In it, Hemel discusses the growing challenges for cities as a result of urbanization, but especially the opportunities that the city offers to its residents. The city that functions as a collective brain through optimism, sharing knowledge and cooperation and thus overcomes economic and ecological challenges. He expressed this when accepting the position of special professor of metropolitan issues, particularly focused on Amsterdam, on the Wibaut chair 13-09-2012.

Future vision on the Amsterdam innercity -

A new way of city planning -


Oration De Stad als Brein 

Source: Hemel, Z. (2012). De stad als brein. (Oratiereeks). Vossiuspers UvA.


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Image credits

Icon image: Kick-off Werkplaats Schone Stad, voorstel van Zef Hemel