Friday 8 June 13.00 – 19.00 hrs
Zomerhof quarter, Zomerhofstraat,  Rotterdam NL

Love Public Space! | Hate Public Space! | Hack Public Space! | Defend Public Space! | F*ck Public Space!

Public Space is the mirror of society. It’s the place where we perform our every-day cultural exchange. We meet, eat, party, play, demonstrate and clash in public space. With the ‘We Love Public Space’ Festival (WLPS) we celebrate public space and pay tribute to everyone who is professionally involved in city making. The aim of the Festival is to establish an open conversation about how city makers deal with developments that determine the design and use of public space.

The WLPS Festival is broad-orientated and freely accessible. An open and dynamic platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience between city makers; from architect to artist, from designer to urban planner.

Ode to Public Space
The Festival will be opened with the ‘Ode to Public Space’, followed by an extensive program with contributions from both national and international city makers; ranging from Antwerp, to Ljubljana and Prague. The event will end with a street-happening. With street food, acts and performances we will celebrate public space in all its facets.


Lectures, workshops and performances are programmed simultaneously at an inspiring location that is representative for the Festival. This year the location is the ZoHo quarter, one of the most active city maker areas in the Netherlands.


13.00u  An ode to public space

by  Annemieke Fontein (NL), head of landscape design of the municipality Rotterdam

Het Gele gebouw / Het Blauw Witte Gebouw | Zomerhofstraat/Vijverhofstraat

Het Gele Gebouw | the yellow spot

WIJkcoöperatie 010 | ground

WIJkcoöperatie 010 | up

17.00 – 17.30u Opening ZoHo letters (Vijverhofstraat)

17.30 – 19.00u Pancake party

Program can change. Presentations last 20 minutes this is including introduction of the moderator. After the presentation you will have 10 minutes to change venue.



Alenka Korenjak (SLO)
Bas Sala (NL)
Bouke Bruins (NL)
Boukje Vastbinder
David del Valle (COL)
Esther Kokmeijer
Irene Quakkelaar (NL)
Jakub Mikuláštík (TJE)
Jan Willem Wesselink
Kasper Spaan (NL)
Kris Schurmans (BE)
Luca van der Putten (NL)
Minouche Besters
Paula Arntzen (NL)
Piet Vollaard (NL)
Ricardo Torres (Peru)
Viktor Kasala (SK) / Todor Kesarovski (BG)
Willemijn Lofvers
Wolbert van Dijk (NL)

PROGRAM WORKSHOPS & ART will be published soon

OUTDOOR Het Gele gebouw | Zomerhofstraat / Vijverhofstraat
14.00 – 15.00u Activity by Stipo
13.00 – 19.00u Dance, music and spoken word by…



‘Tomorrow is Now!’

The theme of this edition of the WLPS Festival is ‘Tomorrow is Now!’. We will discuss those developments that are crucial for the future design and use of public space; the growing influence of technology (Smart City), the need for creative solutions for the climate-resilient city and the crucial role of public space as a meeting place. How do city makers deal with these trends? Which methods and strategies do they develop and use to achieve their goals?

The Smart City
The reason “Tomorrow is Now!” has been chosen as the motto for this year’s edition is the growing public awareness of the Smart City’s arrival. It is not a futuristic scenario, but is already here, in action, and it is here to stay.
Smart objects in public space collect and transmit data, not just about their own functionality but also data about their immediate environment. Techniques such as WiFi tracking are used by corporations and governments to collect data on the use of public space and the behavior of citizens in the public domain. This is justified with the argument that we need smart technology to keep cities livable, but it is at odds with the privacy of citizens.
Do we want to be in an environment where every movement is picked up, stored and analyzed? A place where algorithms try to influence our behavior, without giving us the possibility to opt out? Who owns this data; citizens or the companies that harvest it?  What should the rules be for the use of big data?

Meeting in Public Space 
It is widely acknowledged that dynamic and thriving public spaces are essential for the economy. Furthermore, the social quality of public space is essential for the functioning of society in general. The public domain is the place where people with different social backgrounds meet, thus stimulating the exchange of diverse ideas and views.
Commercialization – both visible and invisible – threatens this open character of the public domain. Developments such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and (mobile) technology are changing the way we use and experience the city, both in positive, but also in negative ways.
That is why public space as a social platform – as a meeting place – is of crucial importance, not only now but also in the future.
Public urban space functions as the physical counterpart to the virtual meeting space that is the internet. Since mobile technology allows us to do anything, anywhere, anytime, it no longer matters where we shop, play or work. This makes high-quality urban space even more important. If we can do everything everywhere, where do we want to be? In places where we feel comfortable. We do not have to be anywhere anymore, so we choose to be in spaces with added value, where we can have meaningful experiences and interactions with others.

The climate-adaptive city
Another future challenge is the need to develop innovative strategies to deal with the consequences of climate change. Public space is the place where climate-change related problems are manifest; flooding and heat stress are affecting city life more and more. In many cities the construction of green roofs and façades is encouraged, in order to reduce heat stress. And the construction of rain gardens and water squares contributes to the storage of surplus water.
These and other small-scale solutions are indeed valuable and contribute to the citizens’ awareness of the climate-adaptative challenge. But to make the city truly resilient, it is necessary to develop more innovative strategies that can also be applied on a larger scale. How can the design, layout and management of public space contribute to the reduction of the effects of climate change?

How can the design and quality of public space contribute to the economic, social, and climatic challenges of tomorrow? How do city makers deal with these challenges and what strategies do they use to achieve their goals? 



Good to know:

Yes, it’s a free festival!

No, you can’t reserve a ticket, just come and join!

Yes, you can even visit only one or two presentations.

Yes, we celebrate the love for public space together with you!

Want to be a volunteer?  Give us a call!

(010-4772790) or send an email: info@bassala.com

The interdisciplinary team behind the WLPS festival consist of Bas Sala (designer), Floor van Ditzhuyzen (architect) and Ron Blom (artist). They have a shared fascination; we love public space. Team WLPS represents the various disciplines and views, approaches and strategies that are featured at the Festival; for city makers, by city makers.

The event is part of the Rotterdam Architecture Month (RAM). During the month of June 2018 Rotterdam is highlighted as an innovative city in terms of architecture, urban design and city making.


This festival is part of the agenda of Rotterdam Festivals. For a complete list go to www.rotterdamfestivals.nl