City of Permanent Temporality

incomplete & unfinished


  • Elma van Boxel
  • Kristian Koreman ZUS
  • ZUS Zones Urbaines Sensibles ZUS



On July 22nd, 2001, there was the third shooting in a month. The municipality of Rotterdam declared the area around Rotterdam Centraal Station a zero-tolerance zone, installed 360o security cameras, and imposed the umpteenth ban on disreputable bars and clubs; thus, another twenty meters of boarded-up shop fronts. It was 2001; a strange year in which the rise of the right-wing populist politician Pim Fortuyn coincided with Rotterdam’s celebration of cultural diversity as the Cultural Capital of Europe and the announcement that multiculturalism was a failure in the Netherlands. And finally, there was 9/11. On the Hofplein, a major traffic junction in Rotterdam’s city center, these expressions of hope and hopelessness came into sharp focus. Citizens, in search of an appropriate city square, took to occupying the Hofplein roundabout to celebrate or to mourn. The administrative nervousness that arose in this confused period was repeatedly expressed in even stricter policies to keep the city and especially its streets ‘clean, well maintained, and safe.’ Ensuring a lively atmosphere on Rotterdam’s streets was difficult enough, never mind the additional measures being deployed to systematically remove the last traces of the informal use of the public domain.


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Biografias Autor

Kristian Koreman, ZUS


ZUS Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS

ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles] develops solicited and unsolicited design and research in architecture, urbanism, and landscape design. ZUS contributes to the changing urban landscape through its dedication to architecture’s public role. Founded in 2001 by Elma van Boxel and Kristian Koreman, the studio consists of an international, 25-strong, multidisciplinary team, with offices in Rotterdam and New York. ZUS has received numerous national and international awards for their boundary-crossing work.