The active city reflects the liveliness of its performers and forms the main theme and subject of this design research. The goal is to be able to design the masterplan and architecture of an active neighborhood, implementing a productive urban economy, more specifically urban farming. The project is an example of design by research and research by design in which we used an analytic way of thinking to construct a specific design methodology. This can be translated into a toolbox containing a set of instruments we can apply while designing the masterplan. The project site Steenborgerweert is situated in Antwerp, Belgium. The complex context can be interpreted by using the tools provided by the prior research. The result of this thesis consists of the construction of the design methodology, a profound analysis and reading of the project site, a masterplan design of a productive neighborhood at the project site and an architectural translation of the design principles introduced in the methodology. The masterplan and architectural elaboration of a part of the masterplan can be considered as results and tests of the implementation of the strategies, models and typologies provided by the design methodology combined with the specific designing skills and design choices made by us, the architects.
This master thesis is more than a design project. The project is a thorough design research which formulates answers to all of the context’s conditions. The task was formulated from a concrete question by the city of Antwerp. By it’s down to earth quality the project is a reference and inspiration in the planning policy of the city of Antwerp.