March 2017 - People Work
The ambitious trainee
The path to a post-fossil city is long. With the dubious choices that are still being made the post-fossil city is not necessarily a happier and cleaner environment. From that thought Joris van Loenhout, trainee urban strategy at Inbo, together with seven fellow students of TU Delft made 'People of Petrotopia', a series of portraits of people who are surviving in Utrecht. "With a different view on the competition we came up with a set of dystopian narratives, which in our opinion better fit the current direction of society", says Joris. Even though the visualizations of their dystopian post-fossil city have wind and solar energy, the damage has already been done: the streets are flooded. "We have put the images, including short stories, on Facebook to awaken people and to incite change. Because if we continue to make choices as we do now, this will be the post-fossil city."
Out of 250 submissions from 40 countries Petrotopia was chosen as one of the 10 finalists in the Post Fossil City Contest, a competition of Urban Futures Studio that asks creatives to visualize the city in the post-fossil era. From June 15 ‘People of Petrotopia' and the other entrants will be exhibited in the municipal office in Utrecht. "In the coming months we are going to develop the narratives into a tangible exhibition so you really get immersed in the dystopia."
Also as a trainee in the Urban Strategy team Joris likes to think about his own development and of the world around him. "I try to make the best out of the freedom and flexibility within the trainee course. For example, I find it very interesting to work on Chinese projects. We are working on this corporation now... There is plenty of space to pursue your own initiatives, that spirit to work hard and undertake things suits me perfectly."