A conscious walk in Amsterdam during the pandemic

Amsterdam Essay ・ Mar 11, 2021

This is a post by a talented urban designer and architect Prisca Arosio from MELITA STUDIO.

In July 2020 CITYMAKERS China – Europe had an open call for short videos called Virtual Walks Project. The call asks to “investigate fundamental themes of life in cities and on the countryside that are as relevant for people living in China as for those living in Berlin or any other European city.”

CITYMAKERS team was asking for short-walking movie ideas with an analytical aspect of a city or the countryside. They write “Outdoor urban walking is an opportunity not only to ask what the immediate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on urban and social space is, but also more substantially: What dysfunctions, blind spots, and paradoxes do it bring to the surface?”

Melita Studio in collaboration with Bornagraphique was selected to make a short movie about Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The movie analyses the cultural effect of walking and its relation with contemporary urban design.

For the last 40 years, Dutch urban planners are involved in several urban projects in China and South Korea in the fields of landscape design, urban design, tourism planning, among other high profile initiatives. We have conducted four distinctive walking journeys during the pandemic in Amsterdam. The walks have been in two long-standing areas and two new districts. The film features the city-walks and discussions with experts about how the culture of walking is influencing urban planning in the Netherlands and Asia and urban design ‘adaptation’.

The narrative of the movie is composed of a combination of videos and interviews with experts.

Concept and production: MELITA STUDIO / PRISCA AROSIO
Director and editing: BORNAGRAPHIQUE / BOBBY BORN

Sep 2020: CITYMAKERS China – Europe, Berlin, Germany
Mar 2021: Architecture design art film festival (Adaff 2021), Palm Springs, California, US

Here below you can find short speakers' bios:
Davide Ponzini is associate professor of urban planning at Politecnico di Milano and the director of the tau-lab. His research activity focuses on planning theory, urban and cultural policy, and contemporary architecture. His last book is titled: transnational architecture and urbanism: rethinking how cities plan, transform and learn (Routledge, 2020).

Daniel Casas Valle is an urbanist with broad experience based on urban planning practices and academic activities. He is 20 years connected to urbanism, as a designer and researcher. He works in various urban projects and studies at his office urban dynamics and at the mdt/ceau/faup as a researcher. He holds a master's in urbanism (Amsterdam, NL) and, a Ph.D. at the faculty of architecture, Porto university.

Weijie Hu is a Ph.D. researcher in architecture and urbanism at the school of architecture, design, and planning, the University of Sydney. His research concerns urbanization, social housing, the politics of land, and architectural design in china. He holds MSc in architecture at technical university/Eindhoven (NL), he is a dutch registered architect. Weijie has international work experience in France and China, and academic experience in Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan.

Bas Horsting is a Dutch architect and urban planner, living and working in Amsterdam. Bas specializes in the field of urban design and urban strategy, addressing the challenges of cities of today to create healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities. Bas has experience working on urban projects in Europe, Russia, the middle east, Asia, and Australia.



Melita studio is an open office that works in the field of architecture, urban design and architecture. It is distinguished for a research-driven process.

Melita studio is founded by Prisca Arosio and she collaborates with numerous people and entities. Prisca Arosio is an urban designer, researcher and Dutch registered architect. Her interest in urban strategy focuses on public spaces and their social interaction. Prisca holds a MSc in Architecture, Building and Planning from the Technical University of Eindhoven and a BSc in Architecture from Politecnico di Milano. She worked in diverse Amsterdam-based offices. She got experienced in landscape architecture and architecture projects at Kettinghuls office and urban design approach at Basta urbanism. In addition, she participated in the organization of the AA visiting school, the house of politics 2018 and she was part of the jury panel ‘Tamayouz award’ (architecture competition) in 2018/2019/2020.