Smart Urban Solution (SUS) is an urban design and consulting firm, delivering smart urban design solutions to establish attractive cities. SUS deliver research, visions and design strategies, in collaboration with local stakeholders, as a foundation for the integrated and sustainable development of cities. To this end SUS explains the connection between the metropolitan challenges and needs of local residents and businesses and users. SUS focuses on the problem of rapidly growing cities in developing countries, based on the realization that it is precisely in these countries where there is a great need for smart and sustainable urban development methods.
Many cities and landscapes globally struggle with their identity. Lots of these cities grow rapidly, but yet most of the systems in the city (like mobility/transport, facilities, water/sewer, electricity, etc.) are insufficient to facilitate these repid urbanization processes. Besides due to political instability, wars and/or natural hazards many people in especially Developing countries suffer from hunger, hygienics and lack of basic services. The individual need is great, and many people will never get a chance to develop themselves in order to get appropriate income and shelter.
Our mission is to make cities and communities self sustaining, resilient and attractive. Adaptivity, and self sustaining communities should be living demonstration of what a city should be in the end.
We believe that projects only are succesful if they create social, economical and environmental impact by integrated, implementable solutions.
SUS has its homebase in The Netherlands. SUS works within and outside The Netherlands on spatial urban strategies, visions and masterplans. Core of the focus is selfsustaining communities and cities. SUS integrates sustainability solutions, like renewable energy, local food production, circular building and watermanagement in masterplans, that are not only fit to its social, environmental and economical context, but also contribute to the future development of cities.
SUS is interested in projects and processes, out of the PPP (people, planet, profit) approach. This interest results in project with social impact, stimulating economic development and the reduction of environmental damage.
This resulted in collaboration with highly advanced experts, like renewable energy, watermanagement, circular building experts, but also in the collaboration with institutes and politics wo want to demonstrate sustainability in urban planning by practice.
Hiring SUS gives you the possibility to fight against unjustice, poverty, climate change! This all starts with changing the routine, that result in projects with surprising opportunities, socially, financially and environmentally.
Vision and Approach
General principles and working method
SUS has the ambition to contribute in the creation of sustainable and distinctive cities through spatial designs and urban strategies. To this end, SUS employs 6 principles, as a guideline for urban designs and design strategies.
We offer smart urban solutions considering the local context:
1. Flexible spatial plans, which cities can permanently change from a solid base
2. The design is based on the specific qualities and characteristics of the place, so that the newly developed areas are distinguished from each other
3. Assumption of user demand
4. Search for the binding force, the collective, which brings people together
5. Multi-stakeholder approach, involving stakeholders at all stages of the design process
6. In all projects, the following principles for sustainable development are central:
- Improve safety
- Tackling poverty
- Encouraging economic developments
- Sustainable ways of energy generation
- Encouraging healthy living, working, living environment
- Improving living conditions
Method: In all the various phases of the design process SUS can be involved. The workshop with stakeholders is crucial to gain commitment for the project. Ownership of a project will be identified and is a prerequisite for the implementation phase.
Our approach consists of 5 steps:
- In our projects, SUS always starts with taking into consideration the existing context. Before we start a workshop or urban design process we gather crucial information about the history of the city, its highly appreciated values, its characteristics and social and cultural identity. All this necessary information is documented.
- After desk research, SUS analyzes which stakeholders will play an active role in the different phases of the project. Moreover, by analyzing the local needs and demands the outline of the project description is done. All stakeholders and users will be involved in certain phases of the design process, giving them a role in prioritizing ideas or topics.
- SUS always conducts workshops as a starting point for the project. All involved stakeholders have the opportunity to discuss the project description and guidelines for the project. This is the official starting point of the project from which the design process can begin. Depending on the complexity or phase of the project in the whole process, more workshops will follow to interact between design proposals and wishes from stakeholders and users.
- In early stages, for large complex urban topics, the outcomes of the design is more like an open end planning strategy (spatial framework with iconic projects and perspectives of projects) , rather than a fixed design.
- After the vision and strategy have been established, SUS is involved in the implementation phase, in a supervisory role.
SUS can be involved in the early stages of complex and large scale design processes as well as in later phases of the process. However, the power and skills of SUS will be more effective with involvement in the early stages of the design process.
Our core value is linking the context of cities with the People Planet Profit needs of cities. We are doing this on a no-nonsense but effective and efficient way. Most needs in Developing countries are in the area of food (more accassibility of food), services (electricity, water, waste, sanitation) and affordable housing.
Our approach consists of combining these needs in one integrated strategy, aiming economic development. It is our confidence that only this approach contribute to sustainable conditions for urban development.
Through training, advice, plans and strategies, we contribute to:
- Attractive cities (clean, liveable and safe)
- Climate change
- Economic development
- Poverty reduction
- Better cooperation between local parties and institutions and government
We deliver urban designs and strategies aiming to support cities in the right conditions on urban development and transformation. We deliver advanced and integrated urban planning proposals and involve local stakeholders and our team of innovative specialists streight from the beginning. This because we do not only make plans, but we want to implement them. SUS delivers spatial strategies and masterplans to integrate circular building principles and self sustaining services.
We always start with research on the existing context to understand a city better, as starting point for the visions and design proposals.
Urban designs and visions
We deliver powerful and attractive urban proposals with a sense of fulfillment
We help clients in developing strategies for the implementation of a design in the future, with different stakeholders
Advice on demand
We offer advice and reflection on design proposals on demand, to help clients in the support to make the best decisions
Workshops, trainings and lectures
We offer workshops, trainings and lectures to help the client in delivering ideas and knowledge for urban topics and questions
Founder Gert Breugem
Founder and owner of SUS, Gert Breugem, currently works on projects related to liveable, sustainable and adaptable cities require integral and viable solutions. After years of working for the government, he noticed that there are numerous global issues, opportunities and problems, on which he can use his skills, wide range of knowledge and experience.
Gert used to work as an urban designer/planner at the municipality of Almere, the largest new town in the Netherlands. Gert’s involvement in the Municipality of Almere has led to a more strategic approach to planning projects, with a clear focus on achievement. Characteristic are his analytical and investigative skills, which he combines with a thorough knowledge of the city at all levels. He uses this knowledge on several projects and he connects design issues while always keeping in mind with the higher scale and characteristics of the site. He has experience on all levels: from region to street, from master to plot.
Almere is the testing ground of urbanism and architecture in the Netherlands and is a source of inspiration for many cities in the world. Gert regularly gives lectures and organizes excursions for foreign delegations. He speaks from a wide range of experiences and has valuable knowledge regarding the past, present and future of the city.
Gert Breugem studied Urban Design at the Academy of Architecture, Amsterdam. During his study, he discovered and explored the influence of cultures and lifestyles in towns. Furthermore, he developed a wide range of design tools, which he uses in many design projects. During his master thesis on urbanism he completed the project “Past the Green line”, in which he created a development strategy elaboration design for Nicosia, Cyprus. This design focused on making the segregated capital of Cyprus into a united city. The project was nominated for Archiprix 2006 and Archiprix International in 2007 (winner) and was nominated for the StedenbouwNU competition in 2008. In addition, Gert Breugem has been a guest lecturer for many years at the Academy of Architecture. He teaches methods and techniques of regional design/planning and he supervised projects of 2nd and 3rd year students. He is also involved in various educational lectures, internships and thesis supervision.
Gert’s areas of expertise include urban design, urban planning, regional and urban strategies, historical and typological research, methods of participation and cooperation with different partners. He has a strong sense for current topics and trends and an analytical focus.
Collaboration and ventures
SUS understand that succesful and sustainable urban strategies do start with collaboration with the suitable partners, who really can implement proposals initiated in planning.
We collaborate the following partners, representing the expertise, mentioned before:
- The mobile factory – circular building using debris to develop houses based on interlocking building system (like LEGO)
- Beton Ballon – circular and innovative building system, building organic structures using a baloon to make structures, without heavy and costly steel frame.
- Cluster Farming – sustainable production of food – training local farmers to start running their own farm succesfully (by education, practical support, investments and micro finance)
- Institutional partners within the Netherlands, like MVO international, RVO and IHS Rotterdam
- Knowledge centers, like TNO, Academy of Architecture Amsterdam, Technical University Delft and international universities
From the beginning of this year 2015 MO.dE and SUS started collaborating out of the confidence that we have complementary skills and experience and have the same idea about sustainable urban development (approach, targets, topics and general assignments). Our focus is to support governments and private sector in India, aiming to organise a more adequate and efficient urban planning and design approach.
Venture SUS – TMF (The Mobile Factory): Since January 2015 SUS collaborate with TMF targeting the innovative and circular building approach. TMF is demonstrating this in Haiti and Ecuador. SUS delivers the analytical and professional knowledge in establishing an integrated approach.
Venture circular rural development in collaboration with Clusterfarming, Ghana.
For questions, collaboration or any information, please contact us:
SUS – Smart Urban Solutions
Gert Breugem Murb
Places to work
1314 CB Almere
T. +31 6 29458199