Deleuze Studies Conference

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Workshop for Policy Makers

Rhizomatic explorations in urban planning
Deleuzean toolkit for city developers
Henk Oosterling (EUR)

In their various projects Deleuze and Guattari state that politics and ontology are two sides of the same coin. Engagement is not a choice, but a given. People are from the very start connected. Within the political philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari individuals are first and for all nods in networks. They are functions of relations that web them into the societal texture, be it on different scales and in different intensities. Once they start making choices these are selected by collective desires and focused according to specific interests.

Current policies in urban development aim at empowering people by enhancing their social and cultural participation. Within a Deleuzean perspective this demands a bottom up strategy that connects to affirmative desires of citizens to contribute according to their talents and skills. Guattari’s ecosophical perspective enhances this affirmative connectivity in a threeford way: physical, social and mental. Oosterling has implemented these ideas in his urban project Rotterdam Vakmanstad/Skillcity that has been adopted as the strategic view and operational focus for the 10 year renovation of the Southern part of Rotterdam (180.000 inhabitants). In this workshop he will explore the political potential of rhizomatic  policies. See: