independent school for the city

The +2,5° City: Life in an Extreme Climate

Studio exploring the impact of a 2,5 degree temperature rise on life in the city, taking place on Fri 14, Sat 15, Wed 19, Fri 21 and Sat 22 April 2023. Tutors: Dirk Sijmons, Herman Kossmann, Independent School for the City (Kristian Koreman, Wouter Vanstiphout, Michelle Provoost and Mike Emmerik).

Picture by Manuel Valle / @mvallet91 on Twitter


Regular participation fee: 250 euro. We offer one free spot for participation by a Ukrainian applicant as part of the UNUN network. Also special fees apply for special situations. For more info please send an email to

Cities all around the world have the ambition to become green, sustainable and resilient. Projects are being developed to transform car-dominated cities into attractive and green environments for all their inhabitants, new forms of energy production will power our houses and industries, and various measures are taken to deal with sea-level rise. But is it enough? 

Climate scientists have predicted that if we continue at the current pace with climate measures, we will still end up on a planet that is between 2° and 3° hotter at the end of this century. The rising temperature will probably cause extreme weather phenomena, substantial sea level rising, biodiversity loss, food insecurity, large migration streams, social upheaval and political reactions. How will our offspring live in these new unmapped circumstances, how will their cities work, how will their life feel?


In this studio we will map out the predicted effects of temperature rise on the Netherlands, on Rotterdam and on a number of very specific places in the city. After exploring these effects, we will then use our collective knowledge and that of our guest speakers and scientific literature, to imagine how we can mitigate the negative effects of global climate change and what is needed to make life livable in a city that suffers its consequences.

Will we need big infrastructural works to defend our nearly submerged cities? Will we have to find new sources of food? How will we keep the city from turning into a large oven in summer? Will we need new forms of politics to be able to absorb the waves of migration caused by climate change? Will we create new forms of solidarity and cooperation under pressure of the circumstances?

In this studio - spread over two subsequent Fridays and Saturdays, filled with lectures, excursions, and conversations, with individual research and one collective Wednesday evening in-between - we hope to strike a balance between panic and optimism, allowing ourselves to dream about brilliant inventions at the end of this century, but also to be brutally realist about the new conditions. The result is a manual for our children and grandchildren to apply to their city and make it a good and safe place to live, so that they at least will not say that we did nothing.

The official programme of this studio is spread over two subsequent Fridays and Saturdays and one Wednesday evening. Participants work on their own research in between, and can plan this how they see fit. This structure allows you to combine participation with work or study. Ask your manager about possibilities to participate within your professional training budget or as part of the BEP. A workspace is available in the school for the complete period of the studio.


Friday 14 April 2023
10:00 – 10:30 Welcome and Introduction by Mike Emmerik
10:30 – 11:45 Lecture by Dirk Sijmons + Q&A
11:45 – 12:00 Short break
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch Lecture by Mark Lynas + Q&A
13:15 – 14:00 Lecture by ZUS
14:15 – 15:00 Lecture on Urban Heat by Daniela Maiullari
15:00 – 16:00 Individual work participants
16:00 – 17:00 City Walk (to Tropicana)
17:00 – 18:00 Drinks and reflection first day 

Saturday 15 April 2023
10:00 - 10:45 Briefing on assignment by Herman Kossmann
10:45 - 11:30 Making teams
11:30 – 12:30 Participants work on desk research
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch break 
13:30 – 17:00 Participants work on desk research

Sunday 26 - Tuesday 28 February 2023
Individual research 

Wednesday 19 April 2023
18:30 - 19:30 Presentation of findings.
19:30 – 20:30 Conversation on next steps

Thursday 20 April 2023
Individual research 

Friday 21 April 2023
10:00 – 12:00 Development of the manual for the 2.5° City
12:00 – 13:00 Conversation on progress / or tutoring round
15:00 – 17:00 Development of the manual

Saturday 22 April 2023
10:00 - 15:00 Prepare for final presentations
15:00 - 17:30 Final Presentations


For whom is the studio?
Any professional background: Sociologists, historians, writers, and other urban thinkers. Designers, planners and architects. 
Activists, artists, grassroots organisations and other urban do-ers.

What does the studio offer?
Lectures by experts and tutors, guided group excursions, conversations with likeminded professionals from a wide array of disciplines, intensive coaching by the team of experts and tutors, being part of a learning community. 

What will you learn?
The scientific background of global heating and sea level rise, defining your position on the topic of climate change, applying your position to urban concepts, how to communicate your ideas effectively.

What is the output?
A collective vision of what it will be like to live in Rotterdam as a hot city including ideas of how to maintain its liveability; a manual for our offspring.