by Tom Bosschaert

Oct. 3, 2017

Tom Bosschaert

The society of Dutch architects BNA published a design study named 'Highway x City.' The study investigated the spatial consequences of replacing traditional with electric and self-driving cars. In 2017, Except partnered with and contributed to the Utrecht A27/A28-team Science Park, and helped conceptualize a new type of relationship between the city and the highway, focused on connectivity, dynamism, and diversity.


The interaction and relationships between the city, the highway, and the people who use them are fascinating. In America, cities are built around highways, whereas in Europe, there has been little choice but bypass historic and long-established cities and towns.

Nevertheless, they are an integral part of our lives, and as in the past, when rivers were the most significant feature of cities, we need to start rethinking how we feel about highways. This project offers the chance to recalibrate our relationship with the highway and connect in a way many have never considered before.

This project examines the functioning of our road networks and how we can use our imagination to move beyond the often pragmatic perception of a highway. It looks at the current and continuing relationship between the city and highway and how it may be used and viewed in the future.

The report is loaded with ideas and designs that fundamentally change how we see everyday things and question our long-held and almost automatic perceptions. It reveals dense chemistry of fast and dynamic to slow, concrete and artificial to ecological and innovation, technology and, with a healthy dose of philosophy.

This project was made in collaboration with:

  • Benthem Crouwel Architects (Noortje ter Heege, Marten Wassmann, Alina Zaytseva),
  • Edwards Stadsontwerp (Danny Edwards, Boris von der Mohlen), 
  • BonoTraffics (Roelof-Jan Pierik)

Download the book below or look at the website of BNA (in Dutch) to read more about the project.

Oct. 3, 2017

Client & Partners

Project team


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