The Organization for Permanent Modernity is an office and research group for urban design and architecture.

Marcel Smets

Marcel Smets, PhD Civil Eng/Arch, Prof. Em., Senior Advisor (B), was from 1978 until 2012 professor of Urbanism at the University of Leuven, and between 2005 and 2010 Flemish State Architect (Vlaams Bouwmeester) as well. He has long been fascinated by the increasingly complex relationship between infrastructure, urban development, urbanization and landscape. Smets was a founding member of ILAUD (0976), and a visiting faculty member at University of Thessaloniki (1985) and Harvard Gradu­ate School of Design (2002-04). He has been active in the field of theory and history with books on Huib Hste, Charles Buls, the Belgian garden city movement, and the reconstruction of Belgium after World War I. He served as a critic for Archis, Topos, Lotus, Casabella and has been juror for many competitions. From 1989 to 2002 Smets was director of ‘Projectteam Stadsontwerp’, a research and design group specialized in the urban redevelopment of abandoned industrial and infrastructural ar­eas. In this capacity he was chief urban designer of projects in Leuven, Antwerp, Hoeilaart, Rouen, Genoa and Conegliano. The award-winning transformation of the Leuven station area has been widely published. In recent years, he led the transformation of the Ile de Nantes in three consecutive studies, each on a different scale. Through numerous research projects, published articles, and his own urban design practice, Smets has explored both the theoretical and practical relations between urbanism, mobility and landscape.