--> No. 143

Self-Organization in Urban Realm

Periode 2013–2014 / Project Self-Organization in Urban Realm / Opdrachtgever AESOP, gemeente Rotterdam / Locatie Rotterdam / Met Arie Lengkeek, Beitske Boonstra, Christian Quist, Frank van den Beuken, Martin Aarts

Rot­ter­dam is a ci­ty in tran­si­ti­on. On­ce a stron­gly govern­men­tal-led and top-down plan­ned ci­ty, the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty and other ma­jor plan­ning in­sti­tu­ti­ons such as de­vel­o­pers and hou­sing coop­e­ra­ti­ons, are now loo­king for dif­fe­rent ways to achie­ve their am­bi­ti­ons in ci­ty re-de­vel­op­ment. Mo­re coop­e­ra­ti­on with ci­vic so­ci­e­ty and step-by-step de­vel­op­ment through non-govern­men­tal ini­ti­a­ti­ves is seen as the way for­ward. Me­an­w­hi­le, ci­vic ini­ti­a­ti­ves are emer­ging throug­hout the ci­ty and are still strug­gling to find their way through exis­ting, govern­men­tal-led plan­ning rou­ti­nes. This Mo­bi­le Track deals with the ques­ti­on how suc­ces­sful co-evo­lu­ti­on and ho­ri­zon­tal part­ner­ships bet­ween the­se two worlds can be achie­ved.

Ques­ti­ons of the Mo­bi­le Track

1. What con­di­ti­ons will al­low the­se al­ter­na­ti­ve prac­ti­ces to trans­form to fun­da­men­tal ac­tors?


2. What is the ro­le of the govern­ment and plan­ners in sha­ping the­se con­di­ti­ons?


3. How can we cre­a­te a learning com­mu­ni­ty, which in­vol­ves ini­ti­a­tors, po­li­cy­ma­kers, and scien­tists on equal terms?



Ca­ses Vi­si­ted


"A neigh­bour­hood for cul­tu­ral pro­duc­ti­on ‘the Ci­ty as it is’"

Ten ye­ars are gi­ven by the ma­jor lo­cal land­lord, Hou­sing Coop­e­ra­ti­on Ha­ven­ste­der, to chan­ge the de­pri­ved bu­si­ness quar­ter (Zo­Ho) at the ed­ge of Rot­ter­dam’s ci­ty cen­tre, in­to a vi­brant, in­no­va­ti­ve wor­king area. The area is step-by-step re­de­vel­o­ped in a new co­a­li­ti­on bet­ween cre­a­ti­ve en­tre­pre­neurs, pro­fes­si­o­nal pla­ce-ma­kers as a “new ur­ban so­li­da­ri­ty” through co-ma­ker­ship with the pro­fes­si­o­nal net­works of the cre­a­ti­ve fields with dif­fe­rent skills, and the Eras­mus Uni­ver­si­ty. Ha­ven­ste­der and STI­PO, pu­blic de­vel­o­pers in Rot­ter­dam ta­ke the lead in this pro­ces. In­no­va­ti­ve en­tre­pre­neurs are at­trac­ted, va­cant buil­dings be­co­me re-oc­cu­pied, and cul­tu­ral ac­ti­vi­ties are or­ga­ni­zed. The de­vel­op­ment and co­a­li­ti­on pros­per as it is em­bed­ded within the lo­cal con­text and the in­di­vi­du­al com­mit­ment is high.


Sta­ti­on Hof­plein.

"For­mal plan­ning for cre­a­ti­ve con­nec­ti­vi­ty"

Un­der the ar­ches of the ele­va­ted train-li­ne Hof­plein­lijn, ori­gi­nal­ly a pri­va­te­ly fun­ded rail­way bet­ween Rot­ter­dam and The Ha­gue, but ye­ars out of use, the Sta­ti­on Hof­plein ope­ned its doors. This de­vel­op­ment took pla­ce through a for­mal plan­ning pro­cess, but due  to a shor­ta­ge of af­for­da­ble spa­ces in Rot­ter­dam, soon ma­ny young, cre­a­ti­ve en­tre­pre­neurs we­re at­trac­ted to the area. Now they are run­ning their bu­si­nes­ses, in­de­pen­dent art and mu­sic-fes­ti­vals are pro­gram­med on the sha­red roof­top and in the com­mu­nal in­ner-area. The Sta­ti­on Hof­plein has be­co­me a va­lu­a­ble cul­tu­ral and cre­a­ti­ve con­nec­ti­on bet­ween the ci­ty cen­tre and the nor­thern neigh­bour­hoods.



"Con­nec­ting ini­ti­a­ti­ves and re­vi­ta­li­sing pu­blic spa­ce."

The Luchtsin­gel is a wood­en brid­ge cros­sing the main rail­road con­nec­ting the Rot­ter­dam Cen­tral Sta-ti­on area with the Hof­bo­gen and Zo­Ho. It is part of Test Si­te Rot­ter­dam (IA­BR5 Ma­king Ci­ty): a stra­te­gic ex­pe­ri­ment to re­vi­ta­li­ze the area using al­ter­na­ti­ve forms of fun­ding, plan­ning pro­ces­ses and de­sign tools. Star­ted as a crowd fun­ded pro­ject, it was la­ter also ge­nerous­ly sup­por­ted by the Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty through the ‘stads­ini­ti­a­tief’. The Test Si­te pro­ject in­clu­des the Roof Gar­dens (Da­kAk­ker) and Park Pom­pen­burg.



"Tem­po­ra­ry use of va­cant spa­ces."

The Schie­block is a pri­va­te ini­ti­a­ti­ve of two area-ba­sed en­tre­pre­neurs with the sup­port of a lo­cal, pri­va­te de­vel­o­per and the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty. Their am­bi­ti­on was to cre­a­te a li­ving la­bo­ra­to­ry for ur­ban trans­for­ma­ti­on through tem­po­ra­ry use of va­cant of­fi­ce-buil­dings in the cen­tral sta­ti­on area. Fi­ve ye­ars la­ter the Schie­block is firm­ly at­ta­ched to the ci­ty with its Luchtsin­gel, the Beergar­ten, the Roof Gar­den and ma­ny in-hou­se com­pa­nies in the cre­a­ti­ve sec­tor. Their con­tract for tem­po­ra­ry use has re­cent­ly been ex­ten­ded.


Nieu­we Bin­nen­weg.

"No in­ter­ven­ti­ons ha­ve cre­a­ted a gap for va­lu­a­ble trans­for­ma­ti­on."

The Nieu­we Bin­nen­weg is a mixed-use shop­ping street charac­te­ris­tic of pre-war Rot­ter­dam. For ye­ars, the street had been in de­cay, but over the last ten ye­ars the street im­pro­ved sig­ni­fi­cantly in qua­li­ty of the pu­blic do­main and in bu­si­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties. The pro­cess was dri­ven by joint for­ces of lo­cal govern­ment, lo­cal en­tre­pre­neurs and their net­works. The ear­lier pe­ri­od of non-in­ter­ven­ti­on and de­cay be­ca­me the uni­que dri­ver for re­de­vel­op­ment, as the charac­te­ris­tics of the street and buil­dings we­re sa­ved and the pri­ces had remai­ned low, which now ma­kes the street at­trac­ti­ve for cre­a­ti­ve and in­no­va­ti­ve en­tre­pre­neurs.



"From the in­si­de out to the pu­blic do­main."

Span­gen was a neigh­bour­hood charac­te­ri­zed by se­vere so­cio-eco­no­mic pro­blems. In the Wal­lis­blok-pro­ject, de­pri­ved apart­ments we­re sold for no­thing to in­di­vi­du­al hou­se­holds who com­mit­ted them­sel­ves to re­ge­ne­ra­te the hou­sing block. This pro­ject ex­pres­sed the va­lue of col­lec­ti­ve pro­duc­ti­on, and from the­re on, va­rious other self-or­ga­ni­zed ini­ti­a­ti­ves emer­ged, bring-ing trans­for­ma­ti­on and in­vest­ment to the area. Na­tuur­lijk Span­gen for in­stan­ce, aims at gree­ning the area with ur­ban agri­cul­tu­re, and through ‘Wij Delf­sha­ven’, also a mo­re for­mal po­li­ti­cal re­pre­sen­ta­ti­on is sought.


B.a.d. & N.A.C.foun­da­ti­ons

"Free­dom, res­pon­si­bi­li­ty and com­mu­nal trust."

On­ce squat­ters of emp­ty school buil­dings, the ar­tists that no­wa­days work and li­ve in the buil­dings oc­cu­pied by B.a.d. and NAC, ma­ke va­lu­a­ble con­tri­bu­ti­ons to the re­ge­ne­ra­ti­on of the neigh­bour­hood, in ex­chan­ge for low rents. Hou­ses, stu­dio-spa­ces and (cul­tu­ral) fa­ci­li­ties are pro­vi­ded and ma­ny ini­ti­a­ti­ves to im­pro­ve the pu­blic spa­ce in the neigh­bour­hood ha­ve been un­der­ta­ken. The part­ner­ship among the ar­tists and, in­for­mal­ly, the lo­cal au­tho­ri­ties, is ba­sed on trust, com­mon sen­se and ad­ven­tu­re. Which pro­ves to be cru­ci­al for the self-esteem of the neigh­bour­hood. Due to the long-term com­mit­ment of the ar­tists, Char­lois has be­co­me the ar­ri­val pla­ce for in­ter­na­ti­o­nal cul­tu­ral up-co­ming ta­lent ar­ri­ving in the Ne­ther­lands.



"Ra­di­ca­li­sing the lo­cal."

The first Neigh­bour­hood Coop­e­ra­ti­ve of Rot­ter­dam has re­cent­ly been es­ta­blis­hed in the Afri­kaan­der­wijk. Ori­gi­na­ted in the con­text of Je­an­ne van Hees­wijks’ Free­hou­se art pro­ject, a ra­di­cally new and lo­cal form of self-or­ga­ni­za­ti­on and self-de­ter­mi­na­ti­on is set up, ai­ming to clo­se the cir­cles of in­vest­ment, pro­duc­ti­on and cre­a­ti­ve va­lue in the neigh­bour­hood. The skills of lo­cal in­ha­bi­tants and shop­kee­pers are con­nec­ted to pro­duc­ti­on needs of ar­tists, de­sig­ners, ca­te­ring-ser­vi­ce com­pa­nies and pu­blic spa­ce. The WijkCoop is a ju­ri­di­cal form cho­sen to fur­ther se­cu­re and de­ploy the gat­he­red ca­pa­ci­ties, to pull the fi­nan­ci­al flows sur­roun­ding the area in­wards and to coop­e­ra­ti­ve­ly ex­tract ca­pi­tal for so­ci­al, in­tel­lec­tu­al and af­fec­ti­ve va­lu­es. This does not on­ly im­pro­ve the in­di­vi­du­al si­tu­a­ti­on of in­ha­bi­tants, but also the si­tu­a­ti­on and po­si­ti­on of the area.


Uit je ei­gen stad.

"Po­li­ti­cal good­will and far­mers’ hands-on men­ta­li­ty."

‘Uit je ei­gen stad’ is a bu­si­ness ini­ti­a­ti­ve with the am­bi­ti­on to bring food pro­duc­ti­on back to ci­ty dwel­lers. The Ur­ban Farm is a show­pie­ce for lo­cal pro­duc­ti­on: fruit, ve­ge­ta­bles are grown on si­te with aqua­po­n­ics, com­pos­ting and a chic­ken farm. An on-si­te res­tau­rant and sto­re ac­com­pa­ny the farm­land in an in­du­stri­al zo­ne of the Rot­ter­dam har­bour. The ini­ti­a­tors work on the ba­sis of a part­ner mo­del with the au­tho­ri­ties, edu­ca­ti­o­nal in­sti­tu­ti­ons, the pri­va­te sec­tor and the aca­de­mic world. The farm is a le­gal-pre­ce­dent, as the Dut­ch law had no re­gu­la­ti­ons for ur­ban far­ming, other than the ru­les for lar­ge-sca­le agri­cul­tu­re bu­si­nes­ses. Po­li­ti­cal good­will, the far­mers’ hands-on men­ta­li­ty and a bu­si­ness mo­del ma­de the ini­ti­a­ti­ve hap­pen.



The Mo­bi­le track is or­ga­ni­sed as part of the AES­OP-con­fe­ren­ce 2014.

AES­OP is the in­ter­na­ti­o­nal as­so­ci­a­ti­on bet­ween plan­ning schools of Eu­ro­pe. Through in­ter­na­ti­o­nal ex­chan­ge of scho­lar­ship and ex­pe­rien­ce, AES­OP ta­kes a lea­ding ro­le in the de­ba­te about the pro­fes­si­on of spa­ti­al plan­ning. This ye­ars’ An­nu­al Con­gress is or­ga­ni­zed around the the­me ‘From con­trol to co-evo­lu­ti­on’. It ad­dres­ses chan­ges in plan­ning due to an on­go­ing con­fron­ta­ti­on with so­cie­tal com­plexi­ty. www.aes­op-plan­ning.eu




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