NAI Symposium: Wijkonomie Tarwewijk

Tomorrow (Feb. 22nd) the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) organizes the symposium: Wijkonomie Tarwewijk on how local entrepreneurship can strengthen both economic and social vitality of a neighbourhood and how design interventions and strategies can be more valuable in the long term?

Wouter Vanstiphout -on behalf of Crimson Architectural Historians– together with Maxwan A+U have developed one of the contributions: a top down strategy to allow for a bottom up transformation of Tarwewijk, Rotterdam South, and, potentially, many lower income communities.

Based on the statement that the major strategic error of Dutch and other urban renewal policies is that they focus only on certain communities, serving to create mono-cultural, dependent, poor neighbourhoods resulting in a 20% vacancy rate in Tarwewijk, they propose to turn this vacancy into an advantage by transforming completely vacated thirties blocks into a ‘Special Economic Block’, a safe zone from the municipal policy on the environment, branding, building and housing, urban renewal, the creative economy and standard commercial regulations.

The blocks are cut into large lots that are then free for development for entrepreneurs who issue both a strong business plan and a rebuilding plan as an investment commitment to the area. Here they are inspired by the highly successful Rotterdam Klushuis initiative, but apply the principle not to new house buyers, but to small and medium sized aspiring businesses. The strategy aims that the combination of the strong urban structure of the blocks, the proven entrepreneurial spirit of the participants, the liberation of administrative barriers to entrepreneurship and the taboo-free guidance of the architectural transformation, will lead to a bottom-up commercial building, and an inner city Special Economic Zone, or a Special Economic Block

This event is organized by Droog in collaboration with Kosmopolis Rotterdam, Jan Konings and the Netherlands Architecture Institute and is supported by DOEN Foundation. It starts at 19:30h. and  costs € 5,- (only € 3 for students). You can Register here