The workshop focused on two neighbourhoods near central Rotterdam - the Oude Westen and the Zomerhofkwartier (ZoHo). A diverse, vibrant neighbourhood with plenty of social housing, the Oude Westen once had a tarnished reputation of being shabby and unsafe. The housing associations (Woonstad) continue to invest in the neighbourhood, but there is a need to generate a new kind of interest that will bring the revitalization of the Oude Westen to the next level.
ZoHo (Stipo, Havensteder), a pioneer of the in the meantime movement, is shaping into the makers district of Rotterdam; this identity needs to be supported by an effective planning (including branding and investment) strategy so as to make ZoHo, and the initiative, more sustainable.
The participants were split in two groups, one focusing on the Oude Westen and the other on ZoHo. Each of the groups will be asked, over an intense four-day period, to develop scenarios for the re-use of vacant spaces, ideas on how to link interested parties, and strategies for connecting the neighbourhood to the inner city. The resulting analysis and advice for the two neighbourhoods have been presented at the IFHP International Housing Conference in The Hague, on the final day of the workshop.
The overall goal of the workshop was to transform the concept of impermanence into a city-making strategy. The guiding questions for the workshop were:
How do the neighbourhoods use their assets to connect to the city?
Who are the different stakeholders/key players in establishing a connection to the city?
What are the barriers to further development?
What are the missing networks?
How can new links be created and strengthened?
How can we ensure the sustainability of this network?
Developing a new