Rotterdam: do-it-yourself assemblages in urban regeneration
Publicatie van CoE HRTech
Beitske Boonstra, W. Lofvers | Artikel | Publicatiedatum: 17 april 2017
Rotterdam is a city in transition. Once a strongly government-led and top-down planned city, the municipality and other major planning institutions such as developers and housing corporations are now looking for different ways to achieve their ambitions in urban development. More cooperation with civic society and step by-step development through non-governmental initiatives are seen as the way forward, and various experiments are set out to explore this new approach. As a specific example, this article discusses the Klushuizen: Do-It-Yourself Renovation Houses. The first Klushuizen experiment started in the derelict neighbourhood of Spangen in Rotterdam at the end of 2004.
Future residents could purchase a part of a municipal-obtained building for free, but with the obligation to renovate the apartment themselves. When this DIY approach proved to be successful, this experiment was awarded a sequel under the title “169 Klushuizen”. As such, the initial experiment was transformed into an instrument for urban regeneration – in Rotterdam and in many other Dutch cities. Meanwhile in Spangen, the initial experiment continued to generate positive spin-off. Many young, resourceful and creative families moved into the area, willing to invest in their homes and in the neighbourhood. As a by-product, several civic initiatives were started, aiming to improve public space. Thus the Klushuizen approach can be seen as a good example of an innovative assemblage for urban transformation. However, it remains to be seen to what extent and how the role of the planning authorities and the municipality did actually change due to the Klushuizen experiment and approach.