First row from left to right: Ruth Hoppner (Frontlijn), district manager Irma Bijl, councilor Carina Klamer and local police officer Frank Witkamp
In February the studio "Design strategies for Regeneration Areas" started at the Field Academy Rotterdam. What sets those projects apart from the usual subjects given at the Faculty of Architecture is that the students had to face the wishes and ideas of the people actually living and working in Oud Charlois. This authentic input that was given during the introductory Confrontation Lecture lead the students to formulate individual research tasks.
Based on their extensive analysis and research within the district the students completed the course with (spatial) plans and strategies to improve the quality of life in Oud Charlois. On March the 20th the plans were presented to local stakeholders.
The presentations of the bachelor students emphasized concrete subjects like public space, art & culture, branding/image, social security, illegal letting and new recommendable inhabitants.
In reaction to the present street signs "no socializing/hanging around allowed" (addressed to trouble causing youth groups) student Jurrian Arnold kicks off the session with his provocative presentation entitled "socializing/hanging around desirable". According to his analysis there is a great need of more public places for socializing and bringing the district back to life. Almost immediately the audience reacts to his design of public gathering spaces. The district manager, Irma Bijl, seems yet skeptical about the feasibility of Jurrians proposal whereas Barend Rombout (Office Frontlijn of Municipality of Rotterdam) responds very enthusiastically. Also the local police officer addresses some practical problems. To him the creation of small-scale places is a big problem concerning the security of the district.