On Friday the 4th of September another confrontation lecture was hosted by the Veldacademie. Within the project “Design Strategies for Regeneration Areas” students of the Faculty of Architecture (TU Delft) get the chance to encounter real life problems and qualities of the district Oud Charlois. The presence of various speakers made it possible to cover the aspects of daily life in this area from different perspectives.
Especially the districtmanager Irma Bijl and the political chairman of Oud Charlois Ed Goverde appreciate the presence of practicing artists in Oud Charlois. They interpret their presence as a great value as well as opportunity for the whole district. Based on her own analysis and experiences Jikke Vergragt of the housing cooperation Woonstad also confirms the presence of yet hidden potentials and wants to support the creative community.
The chairman of the “Social Pension” Cees den Bakker and the so-called “Stadsmarinier”(independent mediator between municipality, police, justice and social workers) focus mainly on the problems. According to them, Oud Charlois is a unprivileged district and therefore problems with drugs and youth are a logical result of the poor circumstances. To get people off the street, investments in educational institutions are needed. However different measures are taken to improve the situation, Barend Rombout of Bureau Frontlijn criticizes the missing long term vision for sustainable solutions. He states that a great number of problematic developments have been predicted but yet no one seems to interrupt. People tend to think too defensive and focus too much on short-term achievements.
Finally, the inhabitants Tom en Steef depict a much brighter image of Oud Charlois. Of course things have changed, but never the less they still feel save in their environment. They describe the mingling of different cultures as pleasant and interesting.
All persons present agree that the existing stock of dwellings is a problem. The sloppy street views and problems between neighbors can be linked directly to overcrowded buildings caused by illegal letting. Also the dwellings itself are outdated and in great need of thorough renovations.
With the received information and impressions the students will start their projects. Based on further research they will produce individual suggestions on how to improve the district: take on the problems and make use of the opportunities.
On October 16th the students will present their plans at the Veldacademie. Whoever is interested is welcome to join us that day!
View the report by Mike Emmerik (TU-Student) inluding valuable quotes of the lecture.
View the report by Yara Crobach (TU-Student) including the audiences questions. (Dutch only.)
==UPDATE October 16th 2009== The Plans!