“How can the Eilandenbuurt be renewed through private initiatives?” That was the question that Jurrian answered with his thesis "Design for co-creation", which he presented on Wednesday, 3rd of July.
The main challenge was the renewal of the Eilandenbuurt in relation to the future plans for the adjacent Zuidplein. The Eilandenbuurt suffers from a very one-sided private housing stock, which threatens to degenerate because residents move away rather than renovating their homes. Due to the rapid flow, lack of quality and lack of outdoor facilities, the social cohesion and thus the viability of the area is under pressure.
The awareness that the quality of life of the neighbourhood is determined not only by professionals, but is mainly due to the perception of residents, was indicative of Jurrian’s research and design. He set to work in two ways; firstly by reaching out to residents and secondly by looking at the extent to which residents can have control about their environment. For this, he analysed the district in such a way that different 'territories' and scales become visible. This makes clear which space can be appropriated by whom.
The design is thus primarily a reclassification of the degree of control of residents based on scale and territoriality. Different types of private initiative are the building blocks used for this purpose. This ranges from making space for community gardens or self-management of public space to private property transformation, individual and collective commissioning and construction groups.
The result is a plan that connects Eilandenbuurt in a natural way with the new Zuidplein, without losing its residential identity. More importantly, the plan offers plenty of opportunities for individuals to participate or initiate themselves, which eventually results in a very diverse and relevant environment for the present but also future residents.
The final project is an exploration of a new practice of urbanism in Rotterdam. The building task for the future is urban redevelopment. In the absence of public funds and in the interest of sustainable redevelopment initiative must come from a different angle. Stimulating private commissions in the redevelopment of neighbourhoods ensures that public and private investments render pleasurable living for people who bond with their environment.