As a result of the inventory on healthcare accommodations Veldacademie, commissioned by various healthcare providers and corporations, is working on deepening studies into the transitions of existing nursing and service homes. The first result of these so named pilots show that the sector is already highly active. The researches play a role in the decision-making processes through various workshops and moreover generate additional insight into the urban developments and broader context concerning the issue of housing and healthcare.
November 2013 saw the completion of the inventory of all 77 nursing and service homes in Rotterdam. With that the complex variables that influence the shifting demand for space by healthcare accommodations were integrally mapped. By implementing a subdivision into eight prototypes a first impression was formed of the situation and expectations on an urban level. How these developments would exactly take place can not be stated on the basis of this report. Additional exploration of a number of specific location will have to provide additional insight.
As such, the pilots serve various purposes. Primary in the process in are the interests of the healthcare providers and/or the building owners. Through an extensive analysis of the three main themes - intensity of provided healthcare, independence of the accommodations, context - an exploration is conducted of what the location means for its inhabitants, the neighbourhood and its role in the portfolio of the healthcare provider of corporation. To this end deepening conversations with principals, outdoor interviews with local residents, focus-groups with the elderly and building technical and image analyses are utilised among other techniques. Based on the results of the research and an exploration of the various scenarios and the position in the market, four strategies are selected during a joint workshop that will then be expounded. These strategies vary from the better utilisation of existing qualities to the repurposing of the location to student housing. During consultation on how to work out strategies points of departure are formulated towards the eventual future perspective of the location. Doing so, the research supports the process of decision-making concerning these transition locations.
The Municipality of Rotterdam is the secondary beneficiary and co-financer of the various pilots. This ensures that all the pilots are conducted according to the same methodology and that the results on the individual locations have relevance for the overview at the urban scale. In addition the pilots prove to be a reality check for the inventory: the past years drastic changes have already taken place in the occupancy of the locations. Comparing the snapshots from the fall of 2013 with the current situation provides a first impression of the mutations that are already taking place in healthcare accommodations.
Due to a subsidy granted by the Stimulation Fund for Creative Industry it's possible to pay more attention to spatial and design aspects of the research in a few of the pilots. To this end, collaboration was sought with jefvandenputte architecture that provides the building technical analysis and the housing possibilities, while designer Bouwdewien van den Berg utilises an image analysis to explore how the appraisal and functioning of the various elements might contribute to the institutional character of the location.
One of the opportunities found in separating the financing for housing and healthcare is that future seniors will no longer live in a healthcare environment, but will rather organise the desired healthcare in their living environment. The question which aspects influence this shift and what role the existing healthcare accommodations can keep playing in the housing of inhabitants with a healthcare demand, forms the focus of the research subsidised by the stimulation fund. Based on the findings from the various pilot locations conclusions will be drawn in the spring of 2015, which can then be presented to the professional that are involved with this current issue of national interest.
Meanwhile the pilots for the De Provenier (Middin), De Kleiweg (Humanitas) and Blijdorp (Laurens) have been completed and will soon be available on our website. At the moment work also progresses on three other pilots. Space is still available for additional assignments concerning both the pilots as the connection to the research for the Stimulation Fund for Creative Industry. Feel free to contact us for more information on the research and/or a exploratory conversation for participation.