Breathing life into an 'intensely boring' new housing estate

It seems like a law: the first few years of its existence, a new housing estate is dull and lifeless. Traces of habitation have yet to settle into the fresh buildings and streets, limp trees have yet to grow and squares remain anxiously sterile. But people already live there. So: how do you speed up the process? How do you ensure that a new housing estate becomes lively and cosy faster?

In the Contemporary Commoning project, Waag researched this in cooperation with various partners. We travelled to Zeeburgereiland, a conglomeration of two new neighbourhoods (the Sportheldenbuurt and the Sluisbuurt), one of which was completed this year. Creamy, sleek and with a beautiful skate track in the middle: Zeeburgereiland has the makings of a cosy neighbourhood. But it isn't yet. In a series of three blogs, Socrates Schouten of Waag recorded the project he set out on Zeeburgereiland to see if it would bring the neighbourhood to life. Together with Jeffrey Bolhuis, he created the Wielemaatjes here. 

Read part 1: the start of the research (Dutch).

Published

Author

Socrates Schouten

Links

Project

Contemporary Commoning is part of the research programme Smart Culture with project number CISC.KC.223, which is (partly) financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).