January 1, 2009

English summary

As designers of public space, NU HIER believe in the possibility of a public space that is genuinely used for what city folk like to do: dancing, building, gardening, urban sport, cooking, making music. For that purpose NU HIER are building up a package of elements and tools that can be moved: movable tree nursery, a greenhouse, a mobile kitchen, transportable kitchen garden boxes, a sports floor, a podium, etc. This means that a caravan can go from one abandoned place to another that can accommodate a temporary programme.

NU HIER is an initiative that links vacant sites with users from the neighbourhood, schools, clubs, corporations, and associations. Their cooperation and combined entrepreneurship is the engine behind what in this case is a project on the periphery of the centre of Rotterdam. Combining the (organisational) structure already on the spot in the form of communal management makes it easier to arrange responsibility for a site. Above all, however, it appeals to people’s shared passions. After a party centre went up in smoke, this vacant site awaits a new function, so building ground is reclaimed, if only for a time, as public space. This period can be used as a lab stage before everything has been determined. The transitional stage can even be seen as a way of transforming areas to meet the demands of the market. The great strength of temporary projects is that there is much less opposition to unusual, unfamiliar forms of use and new programmes. This creates opportunities for innovation and experiment. If it works, let’s keep it! If it doesn’t, let’s forget it.

WHERE: Zomerhofstraat/Schoterbosstraat, on the periphery of the city centre of Rotterdam
WHO: Ester van de Wiel and Gerda Zijlstra, Koehorst in ‘t Veld (graphic designers), Movie Action (stunters), Horeca Vakschool (cook school), Lifeline (fitness), Noord Plus (Islamic association), Gemeente Werken & Roteb (municipality), Corporation PWS, Zadkine College (builders in training)
WHEN: 2009-2011 (or longer)

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