Special Economic Block

February 22, 19:30h - Auditorium NAI
with Maxwan A+U
21 February 2012


Maxwan A+U, in collaboration with Crimson Architectural Historians, created a top down strategy to allow for a bottom up transformation of Tarwewijk, Rotterdam South, and, potentially, many lower income communities.

The major strategic error of Dutch and other urban renewal policies is that they focusonly on certain communities. This serves to create monocultural, dependent, poor neighborhoods. In Tarwewijk, this has resulted in a 20% vacancy rate. We turn this vacancy into an advantage.

A large proportion of the vacant units are owned by the municipality, which makes it possible that within a few years one or more of the thirties blocks could be completely vacated. The freed blocks then form the ‘Special Economic Block’, a safe zone from the municipal policy on the environment, branding, building and housing, urban renewal, the creative economy and standard commercial regulations. The blocks are cut into large lots that are then free for development for entrepreneurs who issue both a strong business plan and a rebuilding plan as an investment commitment to the area. Here we are inspired by the highly successful Rotterdam Klushuis initiative, but we apply the principle not to new house buyers, but to small and medium sized aspiring businesses.

We hope that the combination of: A) the strong urban structure of the blocks; B) the proven entrepreneurial spirit of the participants; C) the liberation of administrative barriers to entrepreneurship; and D) the taboo-free guidance of the architectural transformation, will lead to a bottom-up commercial building, and an inner city Special Economic Zone, or a Special Economic Block.

Wednesday February 22, 2012
Start: 19:30h (doors opens at 19:00h)
Language: English
Location: Auditorium NAI (Museumpark 25, Rotterdam)
Registration necessary

For more information about the symposium, please visit here[modula id="2048"]