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Architecture Workroom
Brussels

Masterclass— Caring Neighborhoods

Demographic developments are visible and palpable in our everyday environment. In the coming years the number of people aged 65 and over will continue to rise dramatically. The number of single-persons and one-parent families is ever increasing. And cities will continue to attract newcomers and migrants with diverse cultural backgrounds. How can this social challenge be approached as an opportunity for creating a city? How can we build caring neighbourhoods from a future-oriented perspective? This is no simple task within the existing sphere of influence. The government is taking a step back and investing in an ever-greater number of (care) responsibilities in the market and citizens. At the same time our views on care and support are changing significantly. Lastly, we are confronted with increasing disparities in health. Care can once again be afforded a more visible and self-evident position by radically rethinking the structure and organisation of our care infrastructure alongside our life - work and living environment. What is required to achieve this? How can local and regional authorities develop policy for healthy and socially inclusive neighbourhoods? Which other parties could contribute and what coalitions are conceivable? What role could designers play?

Carmen Van Maercke

The Masterclass on Caring Neighbourhoods focuses on care as a socio-spatial issue and aims to develop levers for focusing on new forms of neighbourhood development, housing, care and support. This issue manifests in the transformation challenge in all existing districts and neighbourhoods and in new urban areas yet to be developed. Care encompasses very different aspects, which mutually influence each other. These range from care facilities, the accessibility of the public space and places for encounters, to one's home environment. Therefore, working on caring neighbourhoods is ultimately a task that demands an integral analysis and approach. Consequently the Masterclass includes working on an integral district analysis using the living spheres method and formulating a coherent socio-spatial strategy. Participants will work on identifying what administrators can do, which partners are necessary and which spatial factors could be used or strengthened, in order to create a more caring neighbourhood.

The following three objectives are key in this process:

1. Fine-tuning the agenda: how can the link between the spatial domain and expected investments in care be tackled to afford the social programme a place in urban development once more?

2. Mapping the design challenge: which urban programme could be made visible by an integral district analysis? Which socio-spatial issues and opportunities can we identify? How, where and with whom could we join forces to develop spatial as well as social networks and structures?

3. The City as the choreographer and exploring new coalitions: how could diverse parties cooperate on a socio-spatial agenda in a more optimal fashion? What could Municipalities (land positions, real estate), established parties (real estate, care provision) and local networks or smaller initiators (social capital, innovative ideas) offer each other? How could the authorities, as the choreographer, organise the (care) playing field and encourage exchanges between fragile and established, or capital-rich parties?

The Masterclass is organised by Architectuur Lokaal, national centre of expertise for good patronage, commissioned by the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR). It is led by Architecture Workroom Brussels: Els Vervloesem and Joachim Declerck (Atelier Master from IABR-Atelier Utrecht: The Healthy City). Paul Vermeulen from DeSmetVermeulen architects and Otto Trienekens from Veldacademie will jointly lead the Masterclass. During preparations for the Masterclass administrators and representatives of urban services presented their own case, for which a new perspective and alternative solutions will be explored using design research. The Masterclass will take place on 16 and 17 March 2017 in Brussels (BE).

IABR Atelier Utrecht: The Healthy City

The Masterclass will build on the results of the IABR Atelier: The Healthy City, developed as part of the IABR–2016–THE NEXT ECONOMY. Atelier Utrecht examined how health and urban development could be connected, and which innovative spatial development strategies could contribute to an inclusive, healthy city, in which solidarity between the different generations, cultures and income groups is paramount. Not only spatial and programmatic transformations in the city in relation to health and well-being are explored, but also changes in funding for healthcare. For more information, click here.

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Masterclass— Caring Neighborhoods
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.