Participatory workshop Breeding Places, April 2023

Twelve Breeding Places in Brussels are building on collaborations that reach further than solely a shared infrastructure. During participatory workshops in the spring of 2023, the Breeding Places got to know not only themselves better, but also each other.

In August 2021 the Flemish government launched the project call ‘Gemeenschapsinfrastructuur als Broedplek in Brussel’. The intention was to have organisations in Brussels find each other, focusing on interdisciplinarity. Ninety organisations showed their interest in sharing their infrastructure and setting up interdisciplinary collaborations. After a matchmaking, Architecture Workroom helped around thirty organisations to prepare their subsidy dossiers. In July 2022, twelve proposals for Breeding Places were approved – in 2023 we are supporting these Breeding Places in learning from the trajectory and from each other.

The next step of the trajectory was a series of participatory workshops which have taken place the past months in the physical location of four Breeding Places. During the workshops internal exchange took place between the partners of the Breeding Places, but also between each Breeding Place, to learn from each other’s process.

The sessions zoomed in to several topics. For example, what is the social-spatial embeddedness of each Breeding Place? Are they mainly directed towards internal links between the organisations that are settled in the Breeding Place, do they focus on reaching the neighbourhood, or maybe on specific groups of people spread throughout the whole city, or even outside, based on a shared interest? Additionally, we mapped which social-spatial building blocks contribute to each type of embeddedness. A Breeding Places focused on the neighbourhood, for example, needs a welcoming reception where people can meet, whereas a Breeding Place with a broader reach needs connectors with a good network within their organisation.

After gathering insights and more possibilities for the Breeding Places, we are working towards a meeting day in September 2023. During this day we will discuss insights and lessons learned during the current trajectory, to inspire not only the current Breeding Places, but also possible future community infrastructures in Brussels and Flanders.

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