The City in the Making foundation (“Stichting Stad in de Maak”) was set up in 2013 in response to two urban issues: How can ‘stuck up’ (and thus vacant) real estate be given a local social function instead of long-term vacancy? How can city dwellers be more directly involved in the development of their street, neighborhood and city?
City in the Making uses such long-term vacant real estate to develop activities that bring about the involvement of city residents in their own living situation and environment. Vacancy has a negative effect (deterioration, disinvestment). And it is equally socially irresponsible to leave parts of the city empty while there is an urgent need for affordable space for living, working and local initiative.
Since we started work at Pieter de Raadtstraat 35-37 in February 2014, we manage four properties of the Havensteder housing association in Rotterdam North – and occasionally, a stretch of a street that can be used for rather a short term (awaiting upcoming demolition, etc.). These buildings are a testing ground: what we want to achieve is a close network of buildings in Rotterdam where people can live and work in a different way – affordable, sustainable.
Some years after the start, we see our challenge reaching beyond the temporary management of vacancy and striving for permanent ownership of affordable housing and workspaces. We even think a step further: to a socially and economically sustainable life in the city, including our own basic income.
1. take the property off the market
2. convert into affordable housing and workspace
3. collective ownership, collective use
4. commons free of rent
5. economical, social and ecological sustainability
6. democratically organised
7. for the large part self-organised
8. on our own terms, on our own strength