A glass artwork made by members of the congregation, a liturgical centre conceived together with a workgroup, the open gathering place that was a clear priority for the community during discussions about possible design variations: knowing the story behind the renovation of the church building De Vaste Burcht in Gouda, you can see the engagement of the community in the result. Over the course of the project, this involvement ranged from informing and voting to designing and demolishing together. The renovation of the Vaste Burcht illustrates that co-creation is a carefully weighed combination of different forms of participation. To design with users, you also must be able to design for them and vice versa. (more…)

For planners, the word ‘polder’ is synonymous with wonderfully empty spaces to realise spatial development ambitions. In addition to the potential for urban growth, or even building in the pasture, the country represents valuable space for recreation and food production. Recently water management and the energy transition have been added to these resources. Is the countryside then valued enough in its own right, or merely viewed as a ‘rural problem’ to be solved by urban interests? In the Nijbroek Polder we set out with locals and experts to chart the intrinsic qualities of this area; which challenges present themselves and which opportunities do they offer for the future of this part of the countryside? (more…)

For the annual Reinhold Schmaeling conference in Riga, Latvia, Open Kaart was asked to share a story about empowerment and co-creation in urban development, stemming from our experiences in Rotterdam