Meeting for residents on 20 November on MAN and SOCIAL

Delving deeper into social themes

In the meeting at the Carolus Borromeus College in Brandevoort people discussed various social topics in the District of the Future. The objective of the night was to share information on this subject, to delve deeper into social themes and to collect agenda items for 2018: what are we going to be working on?

Residential climate

The 28 people who attended the meeting gave a wealth of examples of how a well-ordered social and healthy residential climate can be achieved on the back of good facilities at the neighbourhood or district level.
In terms of communication, an online platform was mentioned which can be started up already, as well as a neighbourhood garden and neighbourhood art as instruments of mutual contact.
A widely shared wish was a building (or multiple smaller spaces) in which various functions could be combined, from education and courses to volunteer work or reintegration. A ‘vitality centre’ might also be realised there, and of course there should definitely be a lot of parks and other green spaces in order to create a healthy residential climate.
There were also wishes in terms of work spaces / office facilities throughout the district, and perhaps also a ‘seats2meet’ kind of formula.


At the level of the home and street, there were discussions on parks, light, air and space. Ideally, the homes would be suitable for all ages, that is to say adaptable.
Healthy eating was mentioned in various contexts: urban farming by professionals or in a neighbourhood garden and a shared kitchen where kitchen gear, space or meals could be shared.
It was mentioned frequently that neighbourhood volunteers could play a key role in the cohesion and well-being in the area. They might organise small-scale and low-threshold activities such as encounters and contact, thus increasing knowledge and understanding of individual and collective problems.

In the second part of the evening the people present divided up into groups of two or three and discussed what they thought were the most eye-catching opportunities mentioned on the night.
Here are some of the results, point by point:
1) Compagnie Brandevoort, workshop, volunteers
a) Amateurs and professionals jointly provide services for local residents
b) Example for the sharing economy
c) A self-sufficient system that starts off small, but can kick off right now.
d) May generate profits in the long term

2) Preventive healthcare systems
a) Continuous monitoring, e.g. daily health checks
Gamification, sport and healthy food
b) A healthier society means less care and lower costs of healthcare
c) Good for society, insurers and the healthcare system
d) Current technology already makes this possible with apps and smartwatches
e) Choice to report part of the data to the patient, not to report some data or report part of the data in general terms. This may be a personal setting.

3) Centre for happiness and vitality
a) Contributes to a sustainocratic empathic district
b) Core value: health, safety, reliance on co-residents, basic needs
c) Get local people, entrepreneurs, education and local authorities involved
d) Life-long learning

4) Art and culture
a) Get social designers to work in the district
b) Different approach to community work
c) Activities and triggering people

5) Being hip together
a) Meetings and entertainment for all
b) Look for different elaboration of the same underlying values
c) Meetings with different kind of activities, possibly a location, but not necessarily
6) Decision-making in large groups: “We 2.0”
a) New forms of neighbourhood government
b) Flexible form of online and offline democracy
c) Both during development phase and when people are actually living there

One recurring request was for an easily accessible multifunctional community centre where people can meet: to chat, cook, play cards, knit, do volunteer work. Snacks for kids, a gaming corner, childcare, hobby room, possibly in combination with small local commercial initiatives.
These multifunctional spaces may be fleshed out as they wish by residents who want to make use of them. It might be more healthcare-oriented, but also veering towards fun, 24/7, hip and trendy.