maxwan

SPECIAL ECONOMIC BLOK

A top-down strategy that allows for a bottom-up transformation

SPECIAL ECONOMIC BLOK

ROTTERDAM, 2012

The Tarwewijk neighborhood in Rotterdam knows a 20% vacancy rate. We turn this vacancy into an advantage.
A large proportion of the vacant units are owned by the municipality, which makes it possible that within a few years one or more of the blocks could be completely vacated. The freed blocks then can form the ‘Special Economic Block’, a safe zone from the municipal policy regulations. The blocks are cut into large lots that are free for development for entrepreneurs who issue both a strong business plan and a rebuilding plan as an investment commitment to the area. This principle is inspired by the highly successful Rotterdam ‘Klushuis’ initiative while in this case applied to small and medium sized aspiring businesses and not to housing.
We suggest that the combination of: A) the strong urban structure of the blocks; B) the proven entrepreneurial spirit of the participants; C) the liberation of administrative barriers to entrepreneurship; and D) the taboo-free guidance of the architectural transformation, will lead to a bottom-up commercial building, and an inner city Special Economic Zone, or a Special Economic Block.

Credits:
client
Droog

country
Netherlands

city
Rotterdam

scale
M

team leader
Jason Hilgefort

partner in charge
Rients Dijkstra

team
Aleksandar Hrib

collaborators
Crimson architectural historians


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