Thematic workshops in de Hoek

Case: De Hoek, Spijkenisse
De Hoek is a neighbourhood that one might call typical for Spijkenisse. It is one of the neighbourhoods developed in the beginning of the 1980s, during the town’s largest growth spurt. About 60% of the housing stock is social rent, 40% is owner-occupied. Where the first residents were mainly young families, nowadays the neighbourhood has a more diverse population. De Hoek has a somewhat parsimonious and gritty appearance as a consequence of the economic crisis of the time. The neighbourhood has never been on top of the imaginary neighbourhood ladder, but as the years have passed, De Hoek now finds itself in the lower regions.

Subtheme 1: Neighbourhoord development of De Hoek
Housing association De Leeuw van Putten and the municipality of Nissewaard are about to develop a regeneration vision and plan for De Hoek. Both spatial-physical and socioeconomic aspects will be included therein. In the past year, the neighbourhood development course has started with an enquiry amongst residents and interviews amongst neighbourhood professionals. We ask our new town colleagues to think along with us.

Sub questions:
 What challenges does the neighbourhood have at the moment?
 How can we strengthen the neighbourhood in a spatial-physical way?
 How can we strengthen the neighbourhood in a socioeconomic way?
 How can we shape a regeneration process?
 Which pre-conditions are necessary?
 What happens when you don’t involve the residents?

Subtheme 2: Sense of place and involvement with neighbourhood and town
In Dutch new towns the first-generation residents generally feel less connected and less involved in the daily life of the new town than in ‘regular’ towns. Since they are not born in the new town, first generation residents are for instance more likely to feel Rotterdammer than Spijkenisser. Next to that they came to live in a planned town, where the government more or less took care of every aspect of life. There was no existing civil society and networks had to be build from the ground. How can we involve our residents in the neighbourhood and town activities and developments? How can make them feel at home?

Sub questions:
 How do we contribute to a greater sense of place and involvement with our town?
 Does feeling less connected to a town also mean feeling less connected to a neighbourhood?
 How do we contribute to a greater involvement with a neighbourhood in an age of individualization and digitalization?
 How do we find out whether our citizens are satisfied about the way we act as a government?
 How we do get in touch with our citizens?
 Do we have to involve everyone about everything?
 How do newcomers view our society?

Subtheme 3: Understanding youngsters as unusual suspects
Dutch new towns have been developed as suburban, residential towns and therefore struggle to tie their youngsters to the towns. At the same time, young people in general are often forgotten in the development of policies and plans.

Sub questions:
 How do youngsters make themselves heard? How do youngsters view the municipality?
 How can we involve youngsters in the development of policies and plans?
 Does serving youngsters better has the result that more of them are likely to stay in our towns?