Network Lab #1
Transformation of Identity
20-22 March 2024, Spijkenisse

While the historic cities in Europe are seen as the places of culture and history, the New Towns are often seen as cultural wastelands. However, though New Towns are young cities, by now they have a history of 50-70 years which defines their identity. This is being appreciated by more and more New Towns, which study their history as a means to create their own narrative. This is not only a narrative which deals with the original planning and architecture (top down) but also a history of their inhabitants (bottom up). Oral history collects the stories of the original and new population, including the stories of immigrants and minorities. The main challenge is the enforcing of the exclusion discourse, between early dwellers and newcomers, between insiders and outsiders, between owners and renters, intellectuals and working class. The narrative of the city needs to be a participatory narrative in which all residents are able to recognize themselves.

As most New Towns are now in the phase of reinventing themselves and want to transform in more equitable and fair places, a proper understanding of the history of the city functions as a stable basis on which to build towards the transformations of the future. In the transition towards a more positive identity, the history of (all groups in) the city needs to take a central role. What is necessary to understand the history of the New Towns, whose history is it and what methods can be used?

images by Maarten Laupman


20 March 2024
Arrival participants during the day in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
13:00 – 15:00 Walk through Rotterdam Centrum (optional)
16:00 Meet at INTI HQ. Introduction of the theme of the Lab

18:00 Diner at INTI HQ
After diner, walk to James Hotel, Aert van Nesstraat Rotterdam

21 March 2024
8:45 Collect participants from James Hotel in Rotterdam, by bus
9:00 Bus-tour to Spijkenisse
11:00 Walking-tour through neighbourhoods Waterland/De Akkers
12:30 Lunch at community centre De Akkers

13:30 Interactive workshop at community centre De Akkers with presentations
by Kohtla Jarve and Dimitrovgrad
17:30 Departure for Spijkenisse City Centre

18:00 Visit library De Boekenberg
19:00 Diner at restaurant in Spijkenisse
21:00 With metro to James Hotel in Rotterdam

22 March 2024
9:00 Gather at James Hotel, together in metro to Spijkenisse
10:00 Workshop at the City hall with input by all partners, experts

12:30 Lunch at the City Hall, evaluation of the Lab
14.00 End of the Lab around 14.00 hrs
With metro to Rotterdam or other directions


Simone Rots, Michelle Provoost, Caterina Tioli, Misko Papac, Govert Buijs, Magriet Panman, Marcus Heinke, Jochen Becker, Constanze Musterer, Yoana Mitvichina, Yasho Minkov, Alex Axinte, Ioana Tudora, Marius Toma, Mihai Balint, Costin Muraru, Gabriella Zsinka, Csaba Gyöngyössy, Kinga Kotras, Béatrix Goeneutte, Wilfried Pingault, Irfan Salihagić, Elša Turkušić, Anton Makarjev, Henri Kaselo, Blaž Kosovel, Miha Kosovel, Jarosław Klas, Monika Kozioł, Oksana Denisenko, Giulia Piacenti, Oksana Beliakova, Oksana Denisenko, Shane Downer