[1] Carlton Oasis Hotel: Curieweg 1, 3208 KJ, Spijkenisse
[2] Point of arrival: Spijkenisse centrum
[3] Neighbourhood ’De Hoek’
[4] The Boekenberg: Markt 40, 3201 CZ, Spijkenisse

How to get there
To arrive in Nissewaard by plane, you have the option to fly either to Amsterdam/Schiphol airport or Rotterdam The Hague airport. In both cases you need to consider an extra hour to reach Nissewaard.

>>> From Schiphol airport there is a direct train (Intercity Direct - www.ns.nl attention: extra supplement for this train is required) to Rotterdam Central Station (26 min journey) from where you take the Metro Line D (direction De Akkers - see map) to Spijkenisse Centrum (30 min journey).

>>> From Rotterdam The Hague airport there is a bus (RET Streekbus 33, direction Overschie - https://www.ret.nl) to Rotterdam Central Station (25 min journey) and from there you can take the same Metro Line D (direction De Akkers - see map) to reach Spijkenisse Centrum.

When in Spijkenisse
>>> From Spijkenisse centrum to the Boekenberg you have either the option to take a 10 minutes walk via this route, or take the EBS bus 87 from Spijkenisse Centrum (direction Halfweg) and get out after two stops at ’Eerste Heulbrugstraat’.

More information about the hotel are available here

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?

Michelle Provoost (Director of the International New Town Institute)

Dr. Michelle Provoost is an architectural historian specialised in urban planning history, postwar architecture and contemporary urban development. She co-founded the office of Crimson Architectural Historians in 1994, and has been the Director of the International New Town Institute (INTI) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, since 2008. Under her direction, INTI has grown into an internationally known center for education and research relating to New Towns.
Dr. Provoost is the head editor of the INTI publications. She teaches at various universities in the Netherlands and abroad and continues to be in great demand as a public speaker. She lectures regularly throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States, and has been involved in many municipal, national and private committees and juries.

Raymond van der Sluijs, head of the urban management department, Municipality of Nissewaard
Raymond van der Sluijs is an Experienced Head Of Department (urban management) with a demonstrated history of working in the government. Skilled in Public Sector, Management, Leadership, Economic Geography, Government, and Governance. Strong operations professional with a double academic background.
He tries to connect human geography with challenging issues within the local government.

Marc Weerts City manager & town clerk, Municipality of
Marc has a legal background and an origin as an attorney at law with a law firm in Rotterdam. Since 2002 he became affiliated with local government and had several jobs within the municipality of Spijkenisse and later Nissewaard. He started as legal adviser and later on switched to management positions at the legal department and the policy department. As such he has attended earlier meetings of the former European New Town Network. He has developed a special interest in local government and in particular for Nissewaard with its interesting physical and social structures as a new town. As a manager Marc was involved in the merger of the municipalities of Bernisse and Spijkenisse into the new Nissewaard.
The last four years Marc served as City manager/ town clerk at Nissewaard. The relevance of the greater Rotterdam area for Nissewaard is as elementary as it is extensive. Therefore as chairman Marc presides the gathering of the 15 city managers of the greater Rotterdam Area since 2017.

Helena Casanova, architect, urban planner and landscape architect
Helena is Spanish. Since the year 2000 she is registered as an architect at the Dutch Architects Register. She is also a member of the Spanish Association of Landscape Architects (AEP). In 2001 she founded, together with Jesus Hernandez, Casanova + Hernandez architects, urban planners and landscape architects. The Agency has been awarded in several international competitions. In 2018 she has been guest professor at the University of Navarra, Spain. She has also been a guest at educational institutions such as the Berlage Institute, TU Delft, Lebanese American University, Chalmers School of Architecture at Gothenburg, Architecture University in Shenzhen.
She was co-founder and board member of the new Europan NL organization.

Carine van der Horst, "Thuis in de Wijk" Programme manager
Drs. Carine van der Horst, MCA is an experienced change manager specialized in issues within the local government. As a child she herself grew up in a New Town, namely Nieuwegein. After her History studies she worked as an organizational consultant within the municipality of Utrecht on metropolitan issues. Today she is working as a program manager of the project "Thuis in de Wijk" (Home in the Neighborhood) for the municipality of Nissewaard.

Femke Kaulingfreks, researcher
Femke Kaulingfreks has been a lecturer in Youth and Society at the knowledge
center "De Gezonde Samenleving" since March 2018. In her research work she addresses complex social issues concerning the relation youth, education and employment, being the empowerment of the youngsters a central topic of her investigation. In her study it is outlined how informal and professional assistance can come together and reinforce each other. This results in reports and methodological advices for professionals on both sectors: youth and education.

Maarten de Booi, CEO of De Leeuw van Putten
Maarten is CEO of De Leeuw van Putten, a housing association that manages around 4000 homes, shops, business spaces and social real estate in Spijkenisse. De Leeuw van Putten is primarily a social housing association. Maarten works in order to create networks and alliances with local stakeholder as an essential part of a modern social housing model.

Day 1 - February 20 - Tour day

Introduction to Spijkenisse: development, context, challenges, residents

11:00 - 13:00 Delegations are welcomed at metro station Spijkenisse-Centrum
and brought to the hotel for check-in (only for early arrivals) and then to the public library "De Boekenberg" where all the group meet.

13:20 - 14:00 Lunch at the Boekenberg Library
Meeting point: De Boekenberg Library, Markt 40, 3201 CZ Spijkenisse

14:00 Welcome and introduction
 Welcome by Igor Bal, alderman of the municipality of Nissewaard
 Opening by chairman Raymond van der Sluijs, head of the urban management department at Nissewaard municipality

14:30 New Town Context
New Towns in the Netherlands by Michelle Provoost, director INTI

14:45 Film presentation
Short film of Nissewaard and its inhabitants with the Filmmaker Marit Geluk

15:00 - 18:00 Tours
 Tour of the library with the director Victor Thissen
 Walking tour in the old village by Raymond van der Sluijs
 The tour of Spijkenisse by bus

18:30 Drinks & bites at windmill Nooitgedacht
18:45 Recent developments: De Elementen by Klaas Boonstra, urban designer at Nissewaard municipality
20:00 Dinner at apartment tower Rokade by the Oude Maas
22:00 Return to the hotel

Day 2 - February 21 - Seminar day

With international representatives, local professionals, national experts and residents

07:00 Breakfast at the hotel
08:30 Breakfast at the hotel Walk or e-shuttle ride (upon request) to the elementary school De Vuurvogel in De Hoek neighbourhood
09:05 Opening of the seminar day by chairman, town clerk Marc Weerts

09:15 Workshop 1: De Hoek Neighbourhood development
with the participation of the experts:
 Maarten de Booij, CEO, housing association De Leeuw van Putten
 Helena Casanova, architect, urban designer and landscape architect, Casanova + Hernandez
 Elisabeth Boersma, architect and urban strategist, planB

10:45 Guided walking tour
Group 1 guided by Albert Meijer, urban designer involved in the development of Spijkenisse in the 1980s
Group 2 guided by residents of De Hoek

11:30 Workshop 2: Sense of place and involvement with neighbourhood and town
with the participation of the experts:
 Carien van der Horst, programme manager social development, Nissewaard municipality

13:00 Lunch at neighbourhood centre De Hoek
13:45 Departure for town hall Nissewaard

14:00 Workshop 3: Understanding youngster as unusual suspects
with the participation of the experts:
 Femke Kaulingfreks, political philosopher, anthropologist, pedagogue and lecturer at InHolland university of applied sciences

15:30 Coffee break
15:45 Conclusions by Marc Weerts
16:30 Drinks and bites
Short free time in the town centre
Delegates are invited to meet at the harbour at 17:45 for the boat tour.

18:00 Boat tour of Rotterdam and the port of Rotterdam
Dinner is included

22:00 Return to the hotel

Day 3 - February 22

Evaluation of the New Towns Arrival Cities project

07:00 Breakfast at the hotel
08:30 Departure for Nissewaard town hall
08:45 Evaluation of New Town, Arrival Cities project
11:30 Light lunch at town hall Nissewaard
12:30 Departure of the delegations

The present report is a documentation of the insights related to New Towns and migration from the two-day New Town Lab in Spijkenisse and it should be read within that context. The lab was the fifth of five events as part of the two-year project “New Towns Arrival Cities”, led by the Municipality of Nissewaard and coordinated by INTI, the International New Town Institute. European New Towns, built by the welfare state to accommodate growing urban populations, all share a social democratic background and planned nature; today, they all face similar challenges as they struggle to adapt to rapidly growing and diversifying populations.

You can download the report here.

In the framework of the ’ New Town, Arrival Cities’ project co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme, international public officers and representatives from different European countries have met in Spijkenisse to share a reflection of the future of the New Town. The main goal of the meeting was to address the pressing and complicated topic of the government-citizens relations: how to create the conditions for a collective construction of the city?". Italy, France, Great Britain, Sweden and Denmark share similar dilemmas, it is therefore important to learn from each other.

This video wraps up on the two beautiful days of the fifth New Town Lab in Spijkenisse.

the contemporary town has to reinvent its dialogue with the community

Spijkenisse is the typical product of the welfare state. The years 1960s and 1970s saw the creation of many amenities, youth and community centres, those emblematic places of the New Town where one could develop his own talent. Everybody was encouraged to be part of the city life by organizing their own activities (this concerned the youngsters of that time, for instance), says Michelle Provoost, INTI Executive Director.
As part of a cycle, the contemporary town has to reinvent its dialogue with the community again. The Lab has addressed what are the things that most alienate the people from the government, and one of the things on top of the list was “if you make a lot of promises and then you don’t deliver” it will create disappointment, lack of trust and distance.
When the government makes a promise than expectations should be met emphasizes Michelle Provoost and the result of discontent can turn people into strangers and alienated, from the government in the first place, but also from democracy as a model.

The wistful wishes from the youth parliament were very clear and call for a reflection within the government itself: how will the city start to deliver on what has been brought up? The City can have big plans, but it is important to bring the community with you and start from the small real and sound steps which can produce changes.
What has emerged clearly during the two days, is the relevance of creating better connections between this generation of inhabitants and the city government of Spijkenisse and create more opportunities for everybody: the youngsters, the old pioneers arrived in the early years, the new arrivals, the expats and the varied diversity which makes the city again a laboratory of inclusion.

Femke Kaulingfreks, analyzing the debate with the youngsters, explains that what has become very clear is that there is not ‘one thing’ that ‘the youth’ wants. There are multiple views and ideas. She liked the fact that the youngsters want to develop themselves further and have a critical look on the present condition.

In order to feel safe and at home you need to feel connected. It is in our nature to want to be a part of something, says Carine van der Horst, project manager for the project ‘Thuis in de Wijk’. It is important to invest and make efforts to become part of a certain group. That is where reciprocity seems to be key. The citizen is both consumer as producer of the city and its future.

Concluding this inspiring two-day event in Spijkenisse, keywords for further thinking are focused on talent development, investment in training the skills of young people, keep engaging the whole spectrum of people, including minorities and a mix of different groups. Do not only offer solutions but make the citizens involved to come up with their own projects, creating the conditions for empowerment.

Motivation seems to be the most important key to success. But how do you motivate people? is the question from Magnus Rydevik, Vallingby City-district in the City of Stockholm.

In general, the delegations see the municipality of Nissewaard as do-ers, people who act and therefore produce innovation. ‘When you are looking for citizens’ participation, do not make promises you cannot keep and make sure you can achieve short and mid-term results. And do not forget the youth, they hold the future’, was the closing remark of Marc Weerts, City manager & town clerk, Municipality of Nissewaard.

The city built during the 1990s. Ph. Fiona Robinson

The new city centre after the redevelopment works of the 1990s-2000s. Ph. Viviana Rubbo

The regional cultural Hub - Theater De Stoep. Ph. Viviana Rubbo

Housing typologies in Spijkenisse. Source: Municipality of Nissewaard

The neighbourhood De Hoek. Ph. Viviana Rubbo

Public debate session during Day 2 of the New Town Lab

The Youth Parliament which gathered in Day 2 of the New Town Lab to discuss Youth participation in the construction of the city policies and future.

E4C final group picture: local partners and international delegates together with the newly elected Mayor of Nissewaard

Housing typologies in the neighbourhood De Hoek (1998)