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Open Promoter Platform: no first-time building for a circular city

Utilising vacant space through cooperative spatial planning

In a sustainable future, we will have to apply the principle of circularity not only to materials, but also to our built-up space. Today, however, fulfilling human needs for space leads to new cubic metres too often. Yet this is in strong contrast with the scale and enormous reuse potential of existing empty and underused space in cities.

Both the rigidity of real estate and the one-shot character of professional alternative property development leave an enormous spatial potential of atypical buildings underused.

With this project, the agency for social-spatial innovation Endeavour, the product development agency Bagaar and financial expert Peter De Groot want to develop a multidisciplinary answer to this challenge, with a focus on cooperative spatial development.

The aim of our project is to expose vacant and underutilised space in the existing patrimony, while at the same time democratising cooperative spatial development, scaling it up and maximising its chances of success.

Therefore, we developed the online Open Promoter Platform, which should form the missing link between the various partners involved in the successful realisation of circular space use.

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Endeavour

Partners Bagaar, 51N4E, RE-ST, PDG

Sectors

MOST IMPORTANT
RESULTS

  1. Based on concrete practical experience gained during a previous initiative 'We Kopen Samen den Oudaan', we identified the structure and the biggest challenges in the process of cooperative spatial development.
  2. We assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts, each with their own knowledge and approach to cooperative spatial development, to analyse and address the various thresholds confronted in a comprehensive way.
  3. We created the Open Promoter Platform, which identifies atypical vacant space, provides space for people looking for space or partners for a collaborative project and offers professional guidance in drawing up a realistic plan.
  4. During this project, we focused on communication with various target groups in order to pitch, adjust and further substantiate our concept based on their feedback. We shared our development process through lectures, exhibitions, publications, social media, etc.

MOST IMPORTANT
LESSONS LEARNED

  1. The biggest barrier we overcame was the multidisciplinary underpinning of our concept. Involving all connected disciplines, ranging from financial and construction to digital, legal and communication knowledge, was crucial. It also changed our form and operation to achieve the same goal in a more appropriate way.
  2. Although we gave it a lot of attention, there is still a gap between the platform and its effective functioning in reality. It remains a constant exercise in establishing certain principles and functionalities, while leaving others open to keep future paths open.
1 platform as a missing link
1.300 people reached
30 pinned buildings within 2 years
1.028 users within 5 years

WHAT DOES
THE FUTURE HOLD?

We still have ambitious and concrete goals for the future. Most of the partners involved in the past project are still active. We are taking the concept to investors and cities, completing a communication study, finalising the website and building a launch campaign. The long-term plan is an ambitious but realistic, gradual build-up of the platform, as well as an expansion to other cities.

In addition to the platform itself, the trajectory also forms the impetus for many other projects in which we contribute to the qualitative scaling up of cooperative spatial development in Flanders and Belgium. We have already written an expert note on cooperative spatial development for the Flemish Government's Environment Department, and we share our knowledge in various lectures and conferences.

Moreover, in cooperation with Miss Miyagi and commissioned by CERA, Endeavour will coordinate a three-year research project in which concrete pilot projects in cooperative development will be studied and supervised.

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