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Common Grounds: vacant potential

5 November 2011 – 29 January 2012
The exhibition Common Grounds investigates the possibilities inherent to the temporary redevelopment of disused urban areas. Curator: Saskia van Stein

The increasing vacancy rate is not limited to office spaces, but also includes cultural heritage sites, industrial buildings, churches, business areas, shopping streets and parts of urban nature.

Cuts in government spending, the sparse investment policies of market parties and conflicting (environmental) regulations make it increasingly difficult to make redevelopment profitable. In the current times of economical crises, how do we deal with this growing scope of areas that, somewhere between an old and a new function, wait to be redeveloped? How do we deal with these ‘in between’ times?

Citizens, governmental agencies and market parties are growing increasingly aware of the unforeseen possibilities of vacancy. The temporary (re)programming during ‘in between’ periods creates new opportunities for disused areas. Connecting citizens’ initiatives to social problems is a particular point of focus that can lead to interesting options. 

Examples are linking local networks and materials to the production of food and energy or to the desire to connect recreation to the realization of social coherence and public familiarity. Culturally and socially innovative projects often function as catalysts for these processes and can be seen as laboratories for alternative economic structures. Based on several recent projects, NAiM/Bureau Europa identifies how different initiatives, both bottom-up and top-down, can reinforce each other.

This exhibition is a sequel to the earlier project RE-Action, which was developed by REcentre. This project included, amongst others, an exhibition and a pop-up restaurant that focused on locally produced food. 

In the coming year, NAiM/Bureau Europa will also collaborate with REcentre on the realization of a temporary Sphinx-park, which is located at the Boschstraat next to the Q-park parking area (see pictures).

On the right you will find links to animation films about the history of Dutch land politics (produced by Olivier Otten).

Curator: Saskia van Stein

Photography: Johannes Schwartz

Graphic design: Experimental Jetset

Exhibition design: Maurer United Architects

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