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Open Renovation and living

In cities with declining economies, their are a lot of empty mansions, flats and other buildings. Besides that a lot of local civilians who want to move can't afford to buy or rent a new or restored house. Let these people buy or rent these declining buildings and let the new inhabitants restore these buildings collectively under guidance of an architect and engineer. The new inhabitants pay less rent or mortgage because they do all the renovations by themselves. By doing this collectively, they share each others skills, they share costs and they build a community.

Photo of Jeroen Spoelstra
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Building, renovating and learning together creates a vibrant atmosphere between the (future) inhabitants of the neighborhood. The facade of the buildings makes the streets look fresh and safe. When the mansions are finished, the municipality could invest in public areas and also work together with the community to create vibrant streets, gardens and parks.

What resources (money, time, people, technology, etc) will your concept need to be successful?

- Property owners(housing communities, the cities)offer really old mansions, flats for sale or for rent.
- Project manager, architect and engineer resourced by the council who control the structure and safety off the buildings.
- The people that are/ will be living in the neighborhood and in these old mansions
- The energy, skills and time invested by these people.
- Building materials

What steps could you take to implement this idea today?

- Approach the council with the plan. Ask them what properties are available.
- When the council wants to take part, create announcements in the local newspaper to invite people to take part when they want to move out their homes to new homes
- Create a social media campaign (blog), arrange meetings to organize the new inhabitants of the neighborhood. for example (sorry it's in Dutch).

How can your idea be scaled so that it's implemented in cities around the world?

- Create an Open source Renovating Guide for old and abandoned apartment buildings, mansions maybe old factories.
- When people are actually in the renovating process, you could create a world wide forum in where you can follow the process via 24hr webcams, blog posts. In this way peolpe can learn from each other on a global scale

My Virtual Team

Vesna Misanovic - Public- private partnerships

Rebekah Emanuel - Zipspaces


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Photo of Vincent Cheng

Interesting Jeroen. Reminds me a little of Habitat for Humanity ( ), but for building renovation.

Photo of Jeroen Spoelstra

Thank you Vincent for sharing the link. It looks like a similar kind of project indeed.

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