Plans for newly build neighbourhoods and restructuring of existing ones are characterized by collections of buildings and functions. But they do not determine the character and habitability of the neighbourhood, it is the people who live there who do that. They share each other’s lives and want to meet each other.
Strangely enough, development plans pay a lot of attention to land exploitation and risk reduction, but less to human needs. People seem to be ‘only’ the consumers who makes the plan financially feasible. A missed opportunity. People are are creative beings with wishes and ideas. The space needed to fulfill those ideas and wishes arises when you ask the question what does the neighbourhood do to you as a person, instead of what does the neighbourhood do functionally.
In the new function mixing, the economic dimension of a neighbourhood is linked to its human dimension, so that they can influence and strengthen each other. Because creativity leads to innovation. It is high time to upgrade the concept of function mixing to identity mixing.
“Energetic and thriving cities are the heartbeat of society.” (René Stevens)
The new mixing function does not add any golden edges to social neighbourhoods and does not plant office strips as noise barriers: after all, that does not add anything to the experience. It puts people first. And takes into account places where people can manifest their economic and cultural creativity, the so-called ‘useless’ spaces.
This creates habitable and attractive neighbourhoods with character. The new function mixing combines real estate and marketing, so that the neighbourhood adds something authentic to the city and the people who want to live there.
Read more in the Dutch article ‘Het nieuwe functiemengen als economische katalysator’ published in the Real Estate Magazine. (20031201 Real Estate Magazine no 13 – Author: René P.M. Stevens MSc Arch/MBA).
For an English translation ‘The New Functional Mix as an Economic Catalyst‘ send us an email.
As an organization, dare to think big, but start small. Experiment and gradually find out which form and speed of implementation best suits the organization.
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