Doing it together

What can the co-creation success story of Antwerp teach de K-Buurt?

Antwerp meets de K-Buurt to discuss the steps towards inclusive and effective co-creation. The active community in de K-buurt, known for its Participation Strike in 2018, welcomes co-creation experts Manu Claeys and companions from Antwerp, to share and exchange insights, knowledge and best practices. What is the next participatory step for the community of de K-buurt, and how can the insights and experience from Antwerp help them get there?

Throughout the week, WeMakeThe.City takes its (inter)national speakers from the mainstages to the South-East of Amsterdam, to meet with the neighborhood community “Hart voor de K-Buurt” in de K-Buurt (the K-neigborhood). In the context of De Week van Kraaiennest, residents and entrepreneurs from the neighborhood work together with these visiting experts, to find concrete solutions to the urgent issues that this community faces.


12.30 – 1.30 P.M.      LUNCH BREAK

1.30 – 3.30 P.M.      BREAK-OUT

As break-out session of the dayconference Common Ground, Hart voor de K-Buurt welcomes representatives of Antwerp citizen movements, Manu Claeys and Koen Wynants, to share and exchange knowledge and practices in the field of participation, co-creation and democratic innovation.

What is the next step for the community of de K-Buurt, and how can the insights and experience from Antwerp help them get there?


Raw concrete, and a lot of love: that is the K-Buurt (K-neigborhood), located around the Kraaiennest metro station in the South-East of Amsterdam. It is a neigborhood that faces many challenges: in the old flats, poverty, low literacy and economic backwardness are still rampant, often with a stack of many social problems. Unemployment and hopelessness among young people is still extremely high. The safety situation is bad. In the meantime, new residents with a lot of social, financial or cultural capital are flowing into the neighborhood and are demanding their place with a force that puts old residents at a disadvantage. De K-Buurt is getting better, but for whom? Gentrification in the Southeast is advancing and displacement is taking place. New residents feel guilty and wonder what they can do. Because everyone feels that this is a special neighborhood: people know each other, take the time to greet each other. Togetherness, caring and community spirit are part of the DNA of this neigborhood.

The neighborhood is showing its strength through bottom-up initiatives. Because, while many know the K-Buurt from the Bijlmer disaster (when a Boeing drilled itself in one of the flats in 1992), many others have come to know the K-Buurt from the Participation Strike of 2018. After many consultation evenings without concrete results , after having stood up many times for a real voice and inclusive processes, the neighborhood network ‘Hart voor de K-Buurt’ decided to temporarily stop participating in the conversation with the municipality. The strike was a great success: the neighborhood network is now operating at the center of decision-making about developments regarding the future of its own neighborhood. Towards an inclusive, livable K-Buurt for everyone!


As guestcity of WeMakeThe.City 2019, a delegation from Antwerp (led by frontman Manu Claeys of StRaten-generaal) shares its insights, experiences and challenges, specifically in the field of co-creation and participation.

StRaten-generaal (“streets general”, an adaptation of the Dutch word Staten-generaal, which means States-general, or parliament) works on sustainable development through citizen participation, in order to protect and promote the quality of life. StRaten-generaal (SG) was conceived on the streets in 1999. It is a small but powerful collective of concerned and articulate citizens. SG strives to approach the concerns and decisions of both individuals and governments from the perspective of the public interest. It is concerned with the local development of Agenda 21, the impact of spatial planning on social developments and vice versa. They do so in an interplay of philosophy, strategy and practice. SG plays an innovative and constructive role in community development, as a point of contact, a source of information, a reference, a project developer, a sounding board, a mediator and facilitator, and as a member of advisory bodies.


Coverimage © Michiel Wijnbergh.

In collaboration with

  • Break-outsessie
  • Expeditie

Woensdag 19 juni 13.30 - 15.30
De Bonte Kraai: Kraaiennest 68, 1104 CD, Amsterdam

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