In collaboration with VORM Concepts and V8 Architects, Karres and Brands is launching “BuurtBoost”, a concept for a neighbourhood-oriented approach to improve the liveability of vulnerable urban districts in large cities. With BuurtBoost, we aim to contribute to building more sustainable cities and communities and to meet a growing need for affordable (rental) housing in the G5. The BuurtBoost initiative will bring together municipalities, housing corporations, local partners and, above all, residents.
Cities in the Netherlands are being confronted with growing compactness. Residential housing units are being added not only to new locations in the city but also to existing districts. There are many monotonous restructured residential districts with a lack of variety in functions, residents and housing programmes. Often these neighbourhoods consist largely of social housing and score low on the Liveability Gauge. This gauge measures a neighbourhood’s liveability based on the following indicators: quality of housing, physical environment, facilities, safety, and residents. Using these indicators, we have drawn up a concept for neighbourhoods in which the resources (hardware) link the social needs and the effects of development. We see the first three indicators as hardware and the last two as software, a category to which we’ve also added “organisation”, as this relates to the future vision for the neighbourhood. In short, we see software as the goal, hardware is the means.
The goal of BuurtBoost is to upgrade urban districts. Interventions to the hardware can facilitate improvement in the software, giving districts a major boost. Together with housing corporations, municipalities and local partners, we will establish a customized approach for each neighbourhood. We can compact or dilute neighbourhoods by adding or removing houses. We can diversify the community by stimulating a new mix of target groups and functions. And we can make neighbourhoods more sustainable by renovating existing real estate and upgrading outdoor space. These kinds of “boosts” help to create a more pleasant living environment where residents can live comfortably and happily, both now and in the future.