Of Hackers and Cities: How Selfbuilders in the Buiksloterham Are Making Their City

  • de Lange M
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Abstract

How can citizens become active city-makers alongside design professionals, local government institutions and others, by creatively using digital technologies in collaborative processes of urban planning and management? This challenge is particularly daunting in the Buiksloterham, a brownfield area in Amsterdam North, that is assigned as an urban laboratory destined to grow from 200 inhabitants to over 10,000 people. The area was opened to selfbuilders: private individuals and households who build their own home, and collectives of about 15-50 people who build a shared apartment together. The research is based on ethnographic research carried out in the area. It provides a theoretical foundation for understanding the connection between bottom-up city-making processes and institutionalisation. It also proposes a research and design narrative about people-centric hackable smart cities. This contribution results from a long-running research project called The Hackable City (http://thehackablecity.nl), which between 2012 and 2017 in multiple separately funded iterations, investigated new modes of city-making through the notion of `hackability'. The project was a collaboration between academics, an architecture and urban design office, and various organisations in the domains of policy, urban services and the cultural field.

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APA

de Lange, M. (2019). Of Hackers and Cities: How Selfbuilders in the Buiksloterham Are Making Their City. In The Hackable City (pp. 283–298). Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2694-3_15

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