Economic Resilience Through Community-Driven (Real Estate) Development in Amsterdam-Noord

  • Bouw M
  • Thoma D
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Shifts in the perception of risks and precedents of unsuccessful urban planning efforts in the twenty-first century highlight the conflicting nature of ‘control’ and ‘flexibility’ in modern urban practices. This essay argues that urban planning can be revisited today through the lens of the ‘commons’. The notion of commons can be seen as the key to approach top-down and bottom-up initiatives in a systematic way. In this contribution, we argue that collective self-building in Amsterdam-Noord is a type of commons-based urban planning that occupies a unique territory in between state-led and market-led practices, and private efforts of urban development. By correlating the evolving definitions of the commons with the omnipresent dilemmas of urban planning, this essay intends to draw a link between the two, arguing for a more resilient form of city-making. We argue that commons-based urban planning offers a resilient alternative to the master plan, as one of its key strengths lies in the economic and social models it is based on. Finally, this essay attempts to examine the ways new technologies allow us today to revisit and reform the understanding of self-initiation and shared resources in urban environments.




Bouw, M., & Thoma, D. (2019). Economic Resilience Through Community-Driven (Real Estate) Development in Amsterdam-Noord. In The Hackable City (pp. 119–127). Springer Singapore.

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