“Our residential areas are not designed for so many single living people, the rapidly aging population and the fast erosion of social networks. Action must be taken”
– Chief Government Architect Floris Alkemade, 2017
In the spring of 2017, the Chief Government Architect’s Studio, the Council for Public Health and Society and the Humanitas Foundation organized the Who Cares competition.
How can we organize care and housing for people for whom living by themselves is not obvious? And how can we combine living and care more emphatically, in a society that isolates living and care?
Bureau SLA won the competition for the location in the city of Almere in the port area by combining two existing initiatives: the modern courtyards and the Burenbond. Burenbond is a concept of a neighborhood community circle. Citizens help citizens voluntarily with a question, activity or hobby. The Modern Courtyards study shows that the success of the 400-year-old courtyards typology is based on four principles: the shared gate, the water pump, the regent and the courtyard mother.
Both initiatives work on an inclusive city and find each other in this project. In the neighborhood circle, the volunteer receives support from a housing-coach who helps with issues that residents can not (yet) arrange alone. This organizational model is in line with that of the historical courtyards. The residents coach is the regent, the volunteer can be seen as the courtyards mother. The base for the connection between the residents are the common values. But Burenbond differs from the former courtyards in which age, and not interests, connected the individuals.
The municipality of Almere has embraced the project and is committed to realizing the project with us.