Kanal Play Ground

RVW’s intervention strategy ‘Cités Canalisées’ for Brussels’ Canal Zone was selected for the atelier ‘vision’. This workshop took place after the ‘Kanal Play Ground Open Call’ (2013) for temporary transformations during the summer of 2014, organized by Platform Kanal and AWB.

How do we create more and better public space for young people in the city? Brussels’ Canal Zone is one of the most densely built-up urban areas in Western Europe. It includes the neighbourhoods where many newcomers to the city first live. It is precisely in this area that living conditions are distressingly poor, and there is a desperate shortage of collective space.”

Can we make the youngsters claim urban space to fit their own needs? Instead of the architects, youngsters are given the means to act. The project proposes a scenario that allows youngsters to fill in autonomously a competitive process. The scenario is a flexible chain reaction of activities. The competition stimulates the youngsters to act within the scenario.

The activities will intensify ‘social networks’ that will manifest on ‘physical spaces’, these ‘physical spaces’ are present on different scales in the competition:
– Canal (large scale): backbone of scenario where different quarters come together in a collective claim
– Quarters/cités (medium scale): play an important role in the identification of the youngsters; the project will appeal to their territoriality: competition between quarters
– ‘Common grounds’ (small scale) could be non-, lost spaces, terrains vagues, with a potential for temporary use as a basecamp to meet and brainstorm, an epicenter of social actions within the quarter

The aim is to put the qualities of the canal and the valuable heterogeneous places in their own quarters to the fore and make them tangible in favor of the youngsters. These added values can consolidate a long-term urban consciousness.
It will be a process where the different in-between steps and social interactions are more important than the final result of the competition.

More about Kanal Playground: