the lowdown april 2007
As part of an investigation into the impact of urban interventions on more inclusive development of cities,
City Mine(d) is currently looking more closely at the rickety state of the economy.
Starting from the paradoxical situation in the economy of the Brussels Region, City Mine(d) initiates a working process called MICRONOMICS, with a series of think tank sessions and actions in public space.
The central question is:
>> Can urban interventions in krax reshuffle the paradoxical situation in economy?
and breaks down in:
>> How do we generate a public debate on economic issues?
>> Could this debate be informed by expertise and methodologies from urban planning (participation, empowerment, interventions in public space) ?
>> Can 'krax in the city' -spaces for negotiation and creativity- be adequate spaces to address economic issues?
1.Exploration april october 2006
4 workshops with different groups and individuals who are NEW in the economy. NEW because they just arrived in the country,
are only recently considered part of the active population, or innovative in the way they make a living. Results were connection between existing and new initiatives, as well as the ambition to test some of the ideas on the ground.
A scanning of Brussels investigating the economical situation by means of interviewing people in in-between spaces (Krax).
2.confrontation with wider public MICRONOMICS FESTIVAL (22-24 november 2006)
Stage 1: debate challenging panel and public to formulate answers to the central MICRONOMICS questions
Stage 2: brainstorm to draw conclusions from the presentations and debate, to develop working definitions and to prepare actions in public space
Stage 3: interventions in public space of the Quartier Nord. On Friday 24 Nov 2006 the ramp leading to the North station was transformed into a market and art space, where new entrepreneurs put their ideas into practice, stories were told, films shown and commuters and local residents interrogated about their view on the local economy.
Economy could be seen as the set of strategies to achieve a higher level of well-being; well-being as wealth (material prosperity) and/or as happiness. Developing these strategies requires a sense of creativity, and the power to implement them. It is City Mine(d)s belief that those who currently find themselves unable to achieve or increase their well-being or realize their economic projects, might be able to do so in the in-between spaces in the city (Krax), where regulating forces that structure the city are challenged or absent. Collectively developing creative projects in Krax that deal with the economy could increase the level of well-being and address the rickety state of the economy.
4.what 's next?
Focus on quartier Nord (a Krax characterised by the most striking paradoxes and economical complexity, going from international business and finance, administrative towers, window prostitution to ethnical commerce)
>> NIVEAU NORD: project proposal consisting of making a collective business card for the Quartier Nord. Through an interviewing process, local economic realities and potentials will be mapped out and published in a networkbook in order to reveal possible connections.
>> ACTIONS IN PUBLIC SPACE highlight the potentials in local economic conflict and link segregated economic groups.
>> A collective intervention planned in 2008, will create a transversal network connecting different economic actors in a creative project that builds on preceding activities in the neighbourhood.
>> CARGO: Documentation on own experiences in micronomics and good practices dealing with economy, urban interventions and in-between spaces (Krax) in the city gathered in a physical and online documentation centre.
[ see also:
krax.citymined.org www.citymined.org/micronomics www.flickr.com/photos/micronomics ]
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