Amersfoort Soesterkwartier, Research

> 'Better to know one person well then a lot of people a little', is my new credo.
To get to know the quarter I am the 'shadow' of the one person in the quarter who knows a lot of people personally and looks after the interests of a lot of different networks: the 74 aged activist, Joke Sickmann. Here you see Joke at the dividing of the neighbourhood budget. There is 40.000 to be spent on ideas from the inhabitants of the quarter and everybody can make a proposal. At the end of the evening, which lasted 1 and 1/2 hour everybody knows if their activity can take place. It was a lovely and lively event. I got to know all different kind of groups of inhabintants: the people from the old peopleshome, the people from the smaller houses who have lived here for generations, the import of intellectuals, the activists, the new creativists, the professionals.

  < In the afternoon we visit the active members of the care centre. One of the items Joke discusses is the departure of the bronze statue which is situated in front of the home. The statue representing a worker in the docks, a bag over the head to unload coal from the ships is put back in the old harbour. How can the inhabitants of the care center influence the council in their decisions to replace the bronze?
> We pay a visit to the 'youth center' where Hans has created with -his own money- a fitnessroom to keep the boys off the street. Hans is an inhabitant of the 'Flower neighbourhood', an area with small 'workers' houses with a vivid social (street) life.  

 

< In the afternoon Joke is invited by Harmen Zijp en Ron Jagers. Long before the local elections Harmen and Ron started a website called maarwaaromdan.nl (Buttellmewhy.nl) They investigated the art and culture agendas of the political parties. Now the new alderman art and culture is chosen they organise a tour for him and his staff to meet all the Amersfoort experimental artists.

> 'The Workgroup explorations Carriage Workshop' is another of Joke's initiatives. The aim of the workgroup is to develop ideas for the use of the railway area and the connection of this area to the quarter. The topic for today is local economy.
With Harmen Zijp, artist and Joris Vermaessen, teacher cityplanning and inhabitant of the' Flower neighbourhood', we phantasize about an international exchange on 'rough' carbage. Businesses in second hand goods, thats where this quarter excells in. Here the idea for the first design is born.