In several cities in the Netherlands, city authorities have been actively investing in so-called ‘breeding grounds’ whereby the city provides affordable work space for creative groups. Through the breeding places policy, city authorities aim to work with the local subcultural scene in order to create an attractive climate for creative groups. Corporations, commercial developers and real estate owners also see the added value of such spaces and in many cases provide investment to allow for their realisation.
In January 2017 the city of Maastricht adopted its own ‘breeding grounds’ policy, as part of efforts to attract young and creative talent to the city. One of the first projects, Forza Fashion House, ‘an inspiring workplace and cultural place for fashion designers, artists and creative entrepreneurs’ was opened in July 2017. ‘Forza’, a locally based asset management company and the municipality are the investors in the project which is located within an area of large scale urban transformation. The building is home to the organisers of the city’s ‘Fashion Clash’ festival and hosts events throughout the year, however almost a year after opening the studio spaces were unoccupied due to the cost of rent set by the project’s investors.
Whilst the active involvement of commercial interests can aid the development or implementation of a ‘Broedplaats’, the goals can become lost within the process of seeking collaboration across a range of financing group’s disparate interests hinged around a site. Whilst all groups may be working towards a shared vision, unless the objectives and values sought by the collaborators are reconcilable, there is a danger that policies such as this merely work in facilitating the processes they seek to work against.
Forza Fashion House collective workspace – March 2018
Image of proposal for the collective workspace – November 2016
Collage – Source: http://limburgstartup.nl/forza-fashion-house/
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