Federation for
Housing and

Why participate in an Urbego workshop?

The experience of The Urbego workshop in The Hague

The 2nd Urbego Workshop took place in the days before IFHP’s Housing conference in Den Haag. Under the theme “I Wish This Was – Common Scenarios for Transvaal”, 23 young professionals from 10+ countries met up, for in 3 days to come up with approaches to how Transvaal could be transformed into an area known for something good in Den Haag.

But how is it actually possible to come up with anything substantial in such a short time, with none of us knowing anything about the area before?

Working under pressure is a daily occurrence
Today, we as young professionals are used to work under these circumstances, no matter if our title are architect, urban planner, economist etc. We work on the basis of the inputs we get from our first-hand impressions of what we see, and together with our diverse cultural backgrounds, it creates a whole lot of ideas and creativity after just a couple of hours work. This means that the biggest challenge for us is not to come up with ideas, but to choose which that should be developed, and to combine the best ones into one coherent scenario (or story) for the area we work in.

Of course we do not expect from our self (and neither should the municipality, housing association or who it is that we work for) to deliver a finished product, but what we can realize are visions, that hopefully can and will give inspiration for the future work on the area.

We wish to leave footprints
So when other people are amazed of how much work that can be done in such a short time, we would prefer to hear their reaction on the actual ideas that we have come up with. We want to leave something behind in the places that we work, not necessarily physical, but at least a couple of good ideas that could be used later.

Intercultural sight
Cause we do have a lot of ideas, but they should not be looked at as analysis made by students (and treated that way), but as answers made by professional consultants. But instead of having one consultancy speaking with one tongue, our answers shall and will always reflect that we come from very different places all around the world, so when we hear that the city of Den Haag wants to create a nice and lively neighborhood not only one picture comes up, but 23 different.

This is also the main reason for me to participate in a workshop like this, cause where else am I actually able to work with some of the best and most ambitious people of my generation from literary all over the world, and to observe and discuss differences and similarities in the way we picture what a city should be like.

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