A good start
To create the best possible project and to ensure that the new residents can make a good start in Amsterdam, a Startblok Elzenhagen Panel has been brought together. Local residents, initiators and experience experts talk about development at various meetings.
During the last meeting, the relationship with the neighborhood was the central theme. How do we ensure that new residents can quickly find their way? What help do they need for this? And how do we ensure connections between local residents and their new neighbors?
‘Some neighborhood residents are critical, some are waiting and others are positive about the arrival of such a large group of young people and status holders’, says documentary maker and Startblok Riekerhaven resident Bobbie. In October, her documentary The Boys Next Door was broadcast on BNN. In this film she follows her neighbor boys, who, as status holders, take their first steps in Dutch society. She gave a clear picture of what they are encountering and what it means to have to find your way without knowledge of the Dutch language and culture.’
Open, honest & critical
‘I think it’s important to participate in this panel so that I can share my experiences’, says Bobbie. ‘In this way, things that I have learned from living together with status holders can be used again for this new project. During the panel discussions we are open, honest and critical. I am very pleased that we are already at the table so early in the development of Startblok Elzenhagen together with local residents, neighborhood organizations and the initiators. This way we can come up with answers to the question of how you integrate Startblok Elzenhagen in the neighborhood and get everyone involved immediately. Together we will continue.’
And that’s where nice plans come from. Together they think that an interactive map could be a great way to share activities and useful places with each other. When you get home you can mark a place in the hall on the map in the neighborhood where there is a good gym, a cozy community center or a fun activity. If all residents do that, we will discover the city together. Panellid Ali, himself a status holder, says; ‘I was lucky. My uncle already lived in the neighborhood and showed me around. But for others who do not have an uncle in the Netherlands, I think this is a very good idea!’