Invited by local social services association Une Maison en Plus, CALICO put up a stand on one of the closed streets reserved for the celebrations of the « Primeurs » neighbourhood, on September 21st. It took place 600 meters north of rue du Delta, where construction works on the foundations of the building that will house future CALICO inhabitants have started several months ago, with an expected completion in December 2020.
The full team of project managers for CALICO was present. Associations CLTB, Pass-ages, Angela.D and EVA bxl managed a stand set up with the help and support of the Brussels Capital Region, and were able to meet not only local residents, who had been invited a week earlier thanks to a targeted mailbox campaign, but also local associations active in the fields of social care, medical services and urbanism.
Building bridges with local associative networks is a major objective for the CALICO project and this to ensure its integration within the neighbourhood and the appropriate use of its associative spaces and its mutual care system. A big step towards achieving this objective was taken that day as local contacts were made with promises of future meetings and potential partnerships.
Local residents were also interested and curious about the project and its many innovations, especially in the fields of cohousing, mutual care and its birth and end-of-life facilities. Volunteers from partner associations Pass-ages and Angela.D interacted with locals and had many fruitful and engaging exchanges, driven by their motivation to make it a truly meaningful and innovative housing experiment.
This successful neighbourhood meeting further strengthened the excellent dynamic between project partners. The process of inhabitants selection is almost done at the time of writing. A first meeting between all 32 families, scheduled to move into the building in March and April 2020, will take place in mid-december 2019. Families will get to meet each other and, progressively, set up committees to manage their common lives in CALICO. Workshops will teach them about cohousing management, passive building management and several activities will take place related to mobility and active health. Within each housing cluster other workshops will take place related to both partner organisation’s specific themes : setting up the birth and end-of-life activities for Pass-ages, gender perspective in housing for Angela.D and co-homeownership for CLTB. EVA bxl will provide support for the setup of the mutual care system.
CALICO has neighbourhood integration in its DNA, and further neighbourhood meetings are already in talks during communication and steering committees. A new local event should take place near the end of spring once the construction works are more advanced. Meanwhile, project partners are building on the contacts made during that September afternoon to ensure a smooth arrival and mutual learning experience with the neighbourhood.