Expert article
Project
A Place to Be-Come Seraing, Belgium
Modifier 06 September 2021
by Francesca Ansaloni UIA Expert

Seraing resumes its long journey of commoning where it all began

Seraing - A Place to Be-Come project
The ground floor of La Maison du Peuple, today
La Maison du Peuple was built in 1916 in Seraing as a gathering place for the working class. “Before, social-democrat activists gathered in the old theatre of Seraing, which was rented. In order to have their own place, they joined together: they bought bricks for 5F each, when most of them earned just 30F per week!”
Today, this historic building is being transformed, after being neglected for a while, into a new and contemporary community centre for the neighbourhood and Seraing citizens.

For the APTBC project, the improvement of the quality of life in the central neighbourhoods of the city of Seraing hinges on three pillars: 1) the transformation of existing parks and small wastelands into greener and more convivial spaces, where both biodiversity and social cohesion can possibly find opportunities to expand; 2) a sound knowledge about local resources and needs built through surveys, mapping and psychosocial interventions; 3) the promotion of a collective process aimed at mobilising and engaging Seraing’s civil society and extending the possibilities of collaboration between the public administration, other local institutions, civic organisations and citizens.

In this article, we will explore the launching of the process that, through the renovation of the ground floor of a 20th century building and the co-design of a community centre inside, aspires to boost a collective dynamics, encourage citizens participation and offer new opportunities for gathering, socialising and revitalising neighbourhood's social life.

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