The EU-Partnership Places-3t visited Molenbeek (Brussels, Belgium). The transnational project Meeting days in Brussels, Belgium were very interesting days with a good balance between working on outputs and (study)visiting happy workplaces at La Vallée, Circularium and La Maison des Cultures.
A Molenbeek Testimonial
Carla de Vreij, chairwoman of the Dutch Foundation of Innovation Welfare 2 Work (DFW2W) finds Molenbeek remarkable: ,,Molenbeek is separated from the other districts by a canal. There was a great economic and social difference between the neighbourhood on one side of the canal and the other side of the canal. The difference that struck me is the origin of the residents. The so-called immigrants. Over the years this gap has narrowed as real estate on one side of the canal became more expensive and people in the Molenbeek area started looking for houses. This created a natural integration, which was not conceived but originated. This made a big impression on me.”
Carla continued: ,, I also noticed that you don’t see any gardens, I haven’t seen any outdoor play areas for children and there is remarkably little ‘Green’. Where something is not there, there is a place for innovation and creativity. The ‘examples of good practice’ were very inspiring and are characterized by innovative thinking, creativity, positivity and commitment to the local community and increase the sense of well-being.”
,,It is truly wonderful to see how the mind of human is stimulated to express itself in all kinds of expressions. Where the language may not be a common denominator, the culture and religion may be different and where the circumstances are not always favourable, enormous effort and benevolence has been shown here to bring people together in all kinds of activities, from daytime activities, participation in individual activities and/ or entrepreneurship.”
Study Visits Brussels
The Partnership made 3 study visits:
1. La Vallée
3. La Maison des Cultures
La Vallée is a place where entrepreneurs can rent a space to work and they create places to meet and exchange experiences. Everyone gets a chance, it’s accessible. Good atmosphere, lots of space, inspiring, connected to the community, diverse and an opportunity to do business in collaboration with others. The location of the building is in the middle of the neighborhood, which increases accessibility. Good example of a Places-3T.
Circularium – Circular Econoomy is waiting for you
Circularium is a ”Well thought-out project”, conceived from the perspective of sustainability. Impressive how they have linked the environment to entrepreneurial thinking. A typical example of a Places-3T. Filling an empty building, with infrastructure connected to a major social problem, picked up from collaboration and executed in a unique, innovative way. Where circulation and regulation are central. This place raises awareness by the community. Carla:,,I have experienced it as a very inspiring place, which activated my creative mind.”
La Maison des Cultures
This is not Places-3T but very nice to see. Beautiful building, in the middle of the neighbourhood. Accessible to everyone. Focused on entertainment, daytime activities, education and training. Very impressed with the wall full of photos, beautifully done.
Desiree van der heydt was also impressed about the 3rd places in Brussels: ,,I have learned a lot and I am very grateful for that.” Carla adds:,,These were very instructive days. I feel very privileged to have visited these places. A Great source of inspiration!!!!!”
Places-3t Going Dutch
The next Places-3t meeting will be on April 28th-29th 2022 in The Netherlands. This will be held at the entrepreneurial hub, Area071 in Leiden/Leiderdorp, Zuid-Holland.