From the 12th until the 14th of October Pakhuis de Zwijger was one of the Amsterdam hosts for the first real life meeting of the CENTRINNO consortium, a European research project covering nine cities. The researchers, fab city makers and city officials from around Europe shared good practices and visited Amsterdam highlights on a local and sustainable maker industry.

The consortium brought together people from the European pilot cities of Copenhagen, Geneva, Milan, Paris, Tallinn, Zagreb, Barcelona and Amsterdam and the region around Blönduós in Iceland. The pilots differ in nature, scale and are geographically diverse with Blönduós, a little village in the northwest of Iceland with less than 1000 inhabitants, having a totally different background from Paris or Barcelona. Despite of the diversity, the pilots share one common goal: to create a new, circular and inclusive manufacturing industry that re-invents the existing heritage in the area.

Common story

The pilots share a common story. Manufacturing capacity has decreased over the years, with a decrease in manufacturing jobs, a lack of appreciation for these jobs and the neglect of industrial areas. But now these cities face huge challenges that demand new solutions and a new kind of manufacturing industry. For example, the municipality of Amsterdam wants to be a full circular city in 2050, but it lacks the people to bring about an economy that’s based on local production and repair. CENTRINNO wants to foster productive cities that put citizens at the core of a sustainable transformation.

Pakhuis de Zwijger has teamed up with Waag Society and HMC (post-secondary vocational school) for the Amsterdam pilot. Together we focus on strengthening and connecting the network of existing maker spaces and maker culture, especially in the area around Buiksloterham in Amsterdam North. Within the project, the Amsterdam pilot team stimulates a formal and informal ecosystem of learning and tries to create meaningful encounters between inhabitants and makers. A week before the consortium meeting with the other European pilots, on October 6th, the Amsterdam pilot had its official kickoff at Pakhuis de Zwijger (see the Dutch livecast here).

Workshops and visits

During the international meeting, the consortium members participated in a number of workshops at the Reinwardt Academy (heritage faculty of the Amsterdam University of the Arts) and Pakhuis de Zwijger. Also, they visited the pilot area in Amsterdam North and met several local artisans and manufacturing companies. On a memorable “open workspace” night at the Fiction Factory – a construction studio for exhibitions, shop interiors, offices and restaurants – about 80 people were shown around and had dinner at this inspiring location.

After three intensive days, everybody left Amsterdam tired but inspired. In the coming two years Pakhuis de Zwijger will be in close contact with all cities and share learning experiences around local, sustainable production ecosystems and formal and informal vocational training for everybody that wants to use their own hands in building future proof cities.

We’ll keep you posted about all activities in the Amsterdam pilot, but also show some refreshing initiatives from the other cities.