In 2015 seven city parks – five in Amsterdam and two in Utrecht – were transformed into a small society where residents camp, greet and help each over the weekend. More than 1100 campers occupied 400 tents. The seven Buurtcampings (‘Neighborhood Camp Site’) were organized by over 40 ‘custodians’, along with 300 volunteers and 268 local organizations. Despite the summer storm, campers graded De Buurtcamping with an average of 8,3.
Placemakers’ on- and offline qualitative research reveals that De Buurtcamping succeeded in attaining its three main social goals:
- Providing a fun holiday for everybody (including people who normally can’t afford to go on holiday)
- A better connected neighborhood with more social cohesion
- Stimulating ‘empowerment’ among campers and volunteers
Despite the upscaling since the first year – from one, to three, to seven campings – De Buurtcamping manages to retain its societal goals. The broad group of organizers facilitate a camping where neighbors meet, where there is a sense of holiday, where everyone can learn, teach and flourish.
When : 2014 – 2015
Commissioner: Stichting De Buurtcamping
Researchers: Martje van Ankeren and Anna Dekker