Freezing Favela will become the first urban building plan of 3000 square meters to be constructed according to an evolutionary city game process in the Netherlands.
Play the City translated twenty-four enterprises into a coherent temporary plan in Van Gendthallen, Amsterdam.
A group of entrepreneurs in food production, trash and poo processing, fish and mushroom farming and more came together to play Van Gendthallen for the Freezing Favela on a cold sunday on 6th of January 2013. The city play session came out to be a success, as a realistic, construction-ready plan emerged in the future location of the co-created city. From the twenty four online-registered projects, about twenty representatives came to defend their spots in the favela-in-making. Initiators and team members of projects such as Bar Vacant, Aquaponic Farm, Open Cooking Platform, Inside the White Whale, Mediahammam and the Clean Lab discussed and defended their ideas for the best spot in the Dutch favela.
Play the City hosted the event as a city game with all the necessary ingredients: the players, the playground and the rules. To freshen up everyone's memories in the new year, all the participating groups shortly presented their ideas and what they plan to build and do in the favela. All the participants were present with their proposal models, as was the playground, a 1/30 scale wooden model of the Van Genthallen. And the play began!
In the first round, numbers were drawn and the future Freezing Favela fellows claimed their positions in the building one by one. All had specific arguments supporting their ideal business location. Food related initiatives claimed their spots in and around the existing kitchen, connecting with water and sewage, while workshop-giving and public entities have partly clustered in the main hall. The 3000 square meter Van Gendthallen building was filled up with twenty-four different projects, some conflicting, some supporting one another. At the end of this session, it was clear that collaboration was the only way to fit so many projects in the building together. Players used the break to lobby intensely and find collaborators to remain strong in the coming play round.
During the second round players started shifting to their final locations in the Van Gendthallen. If a player already found partners to share space with or even to work together, then those projects got preference to the single ones. Projects like Mediahammam and Aquaponic Farm confirmed their collaboration, so did some food and waste related initiatives (Tosti Fabriek, the Poo Project, and the White Trash Liquor Factory). Also during this session, opposing and NIMBY-like reactions were raised--and some resolved.
Unexpected partnerships such as using the oven of hammam as the pizza oven of the neighbor food facility would not have been born if such an interactive and transparent city game had not facilitated the planning process of the Van Gendthallen. This play session was the first step to not only visualize and present the projects in a three-dimensional form, but also to start constructing a self-organizing favela as the first collaboratively-created temporary city in the Netherlands!