De Besturing – From tenancy to collective ownership

Quite a few European cities, like Ghent in Belgium, are initiating policies for the temporary usage of empty city spaces by civic coalitions, up until the time when real estate companies start re-developing these urban areas. While offering temporary solutions, this policy does not directly challenge neoliberal real estate speculation and the lack of space that it produces.

De cultural center De Besturing in The Hague found an interesting individual solution. They started paying rent for the free space, and used the accumulated capital as down payment for rebuying the space from the city.


From Cooperative City:

De Besturing was founded in 2006 in an industrial area of The Hague and over the years it has been transformed from a temporary studio complex into a sustainable collective of artists and designers. Initially rented out for free on a temporary basis from the municipality, the community nevertheless collected the rent from tenants, constituting a capital that made possible the building’s purchase in 2017.”

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