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Participatory action research into a climate-robust and culturally resilient renewal of Julianadorp.

This master’s thesis builds further on a fieldwork period of one and a half months in Moengo, Suriname. Moengo was created as a company town by Suralco for the bauxite industry. The floor plan and architecture is typical for a company town of companies from the United States of America. After Suralco’s departure, the town’s dynamics changed. This has had an impact on spatial planning in Moengo, among other things.
The first part, the common part, attempted to provide an answer to the question “How can Moengo’s residential areas renew in a culturally resilient and climate-robust way?”. To this end, an analysis was first made of the city of Moengo, after which a focus was put on the Julianadorp district. Julianadorp was chosen because this district had not yet been discussed in detail in previous master’s theses about Moengo. Four new challenges emerged from this joint analysis. These four challenges were converted into three new research questions, each of which was addressed individually by a student.

The individual part of Michel Versteeg focuses on the water management in Julianadorp. In this research, we started from the past of water management, the present is discussed by means of current problems and situations, and a leap to the future is made by means of possible future solutions. Some opportunities and problems in the field of water management are described in more detail. On the basis of good practices and examples from practice and other master’s studies, an attempt has been made to take a step towards making the water management in Julianadorp more future-proof.

The individual part of Kaat Van Campenhout contains a study into a cultural resilient and climate-robust densification of Julianadorp. A number of good practices were selected based on an analysis of the current transformations within the district. These good practices form the basis for the guidelines and concepts of the densification plan, that focuses on a socio-cultural and ecological sustainable transformation and densification of the neighborhood. The implementation of the densification is also discussed.

The individual part of Lise Smits focuses on the challenge; neglect of Moengo by the government. From this challenge follows the objective to look for a possible solution from within the community for the renewal of the built environment and public space. Starting from the challenge and the objective, the second part tries to answer the question “How can the community in Moengo organize itself to take on the renewal of the urban environment and public space in Moengo?”. In this study, the starting point is a reference study of five similar cases. From the fieldwork study conducted in Moengo, four central criteria emerge: objective, involved actors, process and method, and financing. Based on the conducted reference research, in combination with the results from the fieldwork, a possible organizational structure for the chore group in Moengo was created based on these four criteria. Furthermore, in this thesis, specific actions and workshops are established that will form a clear starting point for possible follow-up fieldwork research in Moengo. This thesis can therefore serve as a starting point for the concrete development of a chore group in Moengo.
This research is a design-driven participatory action research. So multiple research methods were used, such as observations, interviews, workshops and urban tactics.

  • Authors:
    • Michel Versteeg
    • Kaat Van Campenhout
    • Lise Smits

    • Marleen Goethals (Promotor)
    • Marciano Dasai (Promotor)
    • Johan De Walsche (Promotor)
    • Sigrid Heirman (Co-promotor)
    • Nathan De Feyter (Co-promotor)
  • Period:
    • 2021 — 2022  

    • Urbanism & Spatial Planning

    • Master thesis

    • Anton De Kom Universiteit van Suriname