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AKTIEGROEP HET OUDE WESTEN, P.P. HAMMEL, -1970 e.v., West-Kruiskade, Nieuwe Binnenweg e.o., Rotterdam
A 19th-century district, Oude Westen was once characterized by long, narrow streets of jerry-building. In the early 1970s its slow decline was called to a halt when inhabitants together with a number of architects set up an action committee and demanded that the district be renovated and restructured in the interest of its residents. No swathe of demolition then, but renovations, restorations and small-scale redevelopment with rents locals could afford. This process has since been institutionalized as 'urban renewal'. The vitality of this Rotterdam approach received international acclaim; architecture and planning, however, suffered during negotiations, leading to the negative expression 'urban renewal architecture'. Connecting side streets, district facilities and garages below houses have made living conditions more attractive. New-build and various types of renovation, at times retaining only the structural walls, can be found here side by side.