“Commoning” a former neighboorhood shop

The Districts of Brabant and Gaucheret in Schaarbeek, Brussels are split in two by the northern railways. There are a lot of houses of poor quality, an already high and increasing population density, a high level of unemployment, low incomes, low education level and so on. Moreover, due to its location, this part of the city is a transit area for commuters, customers of shops, visitors of prostitution etc. A good part of the population feels abandoned. Too often the problems of the neighbourhood overshadow the potential of the residents. Wijk in actie/Quartier en action changed that. This former neighbourhood shop has been “commoned” by a group of residents of the area. The residents renovated the place and turned it into a community centre where they govern. They organize a repair café, a gift shop, education aid and a place to meet. The place has become the heart of a growing network of solidarity between the residents. BRAL is happy to have supported this initiative as a partner of the Brussels project CitizenDev. As a partner of Commoning Europe, BRAL has made this video in collaboration with Centre Vidéo de Bruxelles and translated it into English.

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