De Feyter / Baukultur in a superdiverse society

Baukultur in a superdiverse society design-driven participatory action research in the case of the Ten Eekhovelei

Authors: Nathan De Feyter; Johan De Walsche, prof. dr. ir.arch., University of Antwerp; Thomas Vanoutrive, prof. dr., University of Antwerp; Marleen Goethals, University of Antwerp

Supervisors: Johan De Walsche, prof. dr. ir.arch., University of Antwerp

Research stage: PhD, early stage

Category: Extended abstract


This paper documents the ongoing research on the tension that might occur between the European policy discourse about Baukultur, suggesting the possibility of a unifying concept on the one hand, and the reality of - and theory-building about – a superdiverse society. The research aims (i) to investigate the tension between the concept of ‘Baukultur’ in the reality of a superdiverse society (ii) to reveal a knowledge gap in urban development policy when it comes to vulnerable neighbourhoods (iii) to explore up to which extent a better insight into spatial aspects related to superdiversity, provides solid ground for recalibrating policy about Baukultur to prevent gentrification. To do so, the research relies on a Design-Driven Participatory Action Research (DD-PAR) methodology, in rapidly transforming vulnerable neighbourhoods with shifting building cultures. The concept of a subjective atlas is proposed as an instrument for DD-PAR, to comprehend the diversity of everyday living cultures. This paper reports on the case of Ten Eekovelei in Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium. The study starts revealing patterns that testify to the richness of spatial practices and their spatial translations present in the Ten Eekhovelei. The results can be used to change our way of conceiving urban neighbourhoods and the spatial practices of our superdiverse day-to-day realities.

Keywords: Superdiversity, Baukultur, Participatory, Street, Action resea