The City Workshop

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This is what we do, this is who we are….(-:
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We already knew that the City Workshop is a great project, that it will fill a big social gap in our local society we also knew. But sometimes it is hard to imagine what happens at a City Workshop: what does it mean, how does it look, how does it work and how many people will benefit from it. Now let us have some very nice You Tube movies about exactly that from our colleagues from the Openbare Werkplaats (public workspace) in Amsterdam  and and much more if you look up “Openbare Werkplaats”.  Openbare Werkplaats Amsterdam and Timmerman Koos thanks! Enjoy watching (-:

YES, WE’RE OFF! On June 11, 2019 we received the letter of approval from the DOEN foundation with the commitment for a substantial financial contribution for The City Workshop. Of course we are truly very happy with this. However, this only covers one third of our budget. In other words: there is still work to be done. In addition to the fact that a financial contribution is of course essential to launch such a project, this says more, much more! This contribution actually says that this is not just a plan that was conceived while drinking a beer on a Heerlens terrace and that we will surely ‘fix’. We have talked a lot about this project and written even more and the promised money is of course wonderful, but this contribution, above all, says that The City Workshop is a well-developed plan and is considered capable of making a substantial positive contribution to the social situation in Heerlen. And that….is really a big compliment! DOEN Foundation: ………. THANKS!

The City Workshop is a crossover  between a Fablab and a classic workshop, a place where you can experience and develop technology, technique and craftmanship. From a 3D printer to wood- and metalworking to horticultural education, the City Workshop is an open area challenging creativity in technology, skills  and sustainable horticultural techniques. Located in an open building with a garden and greenhouse, it is a place where people can express their creativity through craftsmanship. 

The City Workshop is inhabited by local environmental and sustainability organisations collaborating with educational institutions, local businesses and the city council. It’s a sanctuary for exploration, personal development, creativity and collaboration, all within a framework of sustainability. In this place we stimulate our society with sustainable solutions across the board, the environment and the people play a central role in this, as they are inextricably linked to each other. The City Workshop enlarges the resilience of citizens within the community and challenges them to explore and develop hidden talents. The overarching goal here is to create a different mindset and a transition to a safe, durable and social society where everybody equally benefits.


I personally miss an environment where I can lose myself in creativity, a meeting place for like-minded people, young and old, high or low educated, native or migrant. Where all sorts of people can work on individual and/or mutual projects. Where you can teach and learn. It is the fundament of integration. It resembles a Fablab, but it’s also a classical workshop. Next to learning about technology you can also weld, do wood- and metalworking or you can get acquainted with ecological horticultural techniques f.i. concerning food production. It’s a meeting place for a number of organisations, each of them with their own special knowledge contributing to this bigger sustainable goal.  And all this comes together in one big social component: the CHAT CAFE! This is the meeting spot within the City Workshop where equal minded people share and grow their creative ideas.

The necessity?

We are living in turbulent times:  we have to maintain a steady growth rate for our economy, people have to work longer and longer, and more and more people apply for universities and higher education in general. However, at the same time there is a large shortage of technically educated personnel in our labour market, in contrast many people in society are being pushed to the side line because of their inadequate prior education.

One of the reasons why young people do not pursue more practical, technical professions is because they are not very experienced or familiar with this general career direction.  Another reason is because they are of the opinion that a ‘relaxed’ office job pays a lot more. However, technique is something you have to experience, it can be a vehicle for your own development and a very satisfying career path.  And the money is not bad either!

As mentioned before, many people in the labour market are being pushed aside because they do not have the necessary education. Other people might be fed up with their current job or they are looking for further (creative) development outside of work. For these people the City Workshop would be the perfect place to get a fresh start, to orient themselves, or to find new challenges.

Parksjtad in Transition is working hard to achieve this. We would love it if you would join us!

You could start with giving us a like at:

   “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”
Robert Swan, arctic traveller

Author: Remco Wijckmans     17 juni 2018