Urban development cycles show that neighborhoods deteriorate when there is a lack of diversity in the forms of assets that residents have to invest in their neighborhood. Temporary settlements attracting pioneers with an abundance of social, cultural and symbolic resources can contribute to a more balanced situation.
Temporary settlements function because they appeal to a variety of groups in society with pioneer energy. This chapter describes the motivation of pioneers and why they are attracted to the Nest!.
Temporary settlements are interesting to pioneers because they offer cheap housing, opportunities to build up a future, opportunities to be creative and do things yourself as well as a lively and inspiring environment and a sense of community. Groups for whom these motives apply include students, artists, migrants, starter families as well as seniors.
Temporary settlements offer experimental and entrepreneurial space and as such are a way to tap into unused talent and resources and to re-channel blocked energy and potential into society. Pioneers have a lot to offer: time, presence, talent, skills, energy, services, art, creativity, ideas and involvement.
A Village in the City
Next to groups like students, artists, migrants and starter families, seniors can also be attracted to temporary settlements, on a part-time basis as an animated place to spend the summer or as a place to find care services embedded in neighborhood structures. What seems to constitute ideal neighborhoods in many people’s minds and dreams is something one could call "a village in the city", something temporary settlements are well equipped to provide.
The settlement as perceived by the different pioneer groups needs to provide enough space for privacy as well as to allow for the freedom to choose the degree of involvement in community activities according to individual interests and preferences. One of the attractions of the temporary settlement is that it is conceived as part of the "real world" and realized inside regular margins, not as an utopia with few links to overall society.