The vereniging, de Nieuwe Meent, is to be the collective legal entity responsible for both the construction of the building and its subsequent management. We will adopt the widely used cooperative principles (Rochdale Principles) but with some specifics mainly inspired by Soweto’s model: the association will indefinitely remain the owner of the building, with the statutes explicitly forbidding the sale of the whole or parts of the building.
Individuals or entities who rent space from dNM will become members of the association, giving them complete democratic control over their common property. The members have all official decision making powers which are not assigned by law to the Board.
The members of the association will not own shares of the property, but will have exclusive usage rights as tenants. This protects members from commercialisation, the association from takeover, and the neighbourhood from gentrification.
The residents of the independent units and living groups will build one community together and strive to include as many people from outside the building as possible. Monthly meetings will be open to all who are participating in activities around the cooperative.
The most important organ of the association which brings together tenants, other users of the building, and neighbours to form work groups and take decisions by consensus.
The tenants and legal members of the association. The Meentraad will approve and carry out decisions based on the outcome of the Meentvergadering.
A board of directors appointed by the Meentraad, as required of a Dutch vereniging. Most powers are delegated as much as possible to self-organized committees of members.
External advisors appointed by the Meentvergadering, such as the original designers of the building, affiliated housing organisations, public officials or former residents.
The current core group of dNM organizers consists of people who have already been involved in self-built and self-managed co-housing projects and who work for social cohesion initiatives in their neighbourhoods and across the city. We have come together from the extended network around Soweto’s NieuwLand project. While building upon that knowledge and experience, we want to go much further and grow a much larger community.
Many of us are researchers and experienced practitioners in sustainability, circularity, community-building and urban policy. Others are creative and cultural professionals invested in citizen-led, non-commercial, politically progressive and socially transformative spaces of Amsterdam. Most of us are part of civil society movements transforming our society through collective action.
Since the very beginning, we have been accompanied by a strong design team lead by Time to Access and Roel van der Zeeuw Architecten, 3 independent young professionals with wide expertise in housing, sustainability, co-design and zelfbouw. The external consultants involved in the project also have lots of knowledge and experience to add to this.