UrbanCommunity Conversation with Mieke Elzenga from LiberTerra Geestmerambacht / Liberta Care Foundation
Learn about LiberTerra’s experiments in community building in the Geestmerambacht nature reserve in Koedijk and previous work supporting young refugees in The Netherlands and Dutch youngsters involved in criminality with time-out projects. Tiny projects that grew from asking the local council, "What do you need?"
LiberTerra is a non-profit organization that focuses on community building and social integration. One of their most notable projects is their work in the Geestmerambacht nature reserve in Koedijk, where they have been experimenting with community-building techniques. They have also been working with young refugees in the Netherlands, as well as Dutch youth involved in criminal activities.
LiberTerra's approach to community building is centered around asking the local council and community members what they need, and then working together to make it happen. This approach has led to the development of many tiny projects that have grown into larger initiatives. For example, in the Geestmerambacht nature reserve, LiberTerra has been working to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly community by building communal gardens, composting areas, and green spaces, which is happening in a transformed farmyard.
The project has open days to inspire citizens, authorities and entrepreneurs to build in a sustainable way and to develop the plot in a nature inclusive and climate adaptive way. The aim is to cooperate with citizens and other stakeholders to create more sustainable projects with community-led initiatives, by showing what people can do themselves when they cooperate together.
Overall, LiberTerra's work is focused on creating more sustainable, resilient, and integrated communities. The hardest is to find land and to change the land use. LiberTerra help communities to negotiate with authorities about reuse of the land and how to add social and ecological value. They believe that by working together and focusing on the needs of the community and earth, they can create a better future for everyone.
- About our guest speaker:
Mieke Elzenga has been a Social Entrepreneur since 1982 in the Netherlands and Czech Republic. She has worked in several organizations for Welfare and Healthcare in operation, staff, and management. She likes to create new services and products that supports people to be active in the regeneration of our planet and in personal development. With her organization Liberta Care Foundation (NL) she supported Dutch youngsters involved in criminality, with time-out projects. Later collaborating with young refugees in NL. She is the founder of LiberTerra; an integral concept of ‘eco-communities which supports authorities by issues like climate change and biobased building’. She is currently part of ECOLISE Council and one of its two co-presidents.
- About the UrbanCommunity for Sustainable and Just Cities
This is the 2nd stage of the UrbanA project, an academic project ECOLISE and some of its partners led from 2019 till 2021. There is an associated Community of Practice space on LinkedIn to assist people learn more about creating Sustainable and Just Cities. The list of earlier Community Converstations (2019-2021) is on the wiki / Knowledge Commons.