Value in the Neighbourhood (2013)

In February 2013, in collaboration with Ellen Holleman (, Spanton undertook a month-long residency in Poelenburg, a residential district of the city of Zaandam, the Netherlands. The project was entitled: ‘Waarde in de Wijk / Value in the Neighbourhood’ and was part of the Thuisbasis programme of residencies commissioned by Parteon and the city of Zaandam. Spanton lived and worked for the month in the residency flat provided by the commissioners.

Together Holleman and Spanton worked with local people opening up thinking around what is ‘of value’ in Poelenburg.

Much of their thinking and findings are available on the Blog:

This residency is a starting point for more work collaborating with communities and local citizens to find creative ways to explore our urban living needs in these turbulent times.

The Waarde in de Wijk / Value in the Neighbourhood Seminar was held towards the end of the residency; bringing artists, urban designers, architects and cultural producers from the Netherlands and the UK. The seminar was contextualized by Sarah and Ellen’s research around identifying and putting to use existing value in neighbourhoods. The seminar shared practice and research across borders and disciplines; case studies were presented and questions and issues around regeneration, cultural practice and community development were explored.