The quality of life in the village of Veltem-Beisem is largely related to the quality of the local networks that can be developed between citizens that take social and cultural initiatives. An inquiry round with citizens on the urban and rural development plan of the Governmental Spatial Implementation Cell shows that villagers mainly need local meeting space, meeting locations and local culinary facilities. During the InspirHerent workshops in Herent in November '19, various groups of citizens shared their concerns about the lack of space for developing small-scale socio-economic initiatives. The No Food To Waste group is looking for a place where they can sell their goods, the Neighborhood Watch working group is looking for a flexible space to organize meetings, the Mobility working group wants to further expand the concept of shared cars within the village.

Many villagers want to create space for local talent, while simultanuously preserving the ethos that characterizes the community of Veltem-Beisem: the pride for our village and the strong will to connect villagers through various initiatives. There is a need for a clear socio-economic and socio-cultural profile of the village itself. Collaboration between public and private actors, cooperatives and non-profit organizations is imperative, in which the municipal government can play an important facilitating role.

Giving space to local talent first and foremost requires offering a setting in which people can meet to exchange products and ideas. It should be a space for experimentation that does not directly involve commitment or has to result in predefined outcomes. A decor provides a pleasant and affordable form of shelter, in which creative entrepreneurs can grow at their own pace and in which innovative ideas can mature until they are ready to fly on their own. 

With this perspective in mind, a number of villagers of Veltem-Beisem joined forces. The result is Townsquare13, which offers an attractively located, multifunctional space at the intersection of social encounters, sustainable entrepreneurship and creative, crafty, socio-cultural experiment.

Townsquare13 actively contributes to strengthening the social, cultural and economic fabric of the village Veltem-Beisem. At least, that is our ambition. 

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