The city of Genk has fascinated Liesbeth Huybrechts because of the issues it deals with that are relevant for other European cities. It is literally a post-fordist city, because of the Ford factory that closed its doors in 2014 – leaving many people unemployed.
De Andere Markt is a project Liesbeth Huybrechts is involved in, which deals with the future of work in Genk. One of the projects in De Andere Markt is about designing alternative futures of an old coal track in Genk. The initial question from the city was to develop a smart area with an impact on the city and the region. The idea of Liesbeth and the team was to counter this smart dream, by involving (small scale) citizens intiatives in the redevelopment of the coal track. In her presentation she talks about her experiences in involving these initiatives, and the various types of dialogues designers can engage in such as strategic, committing, questioning, agnostic and expressive dialogues.
Read the essay by Liesbeth Huybrechts: Democratic dialogues that make smart cities ‘work’.