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L200 - A hybrid urban living lab
URL: http://langstrasse200.ch
Start date: May 2018
See also: projects

The L200 space in Zurich


NetHood is part of the L200 project (tentative name), which aims to create a hybrid urban living lab in a central neighborhood of Zurich, by responding to several local needs such as a) to meet fellow neighbors in a common space, b) to promote local shops, ateliers and initiatives, c) to network people, activities and places in both analogue and digital forms, and d) to facilitate collective learning processes on various topics.

Expectations to succeed in providing for these needs are reinforced by the advantage of a very central location. L200 is located at the heart of Zurich, in Kreis 5, in one of the busiest and most urbane streets of the city namely Langstrasse, which connects two districts (4 and 5) with high quality urban life. It is in close proximity to many active urban nodes including the newly built cultural center Kosmos, the Riffraff cinema, and the convivial Josefstrasse and Limmatplatz.

L200 has an area of 75 sqm that may be flexibly organized for various uses throughout the day. Given its location, the rent of L200 matches the market prices, and this requires careful organization to maintain the non-profit character of the initiatives that are part of it, while at the same time become a truly open and diverse hybrid space. The selected approach is to take advantage of technological tools that will allow the efficient and flexible management of the space as a commons, ranging from co-working and food services during the day, to a wide variety of gatherings and events during the evenings, open to the creativity, needs and political demands of not only the organizations involved, but of all the residents of the neighbourhood.

From the first days of its operation there are several types of activities already ready to bootstrap, on behalf of NetHood, that include participatory processes (project PARLA), self-organized learning (project Openki.net), cooperative housing and sustainable urban living principles (project o500), hands-on DIY networking workshops (project MAZI), and more. The role of technology will be central not only for the challenging coordination needs, but also for building L200's identity and memory, and for encoding some key design choices at different levels, to facilitate the replication of this model in other locations.