Marion, Thibaut and Arthur, three students from Maastricht University are winners of the We Build this City contest. This contest has been set up to stimulate social projects that bring people together. What do they have to say about their project and how will they spend their prize-money?
Growing up with farm animals around is not something that all children have the luxury to have. In our society we become increasingly more alienated with where our food is grown or raised, to the extent that we forget to question where our food comes from. To care about our planet, we first need to connect to nature. This starts by being outdoors and working with plants and animals.
This is why we, Marion, Thibaut and Arthur, three students living in Mariaberg, had the idea of building a chicken coop in our neighbourhood. By having a communal project with living animals, we aim to increase social cohesion and sustainability in our neighbourhood. Together with volunteers we will share the responsibilities of cleaning and maintaining the coop, distributing the eggs, feeding and taking care of the chickens. The neighbourhood is overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the project as shown by the numerous signatures collected in support of the project. People in our street often ask us when the chickens are coming.
The chicken coop will hold 10-15 chickens rescued from industrial farming. On the same field, there is also a communal vegetable garden that we will refurbish. Our goal is to use this urban farm as a platform to bring sustainability in the neighbourhood. We want to organize workshops on sustainability and biodiversity, a farmer’s market, picnics on the field and other social gatherings.
Winning the We Build This City contest organized by Code 043 will allow the chicken coop to see the light of day. We can now buy the necessary materials to build and maintain the coop. Also, we will use the contest money to organize building days with neighbours as we want the project to be communal from the start. We believe that this urban farm could be replicated in other neighbourhoods and cities. After months of preparation, we are excited to finally get started with the building of the coop!
Permits are granted. Funds are secured. Mariaberg, here comes your chicken coop!
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