Maasmechelen, located in the north east of Belgium near Maastricht, is a city of 37.177 inhabitants.
Between 1923 and 1987 mining was the main economic activity in Maasmechelen. The industrial development attracted workers from all over Europe, which explains the numerous international inhabitants.
Maasmechelen’s border location and flourishing mining history have attracted inhabitants from neighbouring Netherlands and Germany, and from as far as Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. More than 22% of the multicultural population still has a foreign nationality and more than 50% of the population has a foreign origin. Maasmechelen is the Flemish city with nearly the lowest taxable income per inhabitant and has, with a rate of 13,13%, the highest unemployment rate in Flanders.
As a social housing company, Maaslands Huis is responsible for the region Maasmechelen and 2 neighbouring cities (Lanaken and Dilsen-Stokkem/Lanklaar) with 68.649 inhabitants in total. We rent 1.971 social houses to families with a low income. As many as 1.434 or 72,75 % of the total amount of houses are located in Maasmechelen. For the elderly (+65), depending on the level of care requirements or/and disabilities, the company rents special needs houses.
The current tenants population, and also the persons on the waiting list, are growing older. Their needs change and demand another approach, focused on sustainable care and well-being within the social context of healthy aging.
This is the main reason for the planning of an inclusive care-living area. Within this new project, a new nursing home with 150 beds, 60 service flats (care environment), 60 service flats for low income tenants and 60 adapted elderly houses will be built in the near future.
Maaslands Huis will undertake the following project through SPIDER;
Extending Independent Living for Older People
Maaslands Huis wants to provide a solution for a number of social issues, such as comfortable and prolonged independent living for the elderly, the socialization of care, lifetime housing, etc.
Studio Dott, an all-round creative agency from Antwerp will design concepts for this future care-living area and the associated care and service offering. Throughout its service design approach, Studio Dott starts from the real needs and wishes of the people. Via design research techniques, the inhabitants of the municipality, the potential residents, as well as their family, relatives and friends are actively involved. People will be observed and questioned individually or they are invited to share their thoughts, concerns and feelings during co-creation workshops.
To find out more about this project please contact Belinda Colombo by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maaslands Huis Service Design Project Update
At the last partner meeting in Brussels in October 2013 Belinda from Maaslands Huis and their service design agency, Studio Dott (formerly Concrete), gave an overview of the current situation regarding the development of the new inclusive care-living area and 60 adapted houses for the elderly in the municipality of Maasmechelen and an update on the progress of the service design project.