And before you know it, you’re a tour guide and you find yourself in a coach packed with aspiring Tiny House residents and councilors from the municipality of Lisse. What a fun experience! About 40 people visited the BouwEXPO Tiny Housing in Almere and the Tiny House village in Alkmaar. While we were on the road we had time to do a Tiny House quiz and a Q&A session. We had good weather, excited people and the working group Participation of Lisse organized the day perfectly. In this blog you’ll find a report on the ins and outs of this road trip.
On the 12th of April the working group Participation from Lisse council had organized a meeting for residents of Lisse with an interest in living in a Tiny House. More than 150 people visited the information market and listened to presentations by Jacqueline Tellinga and Marjolein in het Klein. The working group wants to support enthusiasts that are organized into an initiative group and during this meeting people had the opportunity to sign up for this initiative group and a Tiny House road trip. About 35 people signed up and on the 10th of May they were waiting at the town hall to get on the bus, together with joining members of the municipality.
I had the honor of being the Tiny House tour guide for this road trip. This was so much fun to do! While we were on our way to the first stop in Almere, the participants got to ask questions about anything concerning Tiny Houses. One of the concerns was decluttering: how do you start? And what to do with the stuff that has emotional value? With the mike in my hand I did my best to answer all the questions while trying to keep my balance standing next to the driver.
When we arrived at Almere Poort, we were welcomed by three guides of the BouwEXPO Tiny Housing. We did a tour in three groups around the Tiny House village and two other ‘small living’ projects in the area. We also walked by the Tiny House of Conny Brak that is built in between the regular houses in the Homerus quarter. The design of Conny’s architects didn’t win a place in the Tiny House design contest and therefore it didn’t receive a spot in the BouwEXPO, so Conny bought her own lot in a nearby street. This way she gets to live in her Tiny House after all. Almere is a great example of the many possibilities of small architecture in an urban environment.
While the participants got back on the bus, I handed out a Tiny House quiz for them to take while going back to Alkmaar. I came up with eleven questions about Tiny Housing and was curious to see how many they got right. But before we revealed the results, we visited Tiny House Village Alkmaar. This is a totally different project from the BouwEXPO; a citizens’ initiative like the one they aspire to in Lisse. The area is greener, the houses are off grid and the residents form more of a community. My impression was that our visitors were more enthusiastic about this type of Tiny House project. A few of my neighbors were working in their gardens and waved at the group. I told them about our project and everyone got to have a look in my own Tiny House. Luckily we had good weather because my house couldn’t fit everyone at once ;)
About 45 minutes later we headed back to the bus for the road back to Lisse and the announcement of the winners of a beautiful book about Lisse.
By evening we arrived at city hall, from where everyone went back to their house filled with Tiny House inspiration. Deputy chairman of the board Guus Mesman looks back on a good day: ‘People got the chance to have an idea of what living in a Tiny House actually entails and what different shapes and sizes there are. It became clear that you need to have the same mindset and feel togetherness. On the 14th of June we will continue this project with those genuinely interested. But it was definitely a successful day.’ And I? I had a really fun day and I am confident that there will be a location for Tiny Houses in Lisse. As a citizens’ initiative, like it should be. Lisse understands this and takes on a facilitating role. Other municipalities could and should take this as an example. If you ask me, they deserve a big thumbs up for their approach. Go Lisse, on your way to Tiny Houses!
Many thanks to Arnold Korporaal for providing me with the report of the roadtrip that I used as basis for this blog, and to Sven van der Vlugt for the beautiful pictures.