Assembling and working together in improving the city

De Stadsgarage (the City Garage) supports Haarlem residents who want to improve their city and turn ideas into reality. Do you have an idea for Haarlem? Please join us! We will get you in touch with other inspiring people. This way, we will all create extraordinary opportunities to collaborate and achieve multiple goals. Our own goal? Together with our partners, we want to turn Haarlem into an even more exciting place.

Got an idea? Join us!

Have you got a solution to an important matter concerning Haarlem, but would you like some help in bringing your plans to fruition? Contact the Stadsgarage and find out what we could achieve together.

Submit your idea

How does it work?

The Stadsgarage is a platform which seeks, discovers and unites a wide variety of enterprising people from Haarlem. We find people who come up with ideas, and support their plans by forming collaborations. This way, people are encouraged to bring their plans for Haarlem to fruition. In order to turn this into a more effective and efficient process, we follow a three-step plan:


Together with the person who came up with the initiative, we will examine the idea and find out who else may be able to play a role in finding the best solution. 


We forge a connection between selected parties, so that they may enter a dialogue that will lead to collaboration agreements. This process is what we call matching.


We aid in expanding the network of the collaborating parties and organize a follow-up meeting.

Urban initiatives

The Stadsgarage adresses ideas that have been brought up by the people from Haarlem. In order to do this, we have already organized three initiative meetings in 2014. Three groups, each group consisting of fifteen Haarlem citizens with a wide variety of backgrounds, have put eighteen major topics on the agenda. At the request of the initiative takers, the Stadsgarage is working on the following causes:

Sociaal Ondernemen

De Stadsgarage werkt samen met het Belgische de Innovatiefabriek, het Engelse CareCoops, de Universiteit van Brighton en de County of Sussex. Met deze partners ontwikkelen we een nieuwe methode die ondernemers helpt om maatschappelijke onderwerpen op een bedrijfsmatige manier aan te pakken, ook wel sociaal ondernemen genoemd.

Het project gaat vanaf juni 2016 van start. In de opstartfase bouwen we een groep van partners op en hebben we onder meer gesprekken met de afdeling Economische Zaken van Haarlem over hoe we de gemeente erbij kunnen betrekken. Het plan van de Stadsgarage was één van de twee voorstellen die de EU eind 2015 heeft geselecteerd uit een groep van meer dan dertig voorstellen.

Old buildings with new purposes

At the participants’ request during previous initiative meetings, the Stadsgarage supports several parties who are searching for new development plans concerning vacant properties. The underlying idea is to come up with new, extraordinary purposes for vacant buildings in Haarlem. This will not only benefit the direct vicinity of such a building, but it may also benefit the neighborhood, the wider urban area, and eventually even the whole city. In February 2015, a preparatory meeting was held with the Central Government Real Estate Agency, the real estate department of the city of Haarlem, potential users of vacant properties and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, that initiated the meeting. Together with Stadsgesprekken (a citizens’ initiative), they have started discussing the future of the Fietsznfabriek in the center of Haarlem. Other projects will be started in the near future.

Sporty neighbourhood

The sporty neighborhood DSS, a amateur soccer club from Haarlem North, strives to be a socially responsible club. DSS has involved the Stadsgarage to join efforts and inspire new, fruitful collaborations between sports clubs and other associations in the neighborhood. This initiative brings twenty-five people from Haarlem North together, who are now working towards their goals in the form of eight new collaborations. This leads to building a stronger sense of social cohesion within these associations, finding new opportunities and tackling urban issues in Haarlem North. The Stadsgarage is overseeing this process and supports the groups in accomplishing their goals. Last October, DSS welcomed two ‘new players’. The amateur soccer club, which is closely involved in receiving the refugees who are currently given shelter in the Koepel building and is organizing a variety of activities, has been welcoming two Syrian amateur soccer players to train with the local soccer players. 

Sixteen joint solar roofs in 2016

The roof of the Seinwezen in the Garenkokers quarter is the first joint solar roof in all of North Holland, and the Fablohal roof at the Ramplaan is the biggest one. Inspired by these accomplishments, the people of these neighborhoods have been working together with the energy cooperation Noorderlicht, which is established in Haarlem North. This project, which is called “Sixteen joint solar roofs in 2016”, was started in the Stadsgarage, and the municipality of Haarlem has joined them in their efforts to achieve that exact goal. In June 2015, the initiative has begun to inspire businesses, sports clubs and other roof owners to join this project by acquiring solar panels for their own roof. During this process, the first project participants have attracted new participants. On November 24th, the roof owners gathered in the Stadsgarage. This meeting has led to further acceleration of the solar roof initiative. Already, new matches are being made between neigborhoods and several roof owners. In 2016, we expect to celebrate many more opening ceremonies with regards to new joint solar roofs.

Neighbours helping neighbours and health-care institutions

‘How can informal neighborly help become a welcome addition to existing activities organized by formal health-care institutions?’ The Stadsgarage is involved in getting health-care institutions in touch with urban neighborhood initiatives so that together they may be able to provide an answer to that question. We have had initial meetings with health-care institutions, the municipality, the neighborly help initiatives in Bosch en Vaart and other neighborhoods, and the Neighborhood Cooperation Duurzaam Garenkokerskwartier.

Operatie Steenbreek

Operatie Steenbreek

Aanpassen aan klimaatverandering. Dat is een hele opgave – waarvan veel mensen misschien denken: echt iets voor de overheid. Voor een deel is dit ook zo (als er nieuwe rioleringen worden aangelegd, als ergens een stuk ruimte vrij komt). Maar elke inwoner van Haarlem kan er ook wat aan doen: door je tuin niet te verharden. En is die verhard, haal de stenen eruit. Lever je tegel in bij een tuincentrum en je krijgt er een plant voor terug! De Stadsgarage ondersteunt de landelijke actie Steenbreek waaraan Haarlem gaat meedoen. In de HRLM van januari 2016 staat een column hierover.