Inspiring community: Freestate SWOMP

Freestate SWOMP is a squatting community, a “transition town”, a living protest against homelessness, and a creative way to prepare for a sustainable future. It is in Pijp, Amsterdam, and an excellent example of tiny trailers used in community.


My friends Kassia and Sky recently visited this unique place, originally an abandoned school that was demolished against the wishes of the neighborhood, according to EarthFirst UK.

Four travel trailers were brought into the empty lot and a structure was built around them (to make it more difficult for police to evict the squatters). Solar panels were set up, water was tapped into, permaculture gardens began to grow, and it was declared a free state. A straw bale house is currently being built on the lot, in keeping with the carbon-neutral attitude of the residents.


SWOMP (in Dutch) is an acronym for Slimme Woonwagenbewoners Op Mooie Plekjes and roughly translates to Smart Wagon-people on Beautiful Places. Because the local residents are largely supportive of the project, it may take a long time for bureaucratic forces to shut it down. In the words of one SWOMPer, “It’s just a logical step to take in a time like this.”

You can check in on their progress on their website, loosely translated to English here.

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Inspiration Station: Freestate SWOMP and Thoughts on Communal Living « F that S
06/19/2011 at 7:02 am

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michael stokes 09/25/2012 at 2:04 am

I am an architect designer and find your site brilliant!
Its about time like minded people got together!
Myself and my girlfriend currently live in an old 138sq ft motor home by choice!
At the time living at the rear of a chapel we are working on converting to residential use or selling on (but not for us to live in!) its at New York UK!
We love the small home and the freedom it gives us!
Hope to be in contact with you people out there..need any ideas? contact me!

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