Archive / Handboek voor de Stadswildernis

Nr. 514 / 2011 / The Netherlands

Handboek voor de Stadswildernis

Survival guide for living without a house in the fringes of Dutch cities


Doris Denekamp, Noah Venezia


Handboek voor de Stadswildernis is a guide for survival in the fringes of Dutch cities. The handbook contains sections like Sleeping & Shelter; Food; Equipment; Clothing; Washing; Sickness; Emergencies & Services. The book also provides a guide for edible city weeds: a short description of the plant, the location where it can be found and how it should be cooked. All the information, tips and tricks in the book is based on a series of interviews with homeless people that have developed similar strategies for survival. Through their practices of recycling, reclaiming the surplus of the food industry and their use of local, informal economies, they are developing useful alternatives for our wasteful society.


The Netherlands


To validate and distribute the knowledge of people living without a regular home.
To help others living in similar situations or those who are looking for an alternative to the dominant practise of waste and extravagance.
To investigate the possibility of a life off the grid in a densely populated area of the Netherlands.

Beneficial outcomes

Knowledge of those living without regular homes is distributed validating the way of life of people on the fringes of society whilst also giving them a voice. This allows a better insight into this world helping to prevent false assumptions and prejudice from outside.
The information was widely distributed through the different homeless peoples' newspapers so people had easy access to these tips and tricks for use in their daily lives.

Maintained by

Handboek of de Stadswildernis was published by the Dutch Art Institute in 2011 as part of DAI Publications. The book was produced in close collaboration with Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem and the designer Noah Venezia. Distributed by several book stores like 'De Rooie Rat' in Utrecht, 'Fort van Sjakoo' in Amsterdam and 'Printroom' in Rotterdam as well as by Doris Denekamp through her website.


People without regular homes, people interested in recycling, re-using the surplus of the food industry, eating wild plants and other critical practices. And people who aim to get a deeper understanding of what it means to live in the fringes of society, both in the Netherlands and the US and Brazil.