URBEGO hits Rotterdam
After successfully presenting the result of the “StandBYlding” workshop, focusing on city-making strategies in two districts in the city of Rotterdam, during The Hague Housing Conference 2.0, URBEGO continues with strengthening its collaboration with local partners. The URBEGO cohort based in The Netherlands was invited by Alliantie West-Kruiskade – the local partner of URBEGO for this workshop – to provide an elaborated presentation of the analysis and the recommendation for the future of West-Kruiskade, an important urban artery in Oude Westen, Rotterdam. West-Kruiskade is has been in the center of attention by local architects, planners and decision-makers in the last decades and it was also the main case study area during the URBEGO workshop, earlier in February this year.
The post-workshop presentation focused on several small, micro and macro level urban interventions aimed to improve the urban tissue of the area and enhance the cultural recognition of the district as inseparable part of the city center. The recommendations URBEGO proposed aimed to re-utilise the cultural and social assets in the neighborhood by low-cost and affordable place-making strategies, such as introducing free Wi-Fi in the parks and public spaces, experimenting with alternative transport and accessibility guidance (e.g. introducing new bike lanes, interactive design of tram stops), city-marketing strategies attractive for young generations, and other types of social innovation aimed to improve the urban tissue.
The most intriguing element of the proposed point of actions referred to the experimental removal of the fence of Wijkpark - the biggest green space in the area. The audience of the post-workshop presentation – experts from the local government and members of the local neighborhood alliance - shared the enthusiasm of UBREGO members and contributed to a great discussion.
The received feedback illustrated the importance of having additional point of view by external advisors, such as the young voice of URBEGO, into stalled urban planning processes. The presentation, which was complimented as being ‘inspiring’ by some of the audience members, seized the opportunity to suggest a further agenda on the internal communication and action issues of the Allitante West-Kruiskade and the local municipality.
The added value of the presentation showed the importance of bringing external counseling into relatively congested urban planning solutions. In an area which has already benefited a lot from the presence of strong negotiators, such as the West-Kruiskade Alliance, the logical step would be to invest in enhancing the urban network and open up to cultural networking, in order to improve the visibility, connectivity and dynamic of the discussed case study. The cohort of the URBEGO Rotterdam is looking further for the next actions points and commitments that has to be done and more than willing to assist in prospective undertakings in West-Kruiskade area.
While the “StandBYlding Rotterdam” workshop and the post-workshop presentation are now in the recent history, we at URBEGO will maintain to bring together exchanges of know how and expertise from various disciplines related to urban development and design in our quest to give a platform for engagement of new generations sharing a passion for the better future of cities.