Downtown Rotterdam

Club Cool

Rotterdam doesn’t have much space but it does need a lot of housing. That means densification. In the middle of…

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Amstelstation Amsterdam

Waiting space becomes waiting place

WeLoveTheCity has untangled the maze of infrastructure around Amstel Station. Pedestrians walk across the green and car-free station square to…

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Hamburg, London, Rome

Smarticipate

WeLoveTheCity is also engaged in the development of tools for better cities. Smarticipate is a striking example of this. The…

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Cultural Estates Hilversum

Serenity in the Randstad

City dwellers crave for peace, space and nature, but unfortunately it cannot cost a penny. Many estates have therefore the…

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Bossche Stadsdelta 's-Hertogenbosch

Forever young

‘s-Hertogenbosch is a water city. The Bossche Stadsdelta is the place where the Dommel, Aa, Binnendieze and Zuid-Willemsvaart flow together…

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Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa

Inclusive densification

Affordable housing is a universal fundamental right. But why is it still a global problem? More and more working Dutch…

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Harbour Quarter Deventer

The Flemish Approach

Everyone knows: if you pass the old silos by the sluice, you are really in Deventer. Here, WeLoveTheCity introduced The…

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Cromhoff and Twekkelerveld Enschede

Talent for Twente

After Amsterdam, Enschede is home to the largest and most diverse range of educational and knowledge institutions. The city is…

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Paasbos Nijkerk

Co-creation voor doers

WeLoveTheCity ordered 100 empty ‘Paasboxes’. Residents of Paasbos in Nijkerk drew, taped and wrote their wishes and ideas for the…

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Station Area Delft Campus

Innovative playground

Stationsgebied Delft Campus is an integral part of Schieoevers Noord and forms the missing link between Kabeldistrict, Voorhof, Tanthof and…

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Watertorenpark Hengelo

A Vondelpark in miniature

It was an epic battle but it worked: Watertower Park Hengelo is complete! “Over the cycle highway F35 towards the…

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Kolenkitbuurt Amsterdam

Reclaiming the street

Amsterdam West holds a special place in our hearts. It began with Mercatorplaza on the A10 West ring road. Together…

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Urban Land Swap Winterswijk

The best city centre

In 1998, Andries Geerse drew up the structural plan for the historic centre of Woerden, which was proclaimed the best…

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Waalsprong Nijmegen

Plant Your Flag

WeLoveTheCity believes that the energy transition will proceed more quickly if you give residents and entrepreneurs the space to implement…

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The Village Arnhem

Smart & Slow

Since Dutch TV presentator Mies Bouwman’s crowd funding action in 1962, Het Dorp represents the emancipation of people with disabilities.…

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Overview

Reclaiming the street

Reclaiming the street

Amsterdam West holds a special place in our hearts. It began with Mercatorplaza on the A10 West ring road. Together with local residents, we achieved the impossible: a spectacular swimming pool on the site where housing was planned. With thanks to Olympic swimming champion Erica Terpstra, who helped us to achieve this!

Subsequently, together with Luc Vrolijks (Urhahn Urban Design) and Guido Wallagh (De Lijn/INBO), we made the workbook Future vision Parkstad: More Park + More City. An outline strategy that, to this day, guides the renewal of 45,000 homes in the Western Garden Cities.

The renewal of the Kolenkit neighbourhood had the highest priority. In 2003, it was the poorest neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Renewal is often at the expense of existing residents, also called ‘gentrification’. Not so in the Kolenkitbuurt, where residents were given a neighbourhood guarantee. If their house was about to be demolished, residents would get an affordable and sustainable alternative within walking distance. And the housing corporations, municipality and WeLoveTheCity have kept their word. The last residents with a neighbourhood guarantee moved into their new homes in 2018.

“Before, this was a ghetto, a terrible word, but it was applicable. Now the houses are nice and there is a much better mix of people. Everyone enjoys living here.”

Ruud van Buren, chairman of the residents’ platform Kolenkitbuurt in Parool newspaper (2019)

More than 600 homes have been renovated, 1,000 demolished and 1,850 new homes built. The original urban development structure by Cornelis van Eesteren (1935) lends itself perfectly to a gradual ‘block by block’ approach. This has the advantage that not only the spatial but also the social network remains intact. The architecture builds a bridge between ‘my home’ and ‘our street’. The ‘encroachment’, the transitional area between private and public, challenges residents to reclaim public space from the anonymity of the big city. This succeeds, the Kolenkitters feel safe and are proud to receive guests.

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