interactions among residents and users of Noordplein


Since January 2015 our “Oude Noord” team has been working on the Noordplein development to make it a more attractive and better-utilized public space.

Despite its location, less than 10 minutes walking from Rotterdam Centraal, next to the Rotte river and its large area, the Noordplein is usually empty and used just as a crossing route between the shopping streets Noordmolenstraat and Zwaanshals and the river side.

Besides its physical characteristics, the stimulating multicultural environment of the neighborhood and the enthusiastic spirit of the people indicated for our team the high potential of the plein to become a pleasant public place for Oude Noord or even whole Rotterdam.

On the 21st of February we conducted the first consultation event of our place-making activity. We had prepared for all event details, including advertising in advance, inviting residents and identified key stakeholders, preparing the venue in Noordplein itself and the two-hour program, in which we discussed with the participants problems they find in the plein and how they would envision the plein in the future.

On the consultation day itself we had to deviate from our original plan and implement our plan B due to bad weather conditions. We needed to move to an in-doors location, the community center next to the plein and conduct our consultation there. This meant unfortunately less participants because we are not as visible or accessible as we would have been in the open-space of Noordplein. But we somehow managed to mitigate this, by dividing our group into two: one group waiting for visitors in-doors and the other walking in the plein and gathering interested pedestrians ideas. Moreover, we placed a banner with a big sign and decorations on the façade of the community center to attract pedestrians.

In the end, the event was a great experience for us; we learned a lot from it and most importantly we were able to gather many ideas and visions of participants from different age groups and income levels. And based on the request of some participants, a second event was planned two days later as a continuation of the consultation, in which more ideas were generated.
From the input of all the participants ideas we tried to formulate a common vision, objectives and priority projects for the Noordplein:

Four objectives: “Facilitate and promote various economic activities, collaborations and new linkages between stakeholders, stimulate diverse interactions between residents and non-residents of various backgrounds and create a clean, eco-friendly environment”

And six projects: “Noordplein Themamarkt, Temporary kiosks, Water recreational activities on the Rotte river, Landscaping of the plein, Weekend shows and Sports tables”.

After prioritizing the projects based on feasibility criteria and stakeholder commitment, we are presenting to the public. Finally, revising the proposed projects according to the people’s feedback, we hope to have helped the enthusiastic community of Noordplein take the first steps towards realizing their “Dream Noordplein”.

[ D. Tawakol; E. Kusparyati; M. Kiley; R. Cahyono; O. Arango ]
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