A liveable city

The Nieuwe Vaart association contacted the Science Shop out of frustration with the early municipality plans with the realisation of an Eilandenboulevard. During the process of writing the research plan for the Science Shop project, the municipality changed their approach and the question how to be taken seriously by the municipality became superfluous.

The student research has provided directions for the management and planning (design) of a sloping green quay in the city centre of Amsterdam and was used as input for the Science Shop report. This green quay is part of a reconstruction of the Kattenburgerplein, Kattenburgergracht, Oostenburgergracht and Wittenburgergracht. Focus was a ‘design’ in which the green quay is experienced as part of the public space, while at the same time the privacy of the canal boat owners is guaranteed and the area is privately managed.

Student surveys have yielded a number of (subtle) insights that are of interest for further decision-making. Green quays with houseboats happen to be a rarity in Amsterdam. The preservation of the green quay can be seen as an important achievement of the protesting residents. Key challenge was to design a green quay that is experienced as part of the public space but is not public accessible by trespassers. The student research elaborates that an ecological interpretation of the slope design can contribute to the communal support for self-maintenance and use by the houseboat residents. Information, communication, design and materialization are of decisive influence in experiencing a place as part of the public space.

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Dino Johannes (Hogeschool Rotterdam).