Timothy J. Duin
THE TRANSFORMATION OF A CITYCENTER
Re-vitalising inner cities
The municipality of Zoetermeer has asked Delft University of Technology to think about the inner city of Zoetermeer. Zoetermeer is one of the 1970s´ New towns with a shopping area developed mid-80. The large-scale, the seperation of functions and its effects no longer meet the needs of our time. This means that the existing inner city will be transformed.
Some of the problems in the current situation id the fact that the inner city of Zoetermeer is situated as an island between large-scale infrastructures surrounded by residential areas. Strong contrasts determine the image. The accessibility from the districts is limited, there is little consistency with the present more close to the centre and the old ribbon, the centre has to deal with back sides of buildings along the edges. The centre is located six meters above groundlevel below which parts used for parking. Upper and underworld do not work together, entrees of the garages ae placed illogical and everything is very obscure.
Realizing the ambitions will require considerable effort. The Master Plan 2025 served as the guideline in this. A new spatial structure will provide a basis for taking difficult decisions on infrastructure and spatial layout for the town.
By shifting the attention from the existing shopping street to the Europaweg, we tend to create a new structure for the city of Zoetermeer. By creating a much more divers program, everyone can start finding their own space, position within the city. It is a trigger for economical development and creates vitality in the region. Placing the traffic underground takes away an existing barrier in the city and creates an area free for new connections and green. The new green landscape completes the triangular form of the citycenter of Zoetermeer. The surrounding areas remain well connected with the citycenter, thanks to the green accessible border.
By creating a dynamic architectural structure, the buildings will interact with the surroundings.