Maastricht is a picture perfect city that, according to Dutch people who are not from the south, makes you feels like you are on vacation. On 28 May, a group of 15 City Makers from all over Holland and Europe discovered that Maastricht really has much more to offer than its cute streets, fantastic environment, and Burgundian feeling as they explored the city by bike.

Let’s take a closer look at the initiatives through photo’s and tweets:

© Ellen Boon

The city expedition to Maastricht was all about design, community building and co-creation. It started off at Designday Maastricht where city makers connected with city makers from Maastricht-LAB. Maastricht-LAB was founded in 2012 by the municipality of Maastricht, to give a new impulse to the urban (re)development of the City:

“Maastricht-LAB is the instrument of the city which focuses on the search for new forms of urban development.” – Maastricht-LAB

After an introduction at Designday Maastricht and an overview of the newest insights and trends by trendwatcher Sanne Konings, the city makers left for a tour to explore Maastricht by bike.

First stop: Caracola

© Ellen boon

Caracola

Caracola is an organisation that fights against vacant properties by creating affordable workspaces for small entrepreneurs in the field of art, culture or social entrepreneurship. This is a big difference when existing property management is the starting point of interconnection and cross-fertilization. At Caracola you cannot only rent a workplace, but you become part of a network where everyone’s own expertise contributes to the whole.

“The thing is that we can only rent this building for two years, that makes it very hard to build a solid community. We hope that the municipality will extend the contract.” – Bart Dekker

The Green Carpet

“One integrated plan for city and the motorway.” – Makelaars van de Tussentijd

Makelaars van de Tussentijd (Real estate agents for the meantime) presented their plan to turn the space on top of the A2 tunnel into a green carpet. This green carpet will make Maastricht easily accessible and create a smooth flow of traffic. At the same time, it will present new opportunities for upgrading adjacent neighbourhoods by improving traffic safety and quality of life in this area.

Temporama

© Ellen BoonTemporary Lane revitalizes empty buildings in city centers. Not with one pop-up, but by a concatenation of several temporary shops where the focus is on a Euregional range of products. It works as an urban defibrillator: a boost to correct the (temporary) failure in the street and to get the flow going again, with positive and far-reaching results for both city residents, visitors and shop owners.

“Little brands that normally would only have success in Belgium or Germany can now sell their products on Dutch ground.”- Christiaan Kastrops

 

Belvédère area

In the Belvédère area in Maastricht, the group of city makers visited several places such as Vredesteinterrein, Gashouder, Frontenpark and Sphinxkwartier. These are all examples of urban area development. The municipality of Maastricht wants to make this an international, vibrant city district with a 24-hour culture and knowledge economy. As you can see from the picture there is a lot of work to do, but the plans are big and the first steps have been made.

All together, the City Makers in Maastricht had kind of a packed programm, but it was a very inspiring one. Maastricht proved to be a vibrant city, with a lot of initiatives working on urban development. If you wasn’t convinced to travel to Maastricht already, it definitely is worth the trip!

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