Radical plans for Haarlem

19 Oct 2011

Strong pairing Joep van der Veen and Tom Bokkers selected winners of Ymere Nai Prize

The plan CHAINREACTION created by a multi-disciplinary team led by Joep van der Veen and Tom Bokkers has been selected winner of the bi-annual Ymere Nai Prize. CHAINREACTION gives an answer to how the city of Haarlem can develop itself as an essential part of the Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam and carefully delineates East Haarlem's (Haarlem-Oost) role in this scenario.

Ymere and the Dutch Architecture Institute (NAi) requested a development strategy that addresses this district's urgent spatial and socio-economic issues. By utilising and affirming the existing qualities and assets of the district with a progressive series of interventions, the current negative spiral is reversed, and the area's potential is fully realised. The winning team includes Martijn van der Krogt (concept developer, Buro Hapklare Brokken / Greenpeace), Aart Breedt Bruijn (social geographer & traffic expert, Municipality of Amsterdam) and Michiel Jansen Klomp (financial analyst, ASR Real Estate).

Government Advisor on Infrastructure Ton Venhoeven led the jury, who described their collective appreciation for ‘the integrated approach that reflects the need to work in small steps and with different actions within the development area that mutually reinforcing’. According to the jury’s report: “The team has an eye for the location and context of Haarlem East, as well as the character of the region. One of the most positive aspects of their proposal is that it does not regulate more than necessary. The plan creates room for future developments by omitting the generic division of residential environments.”

CHAINREACTION takes into account the wide variety of people in Haarlem East and avoids massive demolition and construction. The picturesque pre-war neighbourhoods will be upgraded to ‘downtown-east’. Parts of the social housing complexes will be sold to create a better social balance. The Waarderpolder area will be transformed into a mixed-use work and residential environment. Water and green pockets will receive a boost in quality, and by developing the area’s entrances at dense urban centres, the image of the surrounding context will also be enhanced. Investments in green, blue, open space, infrastructure and public transport will lead to greater public appreciation and an increase in property values.

Key Facts

Urban design

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