Interview with Erik van Hunnik (27-09-2011 09:00) Chairman TU-Noord
What is the goal/purpose of the TU Noord? The TU Noord is an 'action group' (interest group). It wants to preserve the livability of the TU Noord district. Livability in our eyes means, safety (cross the street safely), the presence of green, no exhaust gases, a high level of social security.
What made the spirit of the TU Noord 'action group' to agitate against the developments concern-ing 'The Vries van Heystplantsoen'? The focus was mainly pointed at the spots around the park. The plan for these spots was to create a highly dense urban space, with a lot of housing for students. The 5 storey high building meant for students which was planned next to the science centre should have negative consequences regarding the hortus botanicus in terms of receiving sun light. The park (De Vries van Heystplantsoen') would remain as an oasis within an urban space. But `TU Noord' did not agree with all these plans. Their plan was to expand the park a little bit by closing off the julianalaan (street in front of Bouwkunde) and the mijnbouwstraat (street in front of the science centre). By expanding the park the opportunity to create a route from the architecture building to the hortus botanicus will emerge. The actual plans for this area are to close off the Julianalaan and the mijnbouwstraat becomes a street with traffic into two directions. So this plan enables a closer connection of the faculty of architecture with the park.
How would you describe the park? The park is a unique place within the city. For several years now the nature didn't have any limitations therefore the park got a too wild natural character. A barrier existing out of plantation emerged and therefore a less safe situation occurred. But by giving the park a more open character social security will increase and this will attract more people to the park also. It would by nice as well to create a pond within the park. This will solve the problem of a lack of water storage.
How would you describe the identity of the park? I would consider the park as having a latent talent. It's such a beautiful place and with a few adaptations it will be in the future as well. (Do something to create more space to store water, find a solution to block off the noise which is coming from the Mijnbouwstraat). What kind of function would you suggest for the park? It's hard for me to think of any function. If I have to suggest one I should come up with a pavilion/small restaurant. This will attract people. For creating a safe place we need an 'eye' to constantly watch the area, what should the intervention be in order to constantly let people be involved with the park? You are right if you say that creating a small restaurant won't attract people the whole day long. But in the future there will be a lot of studenthousing next to the park, these students are able to keep an eye on this place. And also by giving the park a more open character less people (young people) will use the park as hangout.