Heerlen city centre analysis

In 2016, the municipality of Heerlen worked on an actualisation of the centre plan, called ‘Integrale Centrumvisie’ (ICV). This document should provide guidelines for development of the city centre on spatial, programmatical, cultural and economical aspects. But what actually is the centre of Heerlen, a post-industrial city? Where does it start and end, or in other words: are there different interpretations of the city centre dependent of what one expects to find or is looking for? What’s specific for the centre of Heerlen and how does it relate to its surroundings?

The input gained through this project will be used in the further development of the centre of Heerlen, by means of questioning the definitions within the ICV and adding valuable insights to it.

Excerpt from atlas Dear Heerlen

“Heerlen needs no more managers, it needs makers. And moreover, it needs trust: trust between politicians and civil servants, trust in the makers, the creators, the entrepreneurs and trust in citizens in general. At this point something will start to emerge and there might happen something unexpected again, just as it did in the past. Through making, experimenting and sometimes failing, there might be a moment that the the miner will be proud again of the identity of his city and he might even lower his arm to have a look at what’s happening in it. Fences will disappear with the help of new technology, public space becomes public again and the makers have space to make. A mural becomes an icon, an empty building, now an eyesore, will become a new market hall. Connections between the interesting poles will be realised, whether they are in- or outside the former city centre, within a city that is not (physically) shrinking but rather changing into something that might be called ‘urban’.”

Hunting ground: Heerlen (NL)
Hunting period: 2016
Commissioned by: Gemeente Heerlen