Back to a Lively, Liveable District
Kanaleneiland in Utrecht. Who hasn’t heard of it? From the fifties to the seventies, the reviews were very positive about this ‘Rose District’. It was a deprived area in the eighties, but nowadays we are working on structural improvements: attracting new groups of residents, diversity of buildings, new public landscaping and a focus on culture. The municipality of Utrecht, Portaal, Mitros and Heijmans have been taking care of this modernization together since 2002.
Kanaleneiland was designed in 1958 by urban developer C.M. van der Stad. Industrial building methods and the rise of the automobile were the underlying principles for the development of the district. Consequently, Kanaleneiland was determined by a far-reaching linearity, a frequent repetition of the same building pattern and wider main roads.
Elaboration in Stages
Improvements to Kanaleneiland comprise 6 partial plans: In partial plan 1, new housing blocks were built with traffic-free inner streets. In partial plan 2 a new ROC was realized. In partial plan 3 there will be new local facilities combined with houses. In partial plans 4 & 5 ‘renovation’ will be the focal point and partial plan 6 will see the arrival of the new shopping centre.
Empty housing will be temporarily rented out to creative companies and students. This will attract new target groups to the area and the district will remain – in the run-up to the renovation – liveable and vibrant.
The concrete results of the improvements through new construction are already visible. For the modernization of the remaining subareas it was decided to carry out a varied programme of predominantly extensive renovation work, limited demolition/new construction and adaptation of the public spaces.
It Will Be Beautiful!
Modernization is necessary. Many of its residents already think Kanaleneiland is beautiful. It is a haven full of diversity with art and culture, fine living and a lively neighbourhood where people from 150 different cultures live together, study and recreate.