Public space renovations in Benjamin Brittenstraat, Peter Schatstraat and Leonard Bernsteinstraat will start in May 2020. Anneke de Jong explains why it had to take so long and what the end result is going to look like.
As early as in April 2018, the first resident consultation took place regarding the renovation of the three side streets of Gershwinlaan. ‘We thought it would be nice to set out a plan together with the residents’, says Anneke de Jong, project manager. We even launched a special app (the OppApp) for everyone to make their wishes known. ‘This was unique within the municipality and a good way to reach a lot of people.’
Greenery, meet, play
As it turned out, there was a great need for plenty of space for greenery, space to meet each other and space to play. De Jong: ‘Our designers presented their preliminary sketches to the residents on 22 September 2018. This resulted in a number of important changes after which the designers went back to their drawing board to finalise the design.’
But then there was utter silence. De Jong: ‘In the beginning, we were really on a roll, but we encountered some problems along the way.’ The final design proved to be too expensive. ‘This was caused by numerous things. The cost of materials had increased significantly in the meantime, and the great demand of materials caused a shortage and therefore a longer delivery time. It was also hard to find a contractor who could take on this intensive, yet relatively small project within budget.’
Unfortunately, we were not able to live up to our promise to fill the pits in autumn of 2019. De Jong: ‘I’m glad I can finally announce some good news. We’ve finalised the design, we were able to incorporate the wishes and stayed within budget. We’ve also found a great contractor, so we can now get started on the realisation.’ Residents will start to notice activity no sooner than May, but behind the scenes, the supplier is already working hard on the park benches, playground equipment and outdoor gym equipment. ‘Residents can then finally enjoy the filled pits in their street.’