Visit to Delft bouwt

On February 1 Blend. visited Delft bouwt for the first time. Delft bouwt is an initiative from Spoorzone Delft, an umbrella organization with interests in the railway zone. Delft bouwt is a space inside a building on the Barbarasteeg. In this area the residents of Delft can be informed about what will happen to their city. This project will control the accessibility and livability of Delft for over a decade, so it is not unusual that the community of Delft wants to inform their people properly.

When entering the building the first thing that gets your attention is the enormous model of the city when all the work on the railway will be finished. That is probably the most informative way to show people why they are in this mess right now. When looking at the model the first thing that stands out is the enormous building that will be located on the tunnel. This will be a combination of a city office and the station platforms. According to the people that work at Delft bouwt there was a lot of commotion around that building, since at first the community Delft held a design competition to determine who was going to design this building. After already having chosen a winner, they choose to just go with their own design. This obviously isn’t the best start of such a big project, but overall the residents in Delft are happy about the trains going underground. Apparently 80% of the people in Delft support the project, while in Amsterdam, where a similar project is running, -60% supports their project.

So there’s something the community in Delft did right. Maybe this is because this project gives so much back to the residents, especially the ones who live around the railway zone. These people where once confronted with the viaduct that was built to led the trains over the traffic. Their canal was closed and they got a lot of noise back. These people’s patience is rewarded, since the community came to their senses and saw that this wasn’t going to last in a city that is the way station between The Hague and Rotterdam. Now that they decided that the train should go underground the whole idea of the canal came back. This is something that some residents would want to be in the mess with for a few years.

In the building at the Barbarasteeg a lot of interactive systems are built. One is for example a guest book where visitors can give their opinion about the project. Later on other visitors can see those opinions and respond to them. A lot of different people, especially within age, already gave their opinion.

 Another interactive feature is a foto album. This is especially interesting for people who have lived in Delft for a long time. They might have pictures that were taken decades ago. Especially now that the area is changing so much it is interesting to see how this place used to look like. This feature goes further than just the railway zone, since it tends to show pictures of the entire city. Looking at this feature it seemed that either this wasn’t located there for long, or it just wasn’t a very popular one, since there weren’t a lot of pictures presented.

Another feature in the building was a touchscreen with five screens in front of it. These screens showed pictures on demand. There was a lot of choice of what could be shown. The most interesting is to see how the zone is going to look like when the construction work is done. Especially how it is going to look inside and to see a more detailed view of for example the Coenderstraat.

Another thing that was presented to us was Werkplaats Spoorzone Delft. This is a great initiative, fully relying on volunteers, that organizes cultural and informative events around the railway zone. Especially when thinking of a CMID solution for this area, this initiative may come in handy.

After all, this was a very educative afternoon, since I had never known what was actually going on at that railway zone.


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