[POST BY Rick Groeneveld]
Recently we attended a meet and eat event at Fenix, an industrial hall in Cruquius. This get-together was organised as a kick-off for CruquiusConnects, a foundation that connects all actors in the area. It wants to form a communal voice as one of the stakeholders next to the developers, the municipality and the future residents. After working in the Cruquius area for over two months we have got to know quite some people who have shown interest in the development of the area. Many of them attended the meet and eat. Either they are proactively supporting the community, like Fransesca from Blije Buren and Leon Paquay who started CruquiusConnects. Or they are working in one of the industrial halls or new offices that contribute to the character of the place.
After this lunch it was needless to say that many people in and around Cruquius have a fair amount of spare energy to invest into the future of the area. After a long talk with placemaking-guru Peter Groenendaal we concluded that the people of the area are one of the stronger forces behind development, creativity and moreover the character of the place. And therefore their ideas, voices and actions should be part of the future.
Even though we, as a study group, are only a temporary asset in this occasion, with building for biodiversity, we are serving a common purpose within the development of Cruquius and the rest of the city. Therefore I also consider our contribution to be seen – in modest amounts – as part of the future of Cruquius.
Every three weeks, at the public presentation, we invite those who are interested in viewing our interim results of the research. Subsequently we are very grateful to be a host to all the people mentioned above and many more who have visited, shared critique or enthusiasm and therefore contributed to the results.
As Cruquius is bound to be developed as a living/working area it is still the question what this is going to look like. Fortunately, thanks to these events where the people of the area, as well as the developer and the municipality come together to speak, listen and exchange thoughts, the character of the place can be guaranteed and processed within the future plans. I therefore put great trust in the direction of which the development of Cruquius has set its sails. Especially when I see that the people are becoming part of the captain’s crew.
It shows that the energy and goodwill of people is an important asset that goes beyond money and jurisdiction. And I can foresee it playing a big role in our proposals for a biodiverse future in Cruquius.