At some point in 2019, the Stadhuispromenade in Almere centre will be transformed into a new city park. What is currently an unwelcoming expanse of concrete will become a haven in the city. A place where you take a break from work, study or shopping – the perfect place to relax and chill out for an hour. The Municipality of Almere asked BRAND The Urban Agency to launch a participation process, and encourage local businesses, Almere residents, and visitors to the city, to get involved in the concept phase.
To make the park a success, we start by identifying future users in the design phase: not only local residents, but also the employees of and visitors to surrounding amenities (such as De Nieuwe Bibliotheek, Hogeschool Windesheim, Flevoziekenhuis and Stadhuis). For this, we developed a multi-faceted campaign. Together with LOLA Landscape Architects, who are tasked with designing the new park, we gave people a sneak preview of the park. Throughout September, a vast painting covered the entire surface of the Stadhuispromenade. With bright green and pink-coloured tree icons, it gave people a taste of what was to come. A sign was posted nearby, informing passers-by that the site was shortly to become an urban park, and inviting them to send in their own ideas on the tussenuurinalmere.nl website. We also reached out to people to share ideas, using local media, flyers in shops, through the network of surrounding institutions and residents’ organisations, and through a social media campaign. In addition, we actively held brainstorming one-on-one sessions with stakeholders, and visited the Stadhuispromenade where we chatted to passers-by, asking them to share their ideas in exchange for a cup of coffee and some goodies.
This campaign ran in September and generated more than 220 responses. The input we gathered serves as inspiration for the final park design. Many of the ideas that were proposed now feature in the new park. The final design will be presented in the spring of 2019.