Client: City of Groningen
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
Site: 30 ha
Program: Urban intensification along a new tram route to the Science University
A new tram route is being developed that will connect the centre of the city of Groningen through a residential area to one of Europe’s foremost IT centres at the Science University. CMA+U was given the commission to analyse the consequences of such an intervention, secure the integration of this new piece of infrastructure with the city and region, and explore the potential for the intensification of the urban environment. The area under study is a part of the city that is made up of a series of disparate enclaves. As a mid 20th century extension to an old city centre the problems are easily identifiable. The area is characterised by undefined public space and intersections with little street frontage, a lack of address, isolated residential neighbourhoods of slab blocks with a residential ground floor, and a lack of connection between public buildings and public space. Ultimately this has led to an under-used public realm. The new tram is a mechanism to generate a transformation of the area. The proposal seeks to restructure, redefine and clarify through the intervention of the tram as a new public space in the city that will readdress and reconnect all the disparate pieces of the area delivering a strong identity to this part of Groningen. New developments have been identified along the route to diversify activities to counter the monofunctional character that exists. New quality green spaces are proposed and better perpendicular connections are created. CMA+U proposed a minimum and a maximum scenario. This approach was tailored to the amount of investment potential at any given time and identified the basic framework for successful regeneration of the area.