Plan Zuid is a residential area in Amsterdam, with the master plan designed in 1917 by Berlage. When the plan was designed, Berlage didn’t calculate the underlying landscape or the already existing city. The plan is self-concentrated and the design gains its shape from blocs. If, for example, one bloc falls apart, the plan no longer works, which makes it unsuitable for changes and revisions. Everything in the plan is predetermined, and although Berlage was a Socialist, Plan Zuid is today an exclusive area with high rents.

 existing situation Amsterdamplan amsterdam nieuwe meer schinkel

In comparison with Plan Zuid, the district Schinkel between Plan Zuid and Nieuwe Meer has an entirely different history and character. Here, there have long been areas with fuzzy boundaries, seized by a combination of residential and commercial properties; no single function dominates the landscape. The area is flexible in its use because citizens take their own initiative to give the neighborhood shape. This area is characterized by its residents’ involvement, the degree of openness to the outside and occasional, temporary space.

vision Schinkel

I propose a new strategy for Plan Zuid, co-opting the informality modeled in Schinkel as a guide. Spaces present social structure and users recognize themselves in the urban settings they’ve helped influence. People will care more for their environment if they are invited to create it. A new strategy for Plan Zuid will be the platform for informal interventions to make this area more livable, to open it up for mixed use and to introduce more green into this area. Like the space itself, the timeline would also be fluid, allowing time for the plan to prove itself, with needed adjustments scheduled after five years.

vision Schinkel