Wijk aan Zee wants to become an inclusive and resilient town where young people can find a home and seniors can live as long as possible. A good and strong relationship between residents, local organizations and the municipality is of great importance in this respect.
Marta Lachowska, project lead Space&Matter

Joining forces

Nestled in between the North Sea, Tata Steel Factory and the Noord hollands Duinreservaat, Wijk aan Zee is defined by a wonderful dune landscape and is home to roughly 2,400 people. Local organisations, some of which have to renovate their buildings in the near future, asked us to help them explore and draw up an inclusive and future-proof vision for the upcoming transformations. How might they collaborate and join forces, and how could they use this moment as an opportunity to improve the town for all its residents? 

In five workshops, we, together with more than 50 participants of all ages and backgrounds, analysed Wijk aan Zee and its unique challenges. We spoke about development opportunities and threats, about how health, well-being, recreation and housing could be brought together in multifunctional buildings. These elements and more were brought to life in a scale model, giving residents the opportunity to experience and interact with the different scenarios from up close. 

What stakeholders and residents of Wijk aan Zee needed, was imagination. It is difficult to see shared possibilities unless someone shows it in drawings and space model. Space & Matter did a wonderful job and listened carefully to all participants.
Marja van Leeuwen, beleidsadviseur Gemeente Beverwijk

It's great to see that the integral spatial vision we developed with stakeholders and residents made everyone excited to move forward with it.
Marta Lachowska, project lead Space&Matter

Opportunities for the future

"Wijk aan Zee is facing a ‘now or never’ chance to redevelop a large part of the town and lift itself up to a level that it has not seen for decades. Space & Matter carefully mapped all the wishes and possibilities, but also the values that are embedded in the community. They then gave us the view of an outsider to see what is possible, what must be preserved and where we need to improve. It was utterly satisfying to see how this melted away the resistance to change and we are now joining forces to materialize a future dream for our community." according to Hans Dellevoet, workgroup spatial planning, village council Wijk aan Zee.

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