De nieuwe Bijlmermeer / The new Bijlmermeer

The Bijlmer – a grand ensemble so radical that it has been a subject of acrimonious debate from its very inception. One still comes across people who have lived here with passionate commitment from day one, but over the years the Bijlmer has had more than its fair share of untenanted dwellings because many people have quite simply refused to live here.

The Bijlmer – a multi-cultural melting pot. When Suriname became independent in 1975 many Surinamese found accommodation here and since then the number of nationalities has risen steadily. In the relative isolation that even the new metro line has not entirely alleviated, there evolved a wonderfully rich but troubled fragment of society.

The Bijlmer – an urbanized area so spatially, socially and culturally complex that only after long years of discussion has the wider world at last begun to recognize its tremendous potential, a process that has accelerated since it became clear that the Bijlmer’s growing autonomy is starting to transform regional relationships.

The Bijlmer – in 1997 – a building site. Almost unnoticed by those not directly involved, there has been a spate of plans aimed at change and renewal, some of which are already being implemented. Amidst the demolition and construction, new low-rise neighbourhoods are emerging between the honeycomb high-rise; raised avenues are being transformed into city streets. In the shadow of the Arena stadium a whole new town centre is taking shape.

The Bijlmer – one big source of amazement and curiosity. One big motive for analysis and enquiry. Is there any coherence among all the ideas and plans presently being thrown at the problems?

Will the Bijlmer emerge as a genuine city?

Posities. Marie José Van Hee / Positions. Marie José Van Hee