Students envision the future of ArenAPoort

20 Nov 2019 17:17 | Communication

At the request of Amsterdam’s Zuidoost district council, 130 students from seven faculties at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) worked together to come up with creative and innovative ideas to make the ArenAPoort area more attractive and lively for residents. The students presented their models at the New Metropolis Zuidoost branch of cultural organisation Pakhuis de Zwijger, located at the Bijlmerplein.

Lifeline Zuidoost

The ArenAPoort area in the Zuidoost district is being redeveloped in the coming years, with the construction of approximately 10,000 new homes by 2030. At the moment, it is not yet an attractive residential and recreational area. Sometimes it’s quiet and deserted, lacking nice bars and restaurants, while at other times the ArenA Boulevard is crowded with people, for example when the Ajax football team is playing or when there are concerts at the Ziggo Dome. To change this, the ‘Lifeline’ project was launched in Amsterdam-Zuidoost, to create a lively route with all sorts of things to do both during the day and at night – such as urban sports and play areas, with inviting buildings along the route and an attractive public space.

Students bring the neighbourhood to life

The 130 students of the Minor in Creativity and Innovation Management worked together with Academy of the City (Academie van de Stad) to answer this question: How can you use connecting activities to bring the residents of Amsterdam-Zuidoost, Amsterdamse Poort, business people and day-trippers closer together? The students explored the neighbourhood, interviewed local residents and analysed the surroundings. Afterwards, many students indicated that their views concerning Zuidoost had changed completely: “Amsterdam-Zuidoost is much nicer than people say it is.”

Heroes, safety and talent on stage at New Metropolis Zuidoost

Eighteen groups of students presented their ideas in the form of self-designed models to a jury and the public at the New Metropolis Zuidoost branch of Pakhuis de Zwijger. The Zuidoost district council and three independent jury members evaluated the ideas in three categories: feasibility, creativity and 100% Zuidoost. The winners in each category were announced at the end of the day.

The ArtLine student group won the ‘100% Zuidoost’ category. “We want to show the history of Zuidoost and the heroes of today.” (Stefano, age 23)

The Walk Of Light won the ‘creativity’ category. This group wants to eliminate the unsafe feeling local residents have by using creative lighting to illuminate the Lifeline. “Today’s Dutch celebrities who grew up in Amsterdam-Zuidoost should be honoured here.” (Yassine, age 23)

The ‘feasibility’ category was won by De Talentenhal. This group came up with the good idea of placing a talent hall on the Lifeline; a place where everyone, young and old, local residents and business owners, can show off their talent or product. The great thing about this idea is that the hall has glass walls, so passers-by can look inside. “Talent doesn’t belong behind closed doors!”

Want to find out more about the Minor in Creativity and Innovation Management (in Dutch) or about this project? Please contact Marcel Jongsma, Coordinator of the Minor in Creativity and Innovation,