No complaints about the amount of awards Eindhoven is getting, or was nearly getting. This time Eindhoven is in the finals of the “European City of the Year” contest. In November it will become clear whether the city has been able to win against Copenhagen and Montpellier, the other two cities in top-3. Today and tomorrow a jury of experts associated with the Academy of Urbanism is visiting Eindhoven for the final check.
Eindhoven, Garden City Reinvented
In the bidbook – which may not be known until after the jury has also visited the two other finalists – Eindhoven tells her story about the relationship between green urban development at the beginning of the 20th century and how it’s done at present. The so-called ‘Garden City’ concept focused on a green infrastructure and the sharing of public space in order to keep a high quality in urban life.
Wethouder Mary Ann Schreurs reintroduced the concept as a carrier for the Eindhoven urban development: “The plants and water features have always been important for city development, even in the early 20s of the last century. Now, almost 100 years later, we reinvent the Garden City. Water and green as visible response to the challenges of an international smart society. In this way, the historical components of Garden City Eindhoven offer the natural response to the consequences of climate change, such as flooding and heat. But above all, it provides a green, shared public space.”
The Eindhoven Garden City is in part still no more than a plan, so it will be quite a task for the jury to connect the concepts with the current situation.
The annual Urbanism Awards, which now exist ten years, show how “great places” (including towns, villages and neighborhoods) are created and maintained. In addition to the ‘European City of the Year’, for which Eindhoven is nominated for this year, there will also be awards in four other categories. The sites are judged on leadership and governance, character, facilities, sustainability and connectivity. Rotterdam (2014) and San Sebastian (2015) have already won the City of the Year Award.
The Academy of Urbanism is an autonomous, politically independent and self-sustaining organization that promotes knowledge sharing among city creators.