To understand its current situation, the ‘Canon Maastricht’ interprets the urban development of Maastricht from 1950 until today.
Urban development is a play off between the ideals and actualities governing the human environment. Interpretations of urban development are inevitably ambiguous, and this also applies to Maastricht’s situation. On the one hand, in times of growth these interpretations legitimise the objective question of urbanisation: the endeavour to fulfil the needs of national housing, business infrastructure, and knowledge mainframes. On the other, urban development continues to speculate on the future. This allows for periods where actions are taken to gain control over the process of development, but also for periods in which the hope for control over the future is put aside. Each of these periods requires a new vita active, and this creates the dialectic informing the origins of this exhibition: radical locality.
Radical locality is a contextual resistance, evoked by global developments, to preserve identity, applicability, and quality. The question is, to what extent have national and global trends influenced Maastricht’s local urban planning? The Maastrichtenaar’s pride in nurturing old customs and habits regularly alternates with progressive urban design, managing to achieve bold plans through a benevolent anticipation of national decisions. For example, the development of the Ceramique area (along with the Rotterdams De Kop van Zuid and Amsterdam’s Eastern Docklands) is the first publicprivate partnership (PPS) construction in the Netherlands. The tunnelling of the A2 motorway is no less ambitious. How important has radical locality been for Maastricht’s urban development? Five locations are traced on a timeline to discover their connections to related aspects such as dominant attitudes and financial fluctuations. Maastricht doesn’t have just one storyline, it has many, and a new chapter is being written: how to develop in times of decreasing growth.
type: research and exhibition
client: Bureau Europa
team: Tim Prins, Mark Proosten, Nicole Cloudt
assistance: Studio Noto
photographs: Kim Zwarts, Perry Schrijvers