Client: Province of Utrecht
Date trajectory: 2017-02 <-> 2017-06
quick-wins & research recreational use
The Utrecht Noorderpark is located on the landscape side of Overvecht, adjacent to the Northern Ring Road Utrecht and the Gageldijk. The area has been designated as a recreation zone on the outskirts of the city. The Noorderpark has many beautiful elements, including a number of forts from the Dutch waterline, and is visited by hundreds of people every day. However, the walking and cycling routes are not convincingly designed everywhere. The path structure is somewhat twisted and illogical in various places, it sometimes looks and feels haphazard. The entrances to the park lack a face. The routes to the park are not obvious everywhere. TRACK was asked by the Province of Utrecht for advice and ideas to improve routes and entrances.
Because it was known that budgets are limited, we looked for subtle and relatively simple quick-wins. Small additions to the existing loam paths, turning dead ends into a continuous round. The main cycle route through the park can be designed just one meter wider and more fluidly; so that cyclists, pedestrians and inline skaters can use it jointly without friction. An additional bridge connects the park more logically to surrounding roads. But it is precisely in this type of park that the profit is not always in adding paths or facilities. In some places, (bicycle) paths can be removed instead that add nothing. This creates larger, quieter areas, possibly accessible to hikers.