News - October 13, 2015

Parking under the new Duivendaal

Roelof Kleis

It is possible that a large parking basement will be built under the new Duivendaal for 400 cars. The basement needs to store the cars of the city centre.

In the plans of urban planner Marlies Rohmer, the basement will receive a place in the heart of Duivendaal, and will be constructed partially underground and partially half lowered. This is needed because there are differences in height in the terrain. The current parking availability on Duivendaal, around the former administrative centrum of Wageningen UR, is used in the weekends to catch the rush of the city centre.

The Wageningen college of mayors and aldermen is interested in the idea of the basement under the Duivendaal-terrain. According to Martijen Rauwers of Gieling Consultancy from Ede there is a serious candidate that is willing to exploit the parking facilities. Wageningen UR has appointed Gieling Consultancy to supervise the planning of Duivendaal. Wagenignen UR is owner of Duivendaal.

During the presentation of the (provisional) plans last Thursday in Junushoff, not everyone agreed. A large portion of the attendants feared nuisance of the cars, especially if it is not all fully underground. The above-ground ideas of Rohmer on the other hand received a lot of enthusiastic approval.

Rohmer planned freestanding buildings on the edge of Duivendaal in the theme of existing monumental buildings alongside the Duivendaal street. Buildings similar to which the student housing desk Idealis is staying in. Inside the outer peel will be the ‘Forum’, denser built buildings that enclose several squares. According to Rohmer this part will form the essence of the plan.

Among other things the centre will house a hotel. According to consultant Rauwers it is possible that one of the existing hotels in the city will move here. It is also planned to have space for the cultural centre ‘t Venster. But also other services such as catering and shops are likely in this area. According to Rauwers a ‘digital square’ is also part of the plan, where the identity of Wageningen as a peace and knowledge city will be expressed.

It seems that the plans have no room for the former administrative centre, which is currently a temporary student residence. Also the existence of the weather-building is questionable. The former accommodation of the chair group Meteorology has been vacant for the past five years, and according to head of real estate Eise Ebbeling of Wageningen UR it is unsaleable. ‘There were at least eight serious candidates. The problem is that so much needs to be done, that it is not profitable.’