Nieuws - 28 juni 2011

Sixty students put Kolhorn on the map

The West Frisian village of Kolhorn experienced a real invasion of Wageningen students at the start of June. The students had the task of developing ideas to make the village more attractive and livelier.

Children are also allowed to have their say about their village’s plus points and minus points
With a population of one thousand, the village of Kolhorn in the far north of Noord-Holland province is having to deal with population decline, like many other rural centres: residents are moving to nearby towns and tourists are staying away. The village is also losing its facilities.
Sixty Landscape Architecture and Planning first-year students were assigned the task of reversing the trend.
The students' tweets showed they were pretty keen: 'Excursion week. On a boat in Noord-Holland. Kolhorn it is. Now for the baguette, brie and rosé #excursionsarentsobad #party'. Another student reported excitedly: 'Local beers; Skippers' delight, Kolhorn!' But there was also work to be done; the students got tours of the village, had long conversations with the local residents and the provincial authorities, and used that input to develop seven scenarios for the future.
After two weeks, these were presented to around 150 interested people, including representatives of the provincial authority and the Chamber of Commerce. Piet Tromp, chair of the Village Council, was pleased with the students' work: 'They have come up with ideas such as a weekly market with local products, and footpaths and bike paths along the southern boundary of the village to attract day trippers on the dyke into the village.' He will soon take action on the proposals: 'These are the kind of plans it should be fairly easy to implement.'
Student Bas Adelerhof is also optimistic: 'I know for sure this is the start of process that may never have got going without our input.'