In terms of a concept for a centre there’s no room for improvement, it’s ideal, but Steenweg is located outside this area. The Voorstad is still connected to it and is likely to be revived after the completion of the Ligne, but Steenweg as a pedestrian-friendly shopping street can no longer keep up. In our view, allowing motoring and cycling on the full length of Steenweg with the aim of making it possible to live and work on the ground floor of all properties comprises the answer to the two questions raised in this competition.
Like in Putstraat and Paardestraat, cars and bicycles will be allowed to use the street – cars in one way only and bicycles in both directions – and trees will be planted.
The wide storefronts currently make properly accessing the dwellings above the shops hard and as a result, many dwellings are now vacant. Stimulating living and working on the ground floor and renovating the storefronts will make the upper-floor dwellings more accessible and habitable. It will create a mixed-use urban street with shops, dwellings and businesses.
The Stationskwartier, of which Steenweg is the centre, will become a neighbourhood with a distinct character that doesn’t want to be part of the centre but has its own personality, and its own Maaslandpark. Thus, the Rijksweg no longer functions as a barrier to the centre and the shoppers.