WILLEMSTAD – Last week, the General Pension Fund of Curaçao (APC) and the Heritage Plaza Consortium (HPC) held several sessions at the Luna Blou Theater to discuss the development of the Plaza area with various stakeholders, reports APC.
The aim of this week was to bring together as many relevant contributions as possible from experts from various sectors in Curacao and build support for the project. The program follows on from the November 2020 visit, to which the late Hans de Boer was also a part.
Since then, the parties have worked hard to draw up the development plans. The HPC team was reinforced with Jan de Jong (heritage expert), Peter Zwart (social and cultural functions advisor) and Bart Akkerhuis (urban development vision advisor) in order to further refine the plan’s vision.
“The Plaza area must contribute to the quality of life in Punda with an attractive multifunctional program in which housing, catering, culture, education, incubators and recreation have a place,” according to APC.
As part of the initiative phase that APC and HPC are currently in, it was decided not to present a ready-made plan to stakeholders last week, but first to listen and collect information before plans are developed. This approach has been welcomed by stakeholders.
According to APC, it was important for the feasibility study to test the programmatic interpretation, discuss the spatial opportunities and challenges, and see how the Plaza project can also give socio-economic impetus to the rest of Willemstad.
The week started with a walking tour of Punda which focused on the connections between the Plaza area and the rest of the city center, UNESCO World Heritage status and the bustling Punda of the past. On Monday evening, the parties visited the Netherlands Representation.
Tuesday was devoted to culture. Various institutions and entrepreneurs active in the cultural sector were present to discuss local and international opportunities. Wednesday started with a presentation of the future government and was followed by a session in which the developments of a start-up community in Curacao were discussed.
The day ended with a workshop focusing on spatial vision and cultural heritage. Groups consisting of architects, heritage experts, parts of monuments and other interest groups set to work to develop a spatial vision for the Plaza area.
Thursday’s program began with a session with the University of Curaçao where opportunities for an educational function were discussed. In the afternoon, the theme “livability in Punda” was central and various parties active in the hospitality and leisure sectors were invited.
The program ended with a visit to the governor. “We look back on a successful week in which attendees actively participated and provided valuable input for further development of the Plaza area. Great anecdotes about the moments of Cave the Neptune, the opportunities of music and the dance as an interpretation for the cultural program, the importance of housing for quality of life, to concerns about the parking problem in the city center and the current state of the Plaza, ”says APC.
APC and HPC got even more excited after this week to work out the plans together. In the coming period, this week’s data will be processed to arrive at a proposed plan.
APC: “The ambitions are high and the challenges are numerous regarding the redevelopment of the Plaza district, but this project also offers great opportunities. The development of Plaza is more than just a real estate project, it is a catalyst for Punda and Curaçao. . “