Blerick is a city district of the greater Municipality of Venlo and lies on the other side of the Meuse river, opposite the city of Venlo. Blerick has about 26,000 inhabitants, and empty retail premises are a continuing threat to its town centre. In 2018, local entrepreneurs wrote a plan aimed at making a more attractive and viable town centre. This has led to the appointment of a ‘town centre manager’.
In May 2021, the entrepreneurs and the manager have presented a vision on Blerick town centre to the municipality of Venlo. Adjustments to the design of the public space played an important part in the presentation. Another suggestion was to relocate a number of functions. Leading is the strengthening of the recreational function: how to go from a ‘place to buy’ to a ‘place to be’? The addition of greenery is very much wanted.
In what way can we boost the attractiveness and recreational function of Blerick town centre by adding greenery?
The vision offers a number of strategic locations where a beacon, marking, or place to rest could be placed:
On the bank of Meuse river, near the end of the ‘Helling’ (ramp).
At the Kloosterstraat as main shopping street, especially on the spot where the street meets the Carleyspassage.
At the end of the Kloosterstraat, near the ‘de Wieën’ shopping centre.
On the Antoniusplein square, in front of the ‘Raadhuis’ (former town hall).
Using the beautiful location on the Meuse river.
Using the fact that more and more housing is available above the shops.
Using the fact that many residents of Blerick have rediscovered their own surroundings during the Covid crisis, including the town centre. How can this local connection be perpetuated or strengthened?
Using the nearness of ‘Fort Sint Michiel’ (Fortress St. Michael; 10 mins. walk).
Sjoerd van Heijster, town centre manager Blerick