Just outside the main city centre of Venlo lies the Dominicanenplein square. Situated on this square is the former Dominicanen Monastery which has a stage specially built for cultural performances, but it also hosts receptions and weddings. The building next to it is the ‘Toon Hermans Huis’, a walk-in home for people who are battling cancer or who have had cancer in the past.
They can go there for counselling, contact with peers, courses, creative activities, and yoga. The building also hosts the Mariaweide Hospice where people spend the last part of their lives.
There are several shops opposite the square, like art gallery ‘Galerie Wilms’. Other buildings in the row used to have a shopping function, but they were turned into homes over time. It shows how this part of the inner city is slowly transforming. The shopping function will be more and more concentrated in the main shopping streets in future. The residential function will become more important around the square.
The Nieuwstraat, next to the Dominicanenplein square, is a much-used cycling route through the city centre.
People used to go to the city centre for shopping, but these days they go there for a mixture of shopping, longer stays, and recreation. It’s hard to find space for accommodations in the busy shopping streets, but in places like the Dominicanenplein area, just outside of the shopping street area, room could be found.
Greenery can play a part in making a place more pleasant for resting or for experiencing the city in a different way. It can furthermore help nature to combat heat stress and prevent damage due to an excess of water, both very real threats in an inner city mostly comprised of stone.
How can greenery be used in order to strengthen the recreational function of the Dominicanenplein square and can it contribute to a more pleasant and viable inner city?
Connection with the ‘Toon Hermans Huis’ and the adjoining hospice. Both institutions are looking for ways to make clients feel more a part of society.
Connection with the other cultural organisations on the square, like Domani and art gallery Galerie Wilms.
The square and the surrounding buildings have rich histories.
Combination with the creation of a play and/or work-out (fitness) area.
Connection with catering sector, just down the street.
The through traffic in the Nieuwstraat.
Marcel Tabbers, Venlo Partners
Mat Vestjens, Toon Hermans Huis
Isabelle de Warrimont, Gemeente Venlo (Municipality of Venlo)