BOVEN HET SPOOR: Een Masterplanvisie Stationsgebied Maastricht

Translated title of the contribution: Across the Track: Masterplan vision Station area Maastricht

Jo Coenen, Luc Soete

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Like many other historical cities in Europe, the city of
Maastricht has been characterized by fault lines. First,
there is of course nature’s fault line that shaped the
city’s history over the past 2000 years: the river Meuse.
The river cuts the city in half and gave Maastricht its
name. It gave the city, like its sister city Liège upstream,
a metropolitan allure with two urban parts: a left bank
and a right bank. The second fault line, built more or less
parallel to the river on the right bank, is that of the railroad
tracks. It divided the right bank into a city centre of which
the Central Station became the terminus and an urban
eastern part isolated from the city. The third fault line,
further eastwards and parallel to the rail track, is the N2
highway, crossing again the city from north to south. It was
upgraded five years ago into a fully-fledged motorway with
a 2.3 km long, two-layer tunnel bringing to an end some
of the most infamous traffic jams in the Netherlands. It
allowed for a doubling in the number of vehicles crossing
the city, now underground, and as windfall benefit freed
up the area on top of the tunnel which became a new
walking and biking “green travel road”, joining both sides
of the city.
The vision presented here, called Across the Track, consists
of a partial tunneling of two railroad tracks from the
Central Station to the Maastricht Randwyck station. It took
a lot of inspiration from the tunneling of the motorway but
has a different objective. It offers local implementation of
the European Green Deal ambitions and in particular the
European agenda improving sustainable and cross-border
rail mobility. Intensifying and facilitating rail mobility
is an increasingly important objective for high-density
population areas such as the Randstad or South-Limburg.
In addition, the corona crisis has also made it clear that
governments will have to invest significantly if they want
to make the economic transition towards green, inclusive
development a success story. The present proposal aims
also at becoming a best practice example of a “Sustainable
Finance” project: a long-term investment that contributes
to both sustainable mobility and social cohesion in
Maastricht. Doing so, Maastricht, as a city that was one of
the founders of the economic and monetary integration of
Europe 30 years ago, could become the European example
of a green, healthy and just city.
Translated title of the contributionAcross the Track: Masterplan vision Station area Maastricht
Original languageDutch
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021

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