Evert Verhagen

Reuse of the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam

The Westergasfabriek gasworks in Amsterdam was built at the end of the 19th century by the British Imperial Continental Gas Association.

From 1990 to 2005, I was the project manager responsible for transforming the site into the world-renowned Culture Park Westergasfabriek.

A heavily contaminated site, 15.000 square meters of heritage buildings and a city government that had promised the people living in the neighbourhood to transform the area into a park. To make things more complex (or if you want more simple), there was no money. What we needed

was a strategy, not a plan.

There were no fast solutions, so I changed priorities. I started by building an organisation, outside of city hall, with its own responsibilities. It had to be flexible and creative. We also started by temporarily using the site to gain time, discover what was possible, and create a buzz.

That is how we learned our most important lesson: it’s not the site with the fantastic buildings and the excellent location that creates the value. It’s what’s going on there.

Today the park is the second-best-visited park in Amsterdam, next to the Vondelpark. In 2004 I won the Golden Pyramid, the State prize for the best project, and in 2010 Westergasfabriek won the Europa Nostra Award.


Evert Verhagen

Evert Verhagen (1955) is a traveller, writer, inspirator, urbanist and regeneration consultant based in Amsterdam. He is a project manager with proven success in transforming derelict properties into world-class parks, residential areas, and cultural icons. In addition, he is a researcher on cities, writes about them and analyses them to see how to make them work better.

Between 1990 and 2004, he was responsible for developing the Westergasfabriek Culturepark. He headed the team working on the regeneration of the buildings, realizing the park and initiating the cultural program. Culture Park Westergasfabriek opened in September 2003.

With this project, he won the Golden Pyramid, the Dutch government award for excellent project management. The project also won the Europa Nostra Award in 2010.

Starting in 2005, Verhagen has been working as a private consultant on a wide range of international projects from Russia and Brazil to Taiwan and Morocco.

Verhagen has published several books. In 1988 his first book on the Bijlmermeer (Amsterdam Southeast) city development. His book ‘Creativity and the City’ came out in 2005.

Verhagen is currently working on a new publication titled ‘Transformation’ in which he researches the main success factors for the worldwide trend in reusing industrial and waterfront properties.

Verhagen was an inspiring speaker at a multitude of conferences and meetings.

Περισσότερα σε αυτή την κατηγορία: « Barbara Berger Jouni Karki-Kai Huotari »

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