A New Urban Vernacular of Willemstad
By Caspar Tromp
Welcome to the "A New Urban Vernacular: Revitalize Willemstad" project, which I have voluntarily written during COVID-19 lockdown with the wish to contribute to the development of Curaçao. This document is an evidence-based guidebook on how to revitalize historic Willemstad from an urban design and planning approach. It advocates a design that is sustainable and resilient and more humane, attractive, and adapted to complexity.
There is a sort of human psychology behind what makes urban places successful, sustainable, and attractive. As humans, we instinctively desire closeness, social interaction, play, adventure, and creation and comfort, relaxation, peace, and quality of life. We need structure but also flexibility for changing circumstances and creativity. Also, there is the global challenge of climate change and ecosystem degradation to which we also need to adapt. And while many cities in the world are making significant steps to improve attractiveness and quality of life, not all people benefit from it. Thus, social inclusion is also an important global issue. Cities are places of contrast, and that is what makes it complex. The challenge is to integrate all those different wants, needs, and concerns in urban development.
The guidebook below (pdf document) intends to guide urban planners on the journey to revitalize historic Willemstad in that context. Moreover, I hope that this document inspires you, brings awareness, brings people together to discuss and collaborate, and makes you feel proud of Willemstad's unique culture, a true world heritage.