Operation Open Heart

Article in De Utrechtse Internet Courant (DUIC) – 9/7/2018

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Sixty key players have their say on one of the largest and most complicated building projects in Utrecht. The book Twenty years of building the Utrecht railway station area by Ed van Eeden gives a striking insight into the development of the Utrecht railway station area. From Corio to the Jaarbeurs and from architects to civil servants, everyone is covered. This results in a number of controversial stories.

Ed van Eeden

Human memory can sometimes be fallible

In 2002, Utrecht held its first consultative referendum on the future of the Utrecht railway station area. Never before had the people of Utrecht been so directly involved in a subject as then. The City Council accepted the result and then began a tough process of planning and contracting. Meanwhile, time did not stand still. Nowadays, anyone who visits Utrecht can’t help but marvel at the total makeover of the city centre.

Operation Open Heart. Twenty Years of Building the Utrecht Station Area looks back at that time and reveals the dynamic decision-making process that lay behind the changes. Residents, architects, investors, politicians, civil servants and even a former resident of the former junk tunnel under Hoog Catharijne are interviewed. They all speak candidly and explain, from their own perspective, how the station area has fared.