Consultations begin on the new design of Historic Waterkant

Consultaties starten voor nieuw ontwerp Historisch Waterkant

A contract to design a new and modern face for the historic Waterkant was signed in Suriname in February this year and public consultations will start from mid-April. Talks have already taken place with various government ministries and agencies. The consortium ILACO / RoyalHaskoningDHV (RHDHV) / IBT Engineering Consultants was contracted to implement this contract.

This initiative is part of the Islamic Development Bank loan and part of the Paramaribo Urban Rehabilitation Program (PURP). This loan is supervised by the Suriname Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the representative is the Culture Department.

De Waterkant is one of the most important public spaces in the historic center of Paramaribo, which is also classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. So it is important to preserve this part of our city. The new design includes the renovation and beautification of the Waterkant in order to contribute to and promote the attractiveness of tourism as well as improve mobility within the project area.

The district consists of the portion between Fort Zeelandia and Waaggebouw, with designated roads and public spaces within it. Extensive public support is required in order to arrive at a final design for the Waterkant.

That is why the first round of consultations with stakeholders and interested parties will take place from April to May 2021, through stakeholder workshops (taking into account COVID-19 measures). The workshops aim to:

Inform the public about current proposals;
• Validation of proposals based on current conditions and
• Collect additional contributions to arrive at the final design.

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During the workshops, the consultation will focus on the aforementioned themes, namely:

• Mobility / Traffic.
Urban architecture and landscaping (including Waterkant design to enhance the vitality of the area)
• Ease of access and the relationship of the waterfront to the environment (connection to the river and the historic city center).

The results of the workshops will be used to validate, review and finalize the design if required. The first sample design is expected to be submitted in September, after approval by UNESCO and the government, and the final design in November 2021.

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