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The village of Havelte is the largest settlement of the municipality of Westerveld in the northern Dutch province of Drenthe. During the past few years the local community took the initiative to develop a future vision for the village. To elaborate on this vision and translate it into specific spatial measures the municipality of Westerveld commissioned NOHNIK to develop a masterplan for the public space of Havelte. The intention of the masterplan is to improve the spatial quality of the village as a whole and to make Havelte an attractive destination for tourism again. In the masterplan all future spatial developments are identified and connected with each other in a framework for upgrading the public space. The masterplan was developed in a participative process in which the inhabitants, local entrepreneurs and the municipality shared their vision. Based on these ideas, design were made for parks, squares, streets and other significant public spaces in the village.

From the brainstorms and a spatial analysis it became clear that the public space of Havelte lacks quality and attractiveness. Historical green structures are damaged or lost completely, the public space is mainly used for motorised traffic and there is a lack of unity and connectedness. As well, the interesting cultural history of the village cannot be experienced at the moment. The masterplan aims to solve these issues and presents three leading themes for improvement: ‘Connecting’, ‘Improving’ and ‘Wayfinding’. The theme ‘connecting’ aims to restore the historical green structure by reintroducing planted avenues and better path structures for pedestrians and cyclist. ‘Improving’ focuses on redesigning the central hotspots, squares and parks (such as the ‘Brink’ and main ‘Piet Soer square’, and ‘wayfinding’ focusses on better information and communication of wayfinding and history. Next to this two new hotspots are introduced. This includes a 500m long park connecting the village with the nearby nature reserve, and a new park near the old wind mill.

The connective tissue of the restored avenues and the several hotspots form a consistent network of attractive and diverse public spaces. Each hotspots has its own characteristics and qualities and tells a part of the story of Havelte to its inhabitants and visitors. In this a connection is made to the regional Marketing and Promotion strategy for tourism in the Westerveld region. Actual implementation masterplan for the public started in 2018 with the construction of the new Piet Soer square, also designed by NOHNIK.

Year: 2017
Type: public space, landscape
Client: municipality of Westerveld in collaboration with the community of Havelte

In collaboration with: Citeg (cost calculations)
Status: masterplan finished, implementation started