Over the past six months, 4th-year students of the Sports & Healthy Lifestyles graduation track of the Leisure & Events Management programme have produced a splendid design for a 3×3 basketball court on Buikslotermeerplein in Amsterdam-Noord. The Amsterdam Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab is located on this square and heard about the municipality’s desire for concrete solutions for athletes on the square. We passed on the issue to coordinator Josine Gräfe and students Melanie Zwezerijnen, Sanne Engelmann, Jessica van der Leest, Nick Blok and Haike Blommestijn. It is positive to see that the students have gradually established good contacts with the local network and managed to achieve some ownership with new partners such as Decathlon, designer Alder and 3×3 Unites.
A brief impression, written by the students themselves, is provided below.
A recent development on and around Buikslotermeerplein is that various urban athletes have found their way there to play sports. These new sporty users, known as ‘Urban athletes’, must be given as much scope as possible to practise their passion. However, it is not clear exactly how the project should be developed. The project group has been asked to come up with a design and implementation plan that will enable the optimal facilitation of urban sports, with a location as well as an activity plan.
Three concepts were developed on the basis of joint creative sessions and brainstorming sessions. Together with the municipality, a choice was made between these three concepts. A decision was made to organise a 3×3 basketball tournament on Buikslotermeerplein. Because of numerous factors that we have no control over as a project group, we have since decided to cancel the basketball tournament. As a result of the rising infection rates in November and December 2021, the project group chose to write up the basketball tournament concept for the municipality of Amsterdam but not to implement it. In addition, much depends on the permits, time and installation of the court that we have designed. After discussions with the client and our consultant, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that this will not be possible for us. We have therefore chosen to focus more on designing a high-quality, sustainable and well-developed 3×3 basketball court. The 3×3 basketball court is based on desk research, interviews with the target group, interviews with experts, prototype tests and a social media post.
By offering Urban Sports around Buikslotermeerplein, the aim is to introduce various groups from the neighbourhood to this sport through watching, doing, moving, experiencing and feeling. In this way, the important core value of ‘inclusiveness of Amsterdam-Noord’ can be guaranteed and the area made accessible to everyone. An additional aim is to enhance the image of Buikslotermeerplein and its surroundings by organising a tournament. This will make it possible to create a space that offers value for all urban athletes. We also wish to connect with everyone by creating a community.
We believe that creating a 3×3 basketball court on Buikslotermeerplein for young people in the neighbourhood will create a sense of community and a more attractive square. We will know that this belief is correct once we see young people from the neighbourhood enthusiastically using the 3×3 basketball court and also see it attracting the community. We will continue to monitor developments and if everything goes well, the 3×3 basketball court will be officially opened in March 2022.
Rosaly Studulski (municipality of Amsterdam and the first contact person), Elisa Bruelli, David Tatterstall (municipality of Amsterdam) and Inge Maass (municipality of Amsterdam), Robert Molenaar (Decathlon), Daud Bwefaren and Bas Rozendaal (3×3 Unites)