A plea for building higher in Hasselt
We believe that we are at this moment on a very interesting turning point in time. "Hasselt upwards" is more relevant than ever. After a period of regret and aversion due to the mistakes made in the 70s and 60s the debate about high-rise typologies is more alive than ever.
Architects, urban designers, policy makers and investors are again interested in high-rise typologies and their specific advantages. High-rise typologies can play an important role in the ongoing densification process and can make the urban landscape more readable.
We would like to open the debate about using high-rise typologies in Hasselt and propose not to confine this debate to a "for or against towers in Hasselt" discussion, but broaden the discussion to the relevance of this typology for the city of Hasselt.
Of course we understand the risks and challenges coming with implementation of high-rise typologies into the urban tissue of Hasselt. Hasselt is and should preserve its quality as a city on a human scale. Therefore high-rise typologies should only be allowed on specific locations and under special conditions.
We believe that it is important that the city of Hasselt works on a vision on the implementation of high rise buildings in the city. As a city it is crucial to have a proper decision-making framework in place. We feel that the city of Hasselt, like the city of Antwerp, should asses high-rise initiatives on two main considerations:
1.The location of the initiative
2. The architecture of the building
First of all the initiative should be assessed on its position in the urban fabric. Some places are more suitable then others to build up. We need to ask ourselves if the high rise initiative fits within the existing urban tissue and what the impact of the initiative will be on its surroundings and the skyline of the city and neighborhood.
If the location of the initiative is approved a second assessment of the initiative should be made. An assessment of the Architecture of the initiative. We judge the initiative on its shape, height, the materials used, sustainability and residential quality (inside and in its vicinity).