Why wait for the city council to develop a future vision when engaged citizens can come together to take the time to reflect on where we are, where we come from and where we want to go as a city. Initiated by ‘Centrum management Maastricht’ various perspectives from academia, retail, culture and hospitality were brought together to create their collective outlook for Maastricht. People like the young entrepreneur Natalia Westermann, originally from Groningen, who lives in a property guardianship (anti-kraak) and runs a vintage shop, but also Ton Harmes on behalf of the city centre entrepreneurs and Leontien Mees of Marketing Maastricht, to name just a few.
The brainstorming group characterises present-day Maastricht as a small, tarted-up town, with a proud reputation to uphold. “A bit posh, conventional with a splash of Napoleon. Maastricht would benefit from an identity that is a bit more modern, has a smaller ego, is more facilitating and open to change. A modern-day Maxima would be a nice personification of what Maastricht could be in 2040” says Damien Nunes. Nunes, originally from the Eindhoven region, is no stranger to innovative thinking and co-creation. He is involved in education for professionals in UMIO’s Service Science Factory. “Maastricht is a beautiful city to live in but for many outsiders such as tourists and students, it is a place to visit rather than to stay. They don’t have or take the opportunity to invest in building a long personal relationship with the city which is a shame because the city has so much potential to become the city you want to settle in. So what should the next step be, the focus for 2040?”