Urban forest

The urban forest will be for everyone. A place for culture, rest and adventure, based on Philips’ philosophy. But it will also be a forest where nature can develop. This is stated in the draft development plan urban forest Eindhoven (in Dutch), which was drawn up with contributions from over 2500 Eindhoven residents.

Wielewaal
In early 2022, the municipality of Eindhoven purchased De Wielewaal estate. By purchasing the former Frits Philips estate, the municipality wants to turn the area between the Beatrix Canal and the Boschdijk into a continuous city forest. Country estate Welschap, the former golf course in Meerhoven, is also part of the urban forest.

Survey
Residents could make their opinions and ideas known to the municipality last year. This could be done via a digital survey. Residents’ Association Meerhoven called on its members to fill out the survey and to share their opinions and ideas with us. We took this input into discussions with the municipality and other parties, including the owner of the former golf course.

Development plan
The urban forest will be a collection of estates (such as De Wielewaal and Mispelhoef), parks (such as Philips de Jongh Park) and country estates (such as Welschap). Different zones in the city forest are intended for more activity, such as adventure, sports and games. Think of an observation tower or a bicycle path through the treetops. Other spots are for rest and nature development, suitable for hiking trails and small-scale activities such as nature education. The vision will be adopted by the City Council in early 2024, with or without modifications.

Points of attention
In general, Residents’ Assocation Meerhoven agress well with the draft plan In our reaction to the draft plan (in Dutch), we noted that we are pleased that the emphasis will be on culture, rest and adventure. It is positive that the entire area will remain (or become) largely accessible to the public. In addition, we emphasized that pedestrians and cyclists must be able to move optimally between the various areas. The A2/N2 in particular is currently a serious barrier for pedestrians and cyclists between Buitenplaats Welschap and the rest of the urban forest. Additional connecting bridges and/or tunnels could solve this problem. We also called for more attention to hospitality and safety. Finally, we urged restraint in making building plans for Buitenplaats Welschap.

Follow-up
After the development vision is adopted by the City Council, concrete plans for the urban forest will be developed and realized. De Wielewaal estate will probably open in phases starting in 2025.

Concept and illustration: studio Isis Boot – Design: Emmy van Lamoen