people and motives
Through the development of interventions, we want to gain a deep understanding of the use and identity of the Arena Boulevard. Who are the users? What are the groups that can be distinguished? How do they inhabit the space? Why are they there? What drives them? What is their attitude about the place? How does this change under different conditions? A combination of research methods has been selected: surveys, sociological observations, walk along interviews, photography, and video recordings.
Defined user groups
From Monday till Friday, a large number of office staff dominates the ArenA Boulevard. The rush hours are between 7.00 and 9.00 a.m.; 12:00 and 14:00 p.m. and 17:00 and 19:00 p.m. Their past is fast and in a straight line towards their destination. During lunch hours, many of them go to the Hoekenrode square to get something to eat at one of the shops.
Retail consumers can be found at the boulevard at any time. In the morning, it is mainly quiet. The busiest day is on Saturdays. They usually visit the MediaMarkt, Decathlon, Perry Sport, Prenatal, and/or the Villa Arena. Some of them combine it with a visit to the Febo.
Tourists are easy recognizable by their suitcases and their particular way of walking. They wander around, while feeling a bit disoriented. There are a number of points where they stop to find their way, to a hotel, by using their mobile. There are also tourists who come to the Boulevard taking selfies of them with the stadium.
Mainly in the mornings between 10.00 and 12.00 facility staff can be spotted at the boulevard. During these off-peak hours, goods are supplied with (freight) cars and small trolleys.
Families visit one of the big stores called Ballorig, go to the cinema, or for one of the events in the Afas and Ziggodome. Children run through the public space, taking photos, eating chips, and ice creams bought at the fast-food shop, Febo. A visit to the ArenA Boulevard is a real getaway for families. However, the boulevard itself does not provide any specific facilities for children.
During events, the ArenA Boulevard has a different atmosphere. A crowd gathers together before and after football matches, events, and concerts. Visitors of one of these events share the same interest which unites and creates a specific environment.
One of the methods of research is conducting surveys on the quality of accommodation and social security on the boulevard. For instance, 165 respondents completed the questionnaire and were distributed on peak and off-peak hours. Visitors were asked to indicate the most and least attractive place on the boulevard. The maps below show the results.
In surveys indicated as least attractive places
In surveys indicated as most attractive places
When putting the results of both surveys over each other, you can see that the square is divided in three sections.