What I like most about the various ways of exploring our city described in this mini-series is their non-judgmental approach. Be it in the extreme of covering all streets, the normal people’s version of covering all areas using the VisitBrabant network of walking routes, or using the city as a canvas for gps art. They share that all of the city is interesting.
While the VisitBrabant network covers most city neighbourhoods, the sticklers among you may want to make sure. And there are good reasons to be a stickler. Exploring means finding out what is on offer, not having a look at what others have decided is (the best) on offer. So much in life is fractal and coming across surprising buildings, green spaces, trees, art works, views, ‘finds’ of whatever nature. is no exception. The whole premise of this blog is that once you’ve done the ‘big picture circuit’, lots remains to be discovered. And that statement remains true when you look through more fine grained glasses, and even more fine grained….I claim that it is basically turtles all the way down.
That is a good enough reason to take the city’s administrative units as your starting point; its 7 stadsdelen (districts), 20 wijken (boroughs) and 116 buurten (neighbourhoods).
The districts are Centrum, Woensel-North, Woensel-South, Tongelre, Stratum, Gestel, and Strijp, and useful for exploration, not as units of the city to be ‘ticked off’, but as areas to be explored individually in more depth.
One place to find out more about the next two level, the boroughs and neighbourhoods is here. The buroughs level is pretty much covered by the VisitBrabant routes. The colour codes of the map below indicate population numbers.
The numbers at the map represent the following boroughs: 1: Aanschot, 2: Dommelbeemd, 3: Achtse Molen, 4: Ontginning, 5: Begijnenbroek, 6: Erp, 7: Halve Maan, 8: Meerhoven, 9: Oud Tongelre, 10: Oud Woensel, 11: Centrum, 12: Oud Strijp, 13: De Laak, 14: Doornakkers, 15: Rozenknopje, 16: Oud Stratum, 17: Putten, 18: Gestelse Ontginning, 19: Oud Gestel, 20: Kortonj,
But the really interesting division is the one that breaks these buroughs down into neighbourhoods. The neighbourhood map looks like this:
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO OPEN AN INTERACTIVE MAP
Unfortunately, the official site that this map is lifted from has no English version, but is nevertheless helpful:
- first click on the left most button on the right hand side of the top bar to open a full screen version
- the map is now interactive: when you direct the pointer cross the map neighbourhood names appear
- in case you want background info on any particular neighbourhood: (1) find its name on the map, (2) select that name in the drop down menu, and (3) start the info search
Another site that does the same is this: this one makes it easy to compare neighbourhoods on various aspects (orange: below average, blue: above average, ,grey: average, white: not applicable).
All potentially interesting but from the perspective of using this admin tool for exploration, what ultimately matters is that neighborhoods have a distinctive character. That may not always be evident upon first sight, especially with the post WWII so-called extension areas, build in the 1960s and 1970s in especially Woensel, but the closer you look, the more often you visit, the more that character reveals itself.
To finally get to the point of this post: if you are looking for a way to – over a reasonable amount of time – explore the whole of Eindhoven – being more thorough than ‘just’ doing the VisitBrabant network of routes, but without going to extremes – ensuring a good look at each of the city’s neighbourhoods is the way to go.
Quite daunting, I agree, but unless you’ve made the effort, you have no right to claim that you know the city, and no right to complain that it is not interesting enough. But daunting it remains so let me offer you a something upbeat to balance it with: