Utrecht Hot Spot Highlights

In yet another forward thinking partnership, the municipality of Utrecht, together with Het Utrechts Archief, has established a hotspot monitor and is one of the first municipalities in the Netherlands to do this. The monitor describes 44 major events in the city of Utrecht over the period of 2013-2017.

With this list, the municipality of Utrecht and Het Utrechts Archief can preserve even more important historical information permanently.

On 6 December, municipal archivist Kaj van Vliet handed over the hotspot monitor to Alderman Linda Voortman.

In addition to the regular government information that the municipality of Utrecht and Het Utrechts Archief already stores, every Dutch municipality is obliged to establish a hotspot monitor from 2017 onwards. The hotspot monitor helps a municipality to determine in advance which events have special significance and on which more information must be kept. Municipal archivist Kaj van Vliet explained:

It is very important to keep you busy with recent history in this age of digital information. Because if we do not properly capture and store the information about important events in the city in our systems, they could have disappeared there tomorrow.

In the Utrecht monitor, there are 44 events from the 2013-2017 period that were very important for the residents of Utrecht, chosen because for example the event caused social turmoil, received a lot of attention in the media or where debate arose about the position of the municipality as government.

Examples of hotspots include the closure of sex workspaces at the Zandpad and the Hardebollenstraat.

Then there was the emergency shelter for asylum seekers, the expansion of the A27, the establishment of the Environmental Zone, the return of the north side of the Catharijnesingel, the construction of the new Central Station and the start of the Tour de France in Utrecht.

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“The most important events of recent years are shown in the Hotspot Monitor. Events that color our memory of those years are merged into this monitor. As a municipality, we make the available information more accessible, “says Alderman Linda Voortman.

View the hotspot monitor Gemeente Utrecht 2013-2017 here.

The municipality of Utrecht set up a working group that selected the hotspots. This working group consisted of process managers and advisers from the Municipality of Utrecht, the municipal archivist, representatives from the KKCD Knowledge and Quality Center Documentary Information of the municipality of Utrecht and an external expert from the Utrecht community.

Extensive research has been done in different sources. In addition, each event was tested against various criteria and the relation to the scope of the municipality of Utrecht.

In the coming months, the municipality of Utrecht will carry out an analysis based on the descriptions of the hotspots. The monitor will be updated every two years with new events and the existing selection will be improved.

this is a fascinating instance of social history being brought to life and perhaps an opportunity for the local community to be involved a little more.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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