Lots of traffic, lots of concrete and then this aircraft noise: Emmen is not known for its beauty. High time to change that. The “Emmen am See” association therefore encourages people to rethink Emmen. For example, the military airfield is to be turned into a park with a lake. We talked to the initiators about their ideas.

This is what Emmen could look like once the project” Emmen am See “was presented. What strikes you at first glance is the lake that shapes the landscape.

 Artists collective wants to transform the military airfield into a park with a lake

The lake should come to where the Emmen military airfield is today. “In the vision, the airfield and the aircraft no longer exist,” says Raphael Beck, president of the association.

 artist collective wants to transform military airfield into a park with lake

The project was not directed against the military airfield, said Beck. “We want to be for something and not against something,” explains the club president.

That's what it's all about

  • An association wants to create a new vision of what they consider to be a liveable Emmen. What is missing is a local recreation area.

  • At the place where the Emmen military airfield is today, a lake can be found in the visualization of a possible vision.

  • However, the “Emmen am See” project is not directed against the airfield. This no longer exists in the vision.

  • Behind the project lies the question: “How would you?” A lake doesn't necessarily have to come out of it in the end.

A lot of aircraft noise, a lot of traffic, little green space. The municipality of Emmen is not a beauty queen. What is missing is clear from the point of view of some Emmer and Emmer women: a local recreation area. In order to create a new vision of what they consider to be an Emmen that is worth living in, they founded the “Emmen am See” association. A first visualization of a possible vision can already be found on the club's website. Striking: Where the Emmen military airfield is today, there is now an inland waterway with many cozy corners.

It's not about building a lake

“In the vision, the airfield and the planes no longer exist,” says Raphael Beck, President of the “Emmen am See” association. The project was not directed against the military airfield, said Beck. “We want to be for something and not against something,” explains the club president. If someone has a vision in which the airfield is part of it, then this will also be looked at.

The whole project is based on the question “How who would be?”. Everyone is invited to take part, says Beck. “In the end, you get a picture of how the people of Emmen imagine themselves,” he says. The Emmer project does not focus on whether there will ultimately be a lake in Emmen. «You can imagine the lake as a working title», explains Beck.

Similarities to Berlin-Tempelhof

The idea is also popular with the population. “I've received a lot of feedback from people who think the project is super cool,” says Beck. «Emmen am See» has already inspired other artists to create works. Among other things, the band Landsteiner of Lucerne writer Beat Portmann wrote a song for it. And the paper boat collective shot a suitable video clip for the project together with actor Manuel Kühne.

Projects such as those envisaged by the “Emmen am See” association have already been planned and sometimes even implemented in other locations. The Winterthur artist Erwin Schatzmann wanted to create a lake in the city of Winterthur. However, the project was rejected by the Winterthur electorate in 1999. A similar project has already been implemented in Berlin. The Tempelhofer Feld is located on the site of the former Berlin-Tempelhof Airport. Where planes used to fly people out into the big wide world, today – in the middle of the German capital – there is a huge local recreation area.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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