All News

Column Jurriaan van Stigt - Eyes on the ball

13 July 2021

Cobouw Jurriaan van Stigt 210618 Ogen op de bal

With football back high on everyone's agenda and eyes on the ball, it's ultimately about just a few games and a lot of talking about the ball. A well-known Dutch coach, Rinus Michels, once said “the ball is round,” to which his disciple Johan Cruijff later added: “you have to shoot to score.” These seem to be simple statements, but they hit the mark right away. Everyone talks about football, but what about scoring?

As an office we build and realize a lot of housing in very different places, but production stagnates, and everything becomes more expensive and takes more time. It is striking that, just like with football, everyone talks about it and above all can point out who or what caused it. The municipality points to the developers or corporations, who point to the regulations or pension funds, the designers to the client and the municipality or environmental services, builders again to designers, municipalities and governments, and so on.

In the end, we harm ourselves. Out of fear of full liability and mistrust of other parties, we are now dealing with a mountain of lists, rules and additional requirements that stumble over each other: from the building decree, the bicycle letter and the municipal ordinance to the window cleaning decree, the NEN 2580 and everything in between. For example, for a housing project we received a contract and programme of requirements of 6,000 pages. Whether we agree. Well. I wonder, are the eyes still on the ball: making good, beautiful, nice homes for everyone? Have we lost sight of the human dimension?

I see happening here what also happened in the national allowance affair, and about which everyone is now, of course, full of indignation: overzealous and literal implementation of every letter of the objective. It would be good for all parties to take a look in the mirror and ask to what extent policy and implementation have not been separated from each other. And whether trust and reasonableness are still the starting points. Let's think about that in the near future as we are looking at the ball.