Meerhoven badly needs community centre

Meerhoven by night Picture credit: Pleun Wolters, Studio 040

Residents of Meerhoven in Eindhoven want a community centre. A petition for this has been signed 767 times. According to the initiators of the petition, the neighbourhood lacks social cohesion, partly due to the many different groups of people who live there. “Connection is desperately needed.”

“Everyone lives in a bubble,” says Chaitali Sengupta, one of the initiators of the petition. “Different things are organised by different groups, but it all goes past each other. A central point where people can come together provides meaningful interactions.”

The Meerhoven district is very diverse, with many expats. In 2023, almost half of all residents had a migration background. “How do you connect an older, Dutch person to an international?”, asks Diana Angelova, one of the other initiators. “This requires a place where people can meet.”


“I see Meerhoven as an example district in Eindhoven. Where natives and expats live together. We must be an example for an inclusive society.” According to Sengupta, it is difficult to integrate into a neighbourhood with many different backgrounds, because it is easy to stay in your own bubble, and poor Dutch can also be a barrier. “That can cause loneliness and put pressure on social cohesion.”

The petition was presented to the city council, which will now look for a location. Angelova would prefer to have a community centre with a library. “A library brings people together with interests. It also helps with learning the Dutch language. Reading books in the library with grandparents is something that is important for a neighbourhood.” The most important thing is the accessibility that such a library brings. “It is a place that is accessible to all residents, where people can catch up and drink coffee. That connection is very much needed in our neighbourhood,” says Sengupta.

Healthy neighbourhood

“An engaged community is a strong community. It provides meaningful interactions. People can discuss topics together, find solutions together and help each other,” says Sengupta. “It is also important within the Dutch community to have people who help each other. That is how you form a healthy neighbourhood,” concludes Angelova.

Translated by Yawar Abbas

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