Futuristic thinking room…?

A row has erupted over a new initiative aimed at getting transport ministry officials to ‘think outside of the box’ when it comes to solving traffic jams and other pressing problems.

The part of the ministry charged with road and water management has opened a brand new futuristic ‘thinking room’ at its Utrecht operation – a 3,000 square metre space in which ‘the senses and brain’ are stimulated so that civil servants can come up with more creative solutions to the big issues of the day.
It is a novel idea, but a number of MPs are rather angry at the €5m price tag attached to the complex. In photographs it resembles a disco rather than an office, complete with pink and blue floor, wall lighting and massive video screens.
Ton Knoester, one of the bright sparks responsible for the development of this ‘centre for the future’, points out in Elsevier magazine that if someone comes up with a great idea to save money, then the cost of the project will be covered. Indeed it will.
And there is a lot for the civil servants to solve while they are lying on their backs meditating: traffic jams, road pricing, high-speed train links, raising the dykes, rising sea levels… And after all, if this daring approach to problem-solving fails, all they need to do is add in a bar and drown their sorrows.

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