On Friday, April 16, Mario Jacobs was awarded the Silver Medal of Honor by the municipality of Tilburg for his exceptional personal achievements for Tilburg. At that time Mario Jacobs officially stepped down as a councillor of Tilburg, as he will leave for Water Board Aa en Maas, where he will be installed as a dike-reeve. Because of the corona measures, Mayor Weterings presented the Silver Medal of Honor during a digital parting program.
Mario Jacobs has been an alderman of Tilburg since April 2014 on behalf of his party GroenLinks. During this period he has been very creditable to the city and its inhabitants. Mario is known as a committed administrator with great dossier knowledge. He is determined, sharp in his analysis and a smooth talker. By combining ambition with witticism, he is able to convince others and knows when to push the envelope. Spread over two terms in government, he has done a great deal of good to make the city attractive and to improve the living conditions for its residents.
In the inclusive city, Mario Jacobs made an important contribution in the temporary (emergency) housing of refugees during the crisis in 2015. Where in other parts of the Netherlands the placement of refugees led to fierce resistance, protests and even riots, in Tilburg it remained remarkably calm. This is partly due to Mario's actions, by really engaging with local residents and being there for the neighborhood on a daily basis. He also made an effort to offer refugees a place in society more quickly and to make them feel at home in our region more easily, with the corresponding integration for status holders.
In the sustainable city, Mario has ensured that smart and sustainable mobility has become a high priority on the Tilburg agenda with special attention to traffic safety and vulnerable road users. Examples of this are the pilots on the cityring, express cycle routes and the cycle tunnel at Stappegoor. He has also managed to ensure that cyclists and pedestrians now have priority on our traffic circles. In addition, Mario has worked hard for a high-quality bus station and high-quality and sustainable bicycle parking facilities at the station.
Green, nature and landscape
In the field of nature, green, landscape and water his merits lie in the qualitative upgrading of the green in and around the city; parks and forests that many Tilburg citizens can enjoy. He was also responsible for putting plans on the agenda and realizing them around the city-regional parks Koningshoeven/Moerenburg, Stadsbos013 and Park Pauwels and ecological connecting zones as a link between the Natura-2000 areas and our (inner) city. Specific results are a new tree ordinance, greening of the tangents and the green inner city (including vertical greenery). There are also important connections with the region and the province through, among others, Van Gogh National Park, Vital Leisure Landscape and the Bels Lijntje. These beautiful concepts are taking shape and are now also known nationally.
Public space and climate adaptation
In addition, Mario's merits for a climate-adaptive city are especially recognizable in the approach "Cool Tilburg", the rollout of the blue veins and a different way of designing public space. In that same public space, with Tilburg Schoon, the experiments and civic initiatives (e.g., murals and pop-up parks), he has put the importance of a clean, safe and biodiverse city structurally on the agenda of a liveable Tilburg.
Considering the vital city, his merit is recognizable in the unraveling and realization of the renovated Wagnerplein as the heart of Tilburg-Noord, the expansion of Heyhoef district shopping center and the realization of the Koningsoord plan. In addition, Mario has energetically shaped the development of the inner city as an attractive area for shopping, living, working and leisure. His main achievements are the choice for the extension of the city ring, the planning of Koningsplein to Koningswei and very recently the approval of the City Council for the design of the Stadsforum.