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Spatial developments

Housing, work and retail mix in urban areas, 2000-2008

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The Dutch Spatial Policy Document focuses on urban centre development in urban networks and in new key projects (NSPs). Diversity in urban functions also plays a role in this. There is a high level of diversity in highly-urbanised centres and in the new key project areas. An increase in the level of function mixing was seen between 2000 and 2008 in most urban centres, mainly due to an increase in the number of homes. In the NSPs, a slight decline in diversity was seen, mainly due to a decrease in the number of shops.

Function mixing in highly-urbanised centres

According to the Spatial developments in urban areas, the dynamics of urban environments 2000-2006 study (Ruimtelijke ontwikkelingen in het stedelijk gebied, Dynamiek van stedelijke milieu's 2000-2006), there are 44 municipalities with a highly-urbanised centre in the Netherlands. These centres have a high level of mixing of housing, work and shops/amenities. The centre of Zoetermeer has the highest level of mixing. There has been an increase in mixing in most centres. Mixing increased the most in the centres of Dordrecht, Roosendaal, Venlo and Zwolle. The increase is mainly due to an increase in the number of houses, and partly due to a decrease in the working population. The housing function is relatively under-represented in highly-urbanised centres. Mixing decreased in 10 of the 44 centres between 2006 and 2008. The largest decrease was seen in the centres of Drachten, Heerlen and Leeuwarden. In Drachten and Heerlen, this was caused by a decrease in the number of houses.

Function mixing around new key project stations

There is a high level of mixing of the functions housing, work and shops/amenities in the station areas near the NSPs. In fact, mixing in the areas around Breda and Rotterdam-Centraal stations is higher than the mixing in these highly-urbanised centres. This is because there is relatively little housing in the highly-urbanised centres compared with work and shops/amenities. The least spatial mixing is seen in the Amsterdamse Zuidas station area, also due to the relatively few houses. A slight decrease was seen in function mixing in the NSPs between 2006 and 2008, with the exception of the Breda and Rotterdam Centraal station areas. The decline was strongest in the Den Haag Centraal station area in The Hague, where many shops and homes disappeared.

Centres essential for urban networks

The Spatial Policy Document states that the creation of urban centres is essential for creating urban networks. Urban centres increase the level of urbanisation, form the basis for synergy in urban networks and ensure the better utilisation of existing built-up areas, infrastructure and traffic and transport hubs. The Dutch government is actively contributing to six key projects for centre formation: Zuidas in Amsterdam, Rotterdam Centraal, Utrecht Centraal, Den Haag Centraal and the area around the stations in Arnhem and Breda. There is also the ambition to increase urban intensity in other existing centres.

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Reference for this page

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2014). Housing, work and retail mix in urban areas, 2000-2008 (indicator 2014, version 03 , 20 May 2014 ). www.environmentaldata.nl. Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.

The Environmental Data Compendium is a partnership of CBS, PBL, RIVM and WUR.