Six new research projects for a sustainable urban area in the Netherlands

Six new research projects for a sustainable urban area in the Netherlands

How do we ensure that busy urban areas in the Netherlands are administered well and how do we keep them sustainable, liveable and accessible? These are the key questions in six new scientific research projects. The research teams will carry out their research within the two programmes Urban Regions in the Delta and Sustainable Accessibility of the Randstad by means of practically-oriented case studies. Their work is directly relevant for government bodies and companies.

The world population is increasingly becoming concentrated in larger cities – the Netherlands is continuing to urbanise as well. More people, more welfare and more globalisation lead to a strong growth in mobility and transport. But global warming also affects life in big cities. These developments have consequences for the accommodation, accessibility and environmental planning of urban areas.

The research programme Urban Regions in the Delta is developing knowledge for a sustainable environmental planning policy and for integrated area development in urban networks. The research focuses on water, accommodation and accessibility as well as on problems concerning administration and information systems. The research programme Sustainable Accessibility of the Randstad focuses on the knowledge needed to guarantee the long-term and sustainable accessibility of the Randstad. Both programmes fall within the NWO theme Connecting Sustainable Cities, and initiative from NWO and the Nicis Institute in collaboration with the Dutch government and other partners.

In all of the new projects consortia consisting of scientists and organisations involved in daily practice (such as government bodies and companies) will carry out practically-oriented case studies. In the four projects within the programme Urban Regions in the Delta 3.3 million euros will be invested. The two projects that fall under Sustainable Accessibility of the Randstad have been awarded 973,400 euros.

Projects awarded funding

Urban regions in the Delta:

Better airport regions: models and development pathways for sustainable urban transformation

Coordinator: Prof. A.A.J.F. van den Dobbelsteen, Delft University of Technology

How can large urban authorities and companies such as airports contribute to a more sustainable, resilient and flexible urban system? The research focuses on the Amsterdam region with the Zurich region forming the most important reference region. The aim is to provide policy guidelines for government bodies, industry and the academic world.

Location preferences of knowledge workers and regional development in the Amsterdam metropolis
Coordinator: Prof. S. Musterd, University of Amsterdam
This project will provide a model that simulates the residential preference of highly educated employees. After all, an important factor for the growth and flourishing of cities is their attractiveness for these employees. Particular attention will be paid to Helsinki, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Eindhoven.

The innovative potential of contextualising legal norms in governance processes (CONTEXT): the case of sustainable area development

Coordinator: Prof. W.G.M. Salet, University of Amsterdam
The researchers will study the tension between interactive policy processes and legislation in the context of sustainable regional development. For this they will use an approach in which the rules can be applied in a context-specific manner. The research will take place in the northern Randstad and the regions around Paris and Manchester.

Analysing and exploring sustainable urban strategies

Coordinator: Prof. H.J. Scholten, VU University Amsterdam

This project will provide new models that will integrate societal developments, urban processes and changes in accessibility with sustainability issues. The expected developments around the A2 motorway in the Netherlands will form the case study.

Sustainable Accessibility of the Randstad:

Implementing transit oriented development [iTOD]

Coordinator: Prof. L. Bertolini, University of Amsterdam
How can the barriers that stand in the way of integrating sustainable urban development and transport nodes be overcome? The Amsterdam metropolitan region will form the focal point of the study and the researchers will concentrate on actors and institutions, financial issues and the role of knowledge and information.

Transit oriented development in the Randstad Southwing

Coordinator: Dr K.T. Geurs, University of Twente

In the so-called Randstad Southwing administrative bodies and companies are working together to realise the integration of urban development and transport nodes. The researchers will help to develop strategies to realise a good outcome of this in the short to medium term. For this they will make use of experiences elsewhere in Europe and the United States.

Further information about the research theme/ collaboration Connecting Sustainable cities (VerDuS) can be found at

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