2013.10.25_Urban development on the waterfront_1_660

Urban Development on the Waterfront

25 oktober 2013

5 minuten

Nieuws The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is becoming fuller and fuller, but space for development is scarce so it has to be sought at new locations. Over the coming decades the banks of the IJ inlet, River Zaan and North Sea Canal will be transformed from industrial, extensively used port areas into intensively used metropolitan live/work areas. The economic uncertainty is great, however, and social developments are difficult to predict. This calls for a two-pronged plan of attack: keep a close eye on developments and employ a broad planning framework that makes it possible to respond flexibly to changes.

Transforming dockland areas

Lessons learned from "Urban Development on the Waterfront"
- The transforming plan for the dockland areas is two-pronged: keep a close eye on developments and employ a broad planning framework that makes it possible to respond flexibly to changes.
- Crucial in transforming dockland areas is the search for a common goal and improvements that benefit all the parties concerned, instead of a struggle between the authorities and industry.
- The modification of the noise contours in Port-City allows a more efficient use of the space.

Vision for the North Sea Canal Area

The North Sea Canal Area fulfils an important role within the metropolitan region, as the home to business parks, urban live/work areas and green space where people work, live and spend their leisure time. Local, regional and national governments developed an integral vision in order to retain and enhance these diverse qualities for the future.
The Visie Noordzeekanaalgebied 2040 (Perspectives for the North Sea Canal Area in 2040) focuses on the area’s sustainable development as an economic powerhouse, with intensification as the basic principle. Several preconditions, the noise contours included, are being modified in order to allow a more efficient use of the space. This is a means of bringing living and working closer together and frees up more space for the desired metropolitan residential milieus.
There is also consideration for intensification and improvement in the quality of the existing landscape as well as nature and recreation areas. Green space and other functions will be combined where possible, by bringing green developments into the port area, for example.
In the autumn of 2013 the parties will begin working in concert on an implementation agenda. The agreements about monitoring what actually happens in the area and in the world at large are an important aspect of this. In addition, since the formulation of the vision there has been an ongoing dialogue with the business community, local residents and social organisations. The vision provides the stability of a fixed outline, and within this it possible to respond in concert to the opportunities that the future brings.

Urban Development on the Waterfront - Afbeelding 1

Because of developments along the IJ waterfront, this waterway is assuming a more central position within the city of Amsterdam. Picture courtesy of Edwin van Eis

‘Urban Development on the Waterfront - Afbeelding 1’

Port-City’s transformation

Port-City is designated as a transformation area in the Structural Vision: Amsterdam 2040 long-term strategy. This section of the port lies within the Ring A10 orbital motorway and is just a 10-minute cycle ride from the city centre. This area along the IJ’s northern and southern banks, and pushing out from the west side of the city, will be transformed step by step over the coming years. This thrust will emanate from the Sloterdijk multimodal transport hub, where plenty of office space stands vacant.
Until now these offices could not be converted into dwellings, because of the statutory noise contours of the Westpoort harbour area. However, research has revealed that these contours can be tightened, as the businesses in this part of the port produce much less noise than is permitted. Modification of the noise contours in Port-City will make it possible realise up to 9,000 dwellings and accommodate up to 38,000 jobs through to 2040.

The coming years will see the initial steps towards the area’s gradual transformation, while ensuring its quality and rallying public support. In 2025 the City Council will decide whether the Coen- en Vlothaven dockland area is to be transformed as well. If that is the case, then in 2040 Port-City will be able to accommodate 20,000 dwellings and 44,000 jobs.

Living and working in the ZaanIJ area

Zaanstad has 30 kilometres of waterfront and is attracting residents and businesses with innovative combinations of metropolitan living and working. The banks of the Zaan and IJ waterfronts are being jointly developed by Zaanstad and Amsterdam, with the support of national government. The ZaanIJ programme assumes the realisation of 30,000 new dwellings (with about a quarter of these in Zaanstad) and the creation of 30,000 jobs over a 20-year period.
Zaanstad Municipal Council has selected four locations for accelerated development: the Hembrug Terrain, the environs of the Wilhelminasluis lock complex in the heart of Zaandam, the Hemmes peninsula close by Zaanse Schans and lastly Noordzaan, an area surrounding two factory complexes. For the first three locations the municipality is directly involved; for the latter it has produced a coherent vision to coordinate with existing initiatives and inspire new ones.
A significant proportion of the job creation in the ZaanIJ area is being sought in creative and innovative sectors, as well as in services, care, recreation and tourism. At the same time Zaanstad is maintaining its focus on manufacturing industry, which has made the region great and continues to be a strong presence.

Urban Development on the Waterfront - Afbeelding 2

Investing in the natural and recreational qualities of the North Sea Canal Area is important in order to provide a counterbalance to urban pressures. Picture courtesy of Edwin van Eis

‘Urban Development on the Waterfront - Afbeelding 2’

The Monitor ZaanIJ survey was initially conducted in 2012 to gain insight into the development of the Zaan and IJ waterfronts. It revealed that the population, housing stock and employment there have increased considerably over the last decade. In addition, the type of business enterprise is changing: in the vicinity of existing urban areas there is an evident shift towards a smaller-scale business milieu with a large proportion of urban and creative services. The survey will be repeated in 2017.

Dialogue with businesses

A mix of functions is not yet possible at many places in the ZaanIJ area, because the environmental zoning means that people are not allowed to live there. With the ‘Zaans Proeflokaal’ project – the ‘Zaandam Tasting Bar’ – Zaanstad entered into an open dialogue with industrial enterprises in order to address this problem. This revealed once again that the environmental zoning is overly generous and is sometimes only partially utilised.
Because of the positive and broadly supported outcomes of the ‘Zaans Proeflokaal’ project, Zaanstad now wants to apply this modus operandi throughout the region. Crucial in this regard is the search for a common goal and improvements that benefit all the parties concerned. It is not about a struggle between the authorities and industry; it is about working together towards making Zaanstad and environs a place where it is more pleasant to work and live.

Full text of the publication (in Dutch): PlanAmsterdam 6-2013

Cover: ‘2013.10.25_Urban development on the waterfront_1_660’

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