Conference nets new urbanisation agreements

And now to realise the construction of housing! That was the message of Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra (Spatial Planning) to managers and decision-makers during the Future-proof Urbanisation conference. And successfully: the first appointments were made immediately.

Bom-Lemstra is clear: “We can talk for ages about planning capacity in the future, but this is now about us building, especially where the need is the greatest - in existing built-up areas, where there is still sufficient space. Let us use that space first, before we start carving up polders and meadows.” And besides, the facilities that residents need, are already there: for instance, shops, schools and public transport.

Regional Minister Floor Vermeulen (Traffic & Transport): “As a Province, we have already promoted the construction in well-accessible places for a good number of years. I am glad to see that 70% of the new housing construction plans until 2024 is near high-quality public transport, because people want to be able to travel to their destination by bicycle, car and public transport.”

Principles in urbanisation

The groundwork must be done, but not just like that. The Regional Ministers present seven principles in urbanisation to the more than 140 attendees, aldermen of municipalities in Zuid-Holland, directors of transport companies and decision-makers in construction:

  1. Build according to your own needs and consult within the region
  2. Build within the existing built area
  3. Build near high-quality public transport
  4. Differentiate the housing stock
  5. Use the potential of greenery and water
  6. Nurture and develop areas for the new economy
  7. Contribute to the energy transition

Agreements on follow-up

These principles form the basis of agreements that the attendees made on the spot. The Urbanisation Alliance, a collaboration of eight municipalities along the railway line Leiden-Dordrecht, indicated their intention to build 170,000 homes until 2040. Various parties in Drechtsteden will jointly explore the options of ‘living beside the water’ in (former) industrial sites.

Various municipalities will consult with Bouwend Nederland on how they will incorporate the sustainabilization task for the existing housing stock. The municipalities to the south of Rotterdam (Albrandswaard, municipalities in the Hoeksche Waard and on Voorne-Putten) will collaborate to retain the vitality in the centres and to improve it.

That is SMART! Use of Space

The conference was the closing of the That is SMART! Use of Space campaign, in which the Province of Zuid-Holland looked for good initiatives to tackle vacancy. The aim: strong, attractive towns and villages where people like to live and companies want to establish themselves. It led to great new collaborations and actions to which the Province will commit in 2018.