Transformation strategy Harbor City, Amsterdam, 2014

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Strong Harbor, Smart City

Project leaders: Maurits de Hoog (City) and Leonie van den Beuken (Port of Amsterdam)

I was the supervising designer and planner in the team that developed a decision-making strategy on transformation in Amsterdam between 2012 and 2014. The Structural Vision 2040 for Amsterdam formulated the long-term goal to enlarge the urban living area along the waterfront by redevelopment of an industrial harbor site. In order to reach that goal, the team had to provide the City Council with input, how to decide on transformation of this site into a mixed-use urban area, without structurally impacting the economy of the harbor.

The team developed different strategies, based on our environmental and land-use research. Some more focussed on an administrative change in environmental zoning, one relied on active negotiations of the City with the major harbor-businesses about relocation and the fourth strategy followed a tactic of seduction. The City would invest in high urban quality at strategic locations to stimulate investors to start development, which in turn would influence the major harbor industries in their business perspectives.  A cost-benefit report was created based on each of the strategies. The council decided on a slow strategy, starting with the administrative change in environmental zoning, combined with the seduction strategy. With the Transportation Department I researched the feasibility of necessary adaptions in the traffic network. I drew and described the spatial and urban qualities of the land-use development in different phases of this strategy, and pointed out future moments of decision making.

The strategy allowed for an addition of 12,000 houses until 2025, and another 8,000 in case of a follow up after 2025. The strategy has been accepted by the City Council, and the Port Authority.

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