How can accessibility of and within the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region (AMR) be improved in conjunction with urbanisation? In the planning stage of the regional Accessibility Programme, Posad has used a design research process to help identify the tasks facing the state and the region.
The AMR is the most important economic region in the Netherlands. Moreover, Amsterdam consistently appears in top 10 lists of the world’s most livable and attractive cities. To maintain and strengthen its position as its economy and population continue to grow, the region will have to ensure that door-to-door travel stays as comfortable as possible. We have identified five important future tasks relating to this goal. They are interlinked in various ways and therefore must be addressed together.
1. How can we maximise the AMR’s competitiveness?
The AMR’s economy is currently extremely powerful, and its vitality must be preserved. It is therefore necessary for the region to be able to respond to change flexibly and quickly. The question is: how can we ensure that investments in accessibility maximise the AMR’s competitiveness? And how can we minimise economic losses resulting from inconveniences and delays?
2. How can we keep key areas accessible?
How can we keep the AMR’s most economically important areas accessible in ways that are appropriate for their functions and users? These areas include the Schiphol/Zuidas corridor, the banks of the rivers Zaan and IJ, the sustainable Westas, Amsterdam Science Park, and the Amsterdam city centre. Their accessibility is significant at different scales. When things go wrong at one scale, the entire system is affected.
3. How can we build attractive housing while keeping the city accessible and livable?
How can we handle the urgent need for housing in the AMR (construction of 250,000 new dwellings is planned by 2040) in such a way that we are able to build attractive, demand-oriented homes? And how will we ensure that, at the same time, the city and its key locations remain accessible and livable? With the housing market under enormous pressure and space scarce, the market risks overheating and lower-income residents risk being squeezed out. Currently, the norm is to maximise density around public transport hubs. But can the existing infrastructure cope with the increased demand, and is this what people want?
4. How can we maintain an effective, demand-oriented daily urban system?
Approximately 85% of all travel in the AMR takes place between economically important locations within the region – in other words, within its so-called daily urban system. How can we make these trips as comfortable as possible? It is important to coordinate the various transport options (car, bicycle, public transport) and to keep travel times, reliability and consumer experience of public transport at satisfactory levels.
5. How can we link other aims to the accessibility plan?
How can we utilise and promote the ambitions of the state, businesses in the AMR, and civil society? For example, the region’s rich, diverse natural landscape is one of its greatest assets. How can we preserve the landscape’s openness and specific qualities on the one hand while avoiding excessive limitations on economic development on the other? In addition, the energy transition will have significant spatial effects. How can we ensure that the accessibility plan takes these into account?