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Balkenende-Cabinet agrees to taller buildings in Randstad

More large urban parks

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE – The Randstad could one day look a lot more like New York if the Dutch government carries out its recently released vision statement. The Dutch may soon build taller high rises and develop large urban parks. The Balkenende cabinet recently reached consensus on the report Future Vision 2040.

The vision statement reformulates a vision for ‘the big four,’ Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, which together make up the western urban agglomeration known as the Randstad.

The future report envisions at least another 500,000 housing units to be created through the year 2040. Around 40 percent of these units are to be built within the present Randstad’s city boundaries. In each of the cities, space should be reserved for an urban park similar to the famous Central Park in Manhatten, although parks in the Netherlands usually are developed on the outskirts of the cities.

Horseshoe-shaped, the Randstad has green meadows at its centre, popularly known as the Green Heart. According to the vision statement, this region must be left untouched as much as possible. But the cabinet does believe that the Green Heart, now the domain of farmers, and designated for nature park space, must be more accessible to cyclists and foot traffic.

The Future Vision 2040 document will be made available to interested parties for their response and comments. This consultation round will be wrapped up at the end of October.