Fast-growing cities with an of ambition of healthy urban living, aiming to densify within existing city borders, are faced with the huge challenge of reducing extra car traffic and improving quality of live.
Utrecht is the city with the strongest growth in the Netherlands. It is projected to grow from 350.000 residents to approx. 400.000 in 2025. The plan is to achieve this with healthy and sustainable densification within the present city area. Merwedekanaalzone is one of the inner city development areas with 10.000 new homes to be build. It will become a high quality, attractive, healthy and sustainably mixed urban area for living, working and leisure. Thousands of new residents will be on the move, affecting the adjacent neighborhoods and main through roads, while the current capacity for cars is already nearing its limits. Organizing mobility in a different and innovative way is a necessity. The main points are: stimulating walking, cycling and high-end public transport and incorporating smart mobility solutions. To avoid excess car movement, congestion and problems with air quality and noise levels, the City of Utrecht and consultants from Rebel Group and Goudappel Coffeng have developed a smart and sustainable alternative mobility concept for Merwedekanaalzone. Key features, besides a design which stimulates walking and cycling, are a very low parking norm for private cars and a mobility hub with a variety of sharing mobility and other services. New residents are able to plan, book and pay their trip on their mobile phone. An important step towards Mobility as a Service.