- Towards a strategic spatial Agenda for an expanding Randstad    click here to open paper content625 kb
by    Vonk, Liese & Wierenga, Elien & Vleeshouwers, Susanne | liese.vonk@minvrom.nl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The Randstad faces some big challenges. To prepare for the future, we need strategic spatial interventions. To define the interventions of the national government and the role a new spatial development framework is needed. But how does it look like?
A new spatial development framework?

The Dutch National Spatial Strategy of 2006 designates six national urban networks. Randstad Holland (the western part of The Netherlands) is the biggest. For the Netherlands, the Randstad is important as the economic core and the political, cultural and demographic heart of the country. This area is highly significant for the long-term vitality and appeal of the Netherlands and Europe.

The National Government has a high ambition with this area. In the National Spatial Strategy we aim at strengthening the position of the Randstad as a competitive European top region in a sustainable way.

Nowadays the Randstad is a very high dynamic urbanised area. The high dynamic functions, like the economy have a tense relation with the low dynamic areas, like the green open spaces. To gain strength the tension has to stay balanced so that the green open spaces can part of and experienced as an urban quality.

For the future of the Randstad we (government and non government) have to deal with different challenges, like global economic dynamics, adequate protection against flooding, water storage, new forms of living and recreation, tackling traffic congestion, maintaining and developing high qualitative green spaces, including the Green Heart in the Randstad and green networks, as well as tackling the social problems in the cities and making space for new economic development.

In the next coming years we must take decisions (part are spatial) to prepare the Randstad for the future. Dealing with the challenges the spatial decisions have to be sustainable and strengthen the position of the Randstad as a top region. All together this in itself is a very complex challenge for the Netherlands.

Our history of planning was very centralised. Our planning documents could be characterised as blueprints. Today we changed our approach due to several reasons. This change also means the Ministry of Spatial Planning and the Environment has to redefine her role to be able to react in a sustainable way to the challenges, and to reach the high ambition for the Randstad.

Both the national role and the type of national interventions are part of a larger system of planning and decision-making by other governments or even non-governments. To select the specific national strategic spatial interventions and the role of the national government in spatial planning, a new development framework is needed. Our central questions therefore are:
1. What does a new development framework in national spatial planning look like?
2. How can we apply it as a new planning tool in the national spatial strategy?
Randstad, spatial interventions, spatial development framework
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