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March Conference - Presentation - EN

N°60 | Inverdan, Redevelopment of Zaanstad Central Node

Overview Summary Objectives Outcomes Partners

Lead Partner Municipality of Zaanstad
Contact Person J. Schreuder
Position within organisation: Process Manager
Telephone number : 00 31 075 681 6750
Fax number : 00 31 075 681 65 99
Email address :
Website :
Project type : Implementation
Partners involved :
Relevant measure(s) : 1
Total eligible cost (€)
Summary Top
From the Golden Age to World War II, the Zaan Region has offered various conditions for business establishment that have distinguished it from other areas. All these advantages, however, have since disappeared. The Zaan Region has fallen outside the main flow of European economic development. The effects of this shift on the employment situation and investor interest of private individuals have been negative. Employment in this area during the past few years has lagged behind the national average. Nearly two centuries ago railways took over the world. A railway was laid to nearly every city of importance. A century later, railways were followed by roads. This infrastructure was built on the edges of cities. Through urban development the peripheral position of this infrastructure became much more central and is now completely surrounded by buildings. Although the central location is a considerable advantage because of its nearness for travellers, the divisive effect of the infrastructure has the disadvantage of blocking spatial and social development. In Zaanstad the central area on the east side of the extensive residential areas is separated on the west side by railways and two through roads. Both problems occur all over Europe and convert the historical economic advantage into retarded economic development. Zaanstad refuses to accept this situation as a kind of natural phenomenon. To solve both problems, Zaanstad has initiated the Inverdan Project. Framework. The Municipality of Zaanstad intends to use the Inverdan Project to kill two birds with one stone. The Municipality wants to make Zaanstad attractive to entrepreneurs of the service economy and to join up the two parts of the city physically and functionally. These aims are to be accomplished through a physical and social transformation at fourteen locations on both sides of the railway. The process of physical transformation concerns acquisition, demolition and construction to make space for new economic activities at locations previously used by light and heavy industry. The social transformation concerns the concentration of (new) social, educational and cultural and leisure facilities at these new locations. Altogether the project, its high quality in particular, should help Zaanstad develop an agreeable face that attracts the new market of business services, while the social, cultural and educational infrastructure should support and strengthen this establishment quality.
Objectives Top
The Municipality intends to integrate many facilities on a large area on the west side of town, next to the station. The integration of facilities at the site of a former rubbish tip next to the station is a good example of the project’s modernising character. A campus complex will be built here for intermediate (technical) vocational education. The 20,000 m² complex will be realised by the private Zernike Group, which will lease it to various parties, including a regional educational centre (ROC). The complex will accommodate 8000 students, 3500 of whom will be doing full-time courses. The complex is intended to be attractive enough to reverse the negative trend of the past few years. It is here that the future employees of the service economy will be educated. On the other half of the area, the part created by rubbish fill, the Municipality will be combining a number of leisure facilities on the 10,000 m² available. This area will also be an important part of the project. In European terms, the leisure economy is a growth sector that will give Zaanstad the chance to modernise its image as an industrial region. Apart from this aspect, there will be sufficient space for housing construction (400 units) and extensive parking facilities. This part of the project will involve collaboration with private businesses as well. The sub-project can start in 2002 and be completed in 2006.
Outcomes Top
The transformation of a decreasingly industrial region into a region based on a modern service economy accommodation of the divisive effects of heavy rail and vehicle infrastructure, which was formerly on the edge of town but are now in the centre.
Partners Top
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