How housing, infrastructure and water determined the spatial structure of the Randstad

Hugo Priemus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    63 Downloads (Pure)


    Between 1950 and 1990, housing was the driving force behind the spatial growth of the Randstad. Growth poles (1970s) and later VINEX locations (1990–2010) were the main components of growth management. Transport infrastructure has developed greatly since the 1920s. Since 1990, infrastructure development has increasingly become the structuring force for the spatial dynamics of the Randstad. Schiphol was seen as the mainport for airlines, and Rotterdam-Europoort as the mainport for shipping lines and container transport. The landside infrastructural connections for Schiphol and Europoort had a big impact on the growth in the capacity of continental roads and rail lines. ICT- and energy infrastructure are now developing quickly. Recently, Amsterdam Internet Exchange became the largest ICT node in Europe. Finally, the Delta programme was introduced, strengthening the coastal areas and leaving more room for the rivers. For the future, a combination of housing, infrastructure and water for spatial developments will determine the spatial structure of the Randstad further. A compartmentalized plan of the Randstad between the main dikes is presented, which will increase the resilience of functions of the Randstad in the future when the North Sea level is expected to rise substantially. The analysis presented could be relevant for many urban deltas worldwide.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-25
    JournalEuropean Planning Studies
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2017


    • agglomeration effects
    • blue–green networks
    • Delta programme
    • Housing
    • infrastructure
    • Randstad

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