The central objective of the Zuidas development, of which Amsterdam Zuid station and the areas around it are the core, is an economic one: to reinforce the economic structure of the Amsterdam city and region in general and of the Zuidas in particular through an integrated approach to its development. There is, however, a more ad hoc motive. Far-reaching transformations in both the property and transport domains are already on their way, despite
this planning initiative. In the last 25 years 350 000 m2 of offices have been built in the area, mostly in an 'incidental' way. Also, the need to expand the road and rail infrastructure is a result of exogenous developments. The Zuidas plan tries to make sense of all this in order to realize, largely a posteriori, wider urban development objectives. The most delicate point, and indeed the heart of the problem, is thus how to integrate in a limited space these already intense transport and property dynamics.
Central elements in the development strategy are a further strengthening of the accessibility of the location, the achievement of a functional mix, high densities, a concentration of economic activities in the core of the area around Zuid station, high-quality open spaces, and the enforcement of a selective allocation of parcels. The instrument chosen to implement these objectives is an integrated master plan.
Integrated' means here based on studies covering environmental, property market, infrastructure, financial, phasing and other issues. The master plan entails a vision of the future of the Zuidas, or an urban design framework, agreed upon by the administrative conference of the central city and the local districts: a sort of spatial contract between administrations. It has an orientating and tutoring function, and it allows changes. It indicates what is essential and what is flexible. It has no legal status, and must thus be eventually translated into detailed plans (bestemmingsplannen) with legal force.
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