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Zuidasdok: a focus on the living environment

The popularity of Zuidas as a place to live and work means it is growing fast. The area isbustling with building activity and investment in real estate is in full flow. A number ofbuilding contracts for new office and housing complexes were signed recently. More and more travellers are finding their way to Zuidas. In order to consolidate the growth of Zuidas long-term, the A10 motorway and Amsterdam Zuid railway station will get a makeover, starting in 2017. Creating an easily-accessible metropolis and attractive living environment are key to the Zuidasdok project.

NORTH AND SOUTH COME TOGETHER

Have you ever walked right through a dyke? That is exactly what Zuidas pedestrians do every day when they use the passage which links Gustav Mahlerplein and Zuidplein. The Minerva passage goes underneath six motorway lanes and several train and metro tracks that were built on the dyke itself. This infrastructure, which cuts Zuidas in half, is a 'considerable barrier', says director of Dienst Zuidas Klaas de Boer. Zuidasdok, however, will change all that. 'We are going to put over a kilometer of the motorway underground, effectively halving the length of the divide.' Apart from achieving more peace and quiet, this will help unify the area, De Boer argues. 'Railway underpasses will be shorter and north and south will come closer together. There will also be a new link for pedestrians, the Brittenpassage. The new-look Amsterdam Zuid station will then have two north-
south connections.'

Zuidasdok10

A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE

One of the main objectives of the Zuidasdok plan is to create unity. The design of public spaces plays an important part in this. Although decisions about greenery, paving, lighting and street furniture have not yet been taken, De Boer has an idea of what the district will look like in the future. 'Imagine the heart of Zuidas as a largely car-free area, with lots of trees and plenty of shops and restaurants. Cultural amenities will be close at hand, and so will schools. Well-designed public spaces are a great contribution to social safety and create a pleasant urban climate. The new station and the other public transport links will provide a seamless connection with the surrounding city, which will further improve the vibrancy of Zuidas.' It will be more pleasant to live on both sides of the track once the noise and rush of the motorway traffic disappears. Not only will there be less noise, the amount of exhaust fumes and air pollution will also decrease considerably. This means more opportunities for creating outside spaces, which is good news for buyers and tenants of office space and homes, De Boer concludes. 'We are aiming to create a high-quality, attractive living environment in all its aspects.'

Find out more about Zuidasdok on www.zuidasdok.nl

Text: Eric Burgers • Photography: Eric Dix, Aatjan Renders, Your Captain Luchtfotografie