Urbanism in the Netherlands

06 mars 2004
01m 47s
Ref. 00317


Summary :

Report on the Netherlands, the most densely populated country of the European Union. As the population keeps growing, architects are already planning the cities of the future and are displaying their first creations, in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Media type :
Broadcast date :
06 mars 2004
Source :
Themes :


European architecture has seen a strong Dutch domination since the 90s. This momentum invaded Belgium and Spain then more discreetly into France, Great Britain, the Nordic countries and Eastern Europe. Foyers for young fashionable architects such as MVRDV, West 8, Neutlings, Abalos y Herreros, Soriano, but also politicians from the innovative town located between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin and Bilbao.

Faced with ecological questions, necessary densification and economic and social crisis, town planning propositions are many: mixing programs, reconverting industrial land, rehabilitating big estates, reorganisation of the links between centre and suburb, large scale restructuring interventions and transport network developments. The new generations are looking for the balance between well-being, respect for the environment, controlled cost, accessibility and use of innovative materials. A voice is offered to young architects under 40 years old through the European competition which awards a prize every two years to around forty European teams.

Marion Michaut


That it what one calls : growing like mushrooms. Not one of these houses was here 10 years ago. The docks and sailors' cries are finished, here is the new Amsterdam, where each islet is covered in housing.
Rob Van Houten
There is a change in the social structure, people live alone more and more often, the population of Holland continues to grow. There will be a peak around 2030, and from then on, more and more houses will be required.
Rotterdam, the megalopolis, which engulfs everything, the suburban areas, the countryside, even the industrial zones, not one square centimeter resists this devourer.
Cyrus Clark
Rotterdam is a heavily populated city, a bit like Chicago or New York. When this place was conceived, the idea was not to create something to fill the city, but to create an empty space inside the city. An empty space, that was really our departure point.
But this was insufficient, so they imagined a city emerging from the earth. A 20 year project, with incredible dimensions, never before seen in Europe. Today there is still much to be built, but a small part of the city already exists, here it is.
Rients Dijkstra
The project encompasses 2,500 hectares, there are 3 main city centers, and al in all there will be approximately 20 schools, there will be, too many things to remember in fact.
Rob, Cyrus and Rients, a new generation of architects for a new life-style in the Netherlands.