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This plan for a recreational hub in the Green Heart of the Randstad region combines the development of the recreational hub with landscape development. The chosen location taps into the existing connections by railway and road, the cultural history of the Dutch ‘lintdorp’, existing recreational networks and the quality of the open peatland area. The recreational hub is placed in a forest complex and offers all that modern-day recreationists want and need.


The development of this Metropolitan Park is an initiative of the Rotterdam-Dordrecht region and the state. In an interactive process with all surrounding municipalities and the most important stakeholders and decision makers, the future development potential was investigated. The main goal of the park is to improve the spatial quality, livability and economic potential of the surrounding cities. Our vision focuses on the elaboration of a framework as a basis for flexible future development. The landscape framework realizes a solid improvement of the spatial quality of the landscape, improves the general accessibility to recreation of the area, and fortifies the local identities. Within this framework, six models have been developed, each with a different focus. Further investigation was based on the ‘nature park’ and ‘water park’ models.



In relation to the ongoing climactic changes, the Netherlands is facing a potential flooding crisis. To stay ahead of this crisis, our rivers need more ‘room to expand’. At the town of Lent, this has resulted in a gully next to the river Waal. The morphological changes also create an island between the river and the gully. NL Urban Solutions, in cooperation with the British firm Baca Architects, has made a landscape design for this island. The island itself will be used as a recreational retreat, and the dike on the Lent bank will be shaped to visualize the different water levels in the gully.



This project is part of the national program ‘Room for the River’ that secures the future of the Dutch rivers and helps to deal with flood risks. For this particular project, NLUS designed three options for the development of the river banks. The starting point was to make sure the capacity of the river was increased, resulting in a ‘preferred’ design of a small gully in the bottleneck of the river, creating a small island which could house a recreational facility, a beach and a marina.
In addition, new natural qualities can be introduced along the new, lowered river banks. Additional housing projects have been investigated to increase the total quality of the area.


‘Room for River’, the national level program, combines the goal of increasing water safety from river flooding with the improvement ofthe spatial and ecological quality along the rivers. NL Urban Solutions was asked to create a general Spatial Quality Framework that can provide a basis for the decision making, the feasibility study, the project design and the quality framework for the riverside landscape plans. As example of one of the 31 Space for the river projects in our country, two new gullies will be developed along the Ijssel river in Deventer. One of these added gullies is planned through the culturally and historically valuable floodplain park Worp, one of the oldest parks in our country. The planning study aimed to investigate the opportunities to connect the water safety issue with respect to the preservation and renovation of the cultural historic qualities of the park and what other spatial qualities could be added. The plan concept for the newly landscaped floodplains in Deventer, the floodplain park, is a symbiosis of the existing park and the new river landscape.




The revitalization of a former industrial zone takes shape in a new residential area, where the motto is ‘Living in a park atmosphere’. The existing ‘Oranjepark’ flows naturally into the new urban plan, where most of the parking space is placed underground. The dwellings are elevated onto mounds, clearly separating public and private space. Historical elements like a water tower and a former firehouse, as well as a reference to a former estate, solidify the cultural heritage of the location. A significant building is the apartment complex situated along the inner harbor that ‘Buizengat’ is named after.



Delft Residential Community Plan

In the style of the garden city, this former industrial plot of 5 ha has been redeveloped into a high quality mixed residential area with 200 single family houses and apartments. The transformed area is located close to the historical heart of Delft.

Starting point of the design was to create ground based houses at relatively high density (40 dwellings/ acre). The design enhances the spatial and historic context to create an attractive neighborhood with high living quality. The built parking solutions were required to keep the heart of the area car free.

Canals were added to meet the requirements for extra water surface. The channel system mitigates the flooding risk due to heavy rains. This presented the opportunity to introduce new qualities in public space, as well as new ecological zones.






This design competition involved designing a framework for the sustainable development of the metropolitan region of Helsinki and its 15 neighboring municipalities. The development target is 2050. The aim is to establish a first class living and leisure environment to stimulate  the local economy.

With its vast open landscape and the project’s goal to grow to two million people, Greater Helsinki has the potential to develop into an attractive, competitive and sustainable metropolitan region. THIRDLIFE is a leap forward towards this metropolitan development. By entering this stage in its development, Greater Helsinki will establish its position as the economic generator of Finland and become a player in the global network of metropolises. The challenge for the region is to combine urban growth with the preservation of landscape and nature. The coastline, which is the most powerful characteristic of the region, forms the basis for the emergence of a sea metropolis, offering the most desirable and authentic Finnish living conditions.


Midden-Delfland is the largest open agricultural landscape in the metropolitan area of Rotterdam. Surrounded by seven cities, the area is becoming increasingly popular and serves as a recreational resource for the one million people living in the proximities. The recreational connections between the cities and the site need to be improved and could offer new opportunities for the development of local tourism. The project ‘Gateways to Midden-Delfland’ improves these connections.

Commissioned by the local municipality and several local associations, NL Urban Solutions organized an interactive process to translate the regional vision for the Midden-Delfland area into a program called ‘Gateways to Midden-Delfland’. During several workshop sessions, a symposium and an exposition, these Gateways have been fleshed out into innovative-recreational gateways between the cities and the landscape. Local entrepreneurs are invited to develop a business model supporting the gateways.




The Cattenbroekerplas, originally dug as a source of sand for the creation of the nearby highway A12, is currently used for recreation. The development of a new neighborhood in the proximities justifies the improvement of the spatial qualities of the lake, like creating a new beach area and introducing recreational facilities. The design consists of an embankment that acts as a buffer against the negative influences of the nearby highway, a building to house the recreational facilities with a terrace towards the water, a beach site with a lawn, an event area and the necessary car and bicycle parking facilities on the southern bank of the lake. The eastern bank is transformed into an ecological zone of water and reed land.