An area vision for a sustainable, lively Schipholweg in Leiden

A monotonous office area becomes a lively, sustainable street where people want to be. That’s the idea behind the area vision PosadMaxwan has drawn up for Leiden’s Schipholweg on behalf of the local authority. We developed it in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders with the aim of creating the necessary conditions for a strategic redevelopment that will benefit the entire city. The document is currently in the comment phase.

Strengthening the city

Redeveloping Schipholweg will help to strengthen Leiden’s position in two ways. First, the station area around the road will become a worthy gateway for visitors to the city. Second, thanks to its strategic location between the historic city centre and Leiden Bio Science Park, the road can contribute to Leiden’s development as an international knowledge centre.

Healthy, human guidelines

The starting goal for the area vision was to increase sustainability, densification and functional blending. We formulated five guiding principles, which form a common thread running through the themes of public space redevelopment and buildings and traffic. They are:

  • a human scale,
  • a sustainable use of space,
  • climate change adaptation and circularity,
  • a lively, multifaceted character, and
  • travelling and lingering.

So, for example, space is made for slow traffic. Shared and clustered parking areas, along with shared mobility solutions, will increase the amount of public space as well as attractive functions that contribute to the liveliness of this residential and commercial zone. Public space will be comprehensively redesigned to create a network of pleasant travel routes and desirable places to linger. Adding landscaping will result in a better microclimate, help with climate adaptation, and boost the area’s ecological value. Restoration of Schipholweg’s human scale in combination with functional blending will make the area a pleasant place to live and work. Circular construction, transformation and demolition processes will minimise the ecological footprint.


Participatory process

The area vision was developed in close cooperation with property owners, renters, developers, investors, social organisations, and users and residents of the area. In a series of workshop sessions and local walks, we collected information about values, opportunities, threats, and concerns relating to the area. We allowed participants to review the draft and incorporated their responses into the current version of the vision. This is now in the comment phase, which gives all stakeholders and involved parties one more opportunity to respond to the full document. The council will consider the responses received in preparing the definitive version of the Schipholweg area vision. Approval is expected in early 2020. In the meantime, the city is working out the vision’s financial implications in more detail via a business case and strategy.


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