Preliminary study for reconstruction of Groningen’s western ring road

Groningen is growing and faces new challenges. A study on rebuilding the western ring road to keep the city accessible has therefore begun. The city and province of Groningen are seizing the opportunity to simultaneously upgrade the area surrounding the road. An essential part of the project’s aim is to create an attractive residential and public environment.

With the design and consultancy firm Arcadis and the mobility consultants Goudappel Coffeng, we have carried out a preliminary study of three spatial scenarios for the ring road and the surrounding area. The most important design decisions have been formulated on the basis of several key elements:

  • Road height: A sunken ring road would minimise disturbance and permit more focus to be placed on high spatial quality. A ground-level ring road would be more affordable but would create a barrier dividing the city.

  • Junction design: Cyclists, pedestrians and cars need to be able to cross other traffic safely and pleasantly. Compact junctions will create more room for urban development and spatial quality.

  • More connections: A sunken road will enable the addition of more cycle and pedestrian routes, better connecting the surrounding neighbourhoods.

  • Public space design: Currently, the area surrounding the ring road primarily serves traffic and is low in spatial quality. The public spaces and adjacent park will be upgraded to make this area an attractive place to spend time. 

These elements can be combined into scenarios that can be used to determine the spatial, traffic-engineering and financial frameworks for the formal planning study.

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