Strategic spatial planning for Den Helder

PosadMaxwan, together with Generation.Energy, has developed a strategic spatial planning for the Maritime Cluster in Den Helder. In the spring of 2020, the municipality of Den Helder, the Royal Navy and the province of Noord-Holland asked us to draw up this exploration supervised by the Atelier Rijksbouwmeester. The aim is to gain insights into the development possibilities of the area as a basis for a future-proof region.

In this exploration, the tasks and wishes for this area have been spatially united in three separate scenarios to provide a dialogue between the parties involved and thus arrive at a joint target image. We first collected existing (local) knowledge in order to come up with scenarios that have sufficient depth and are mutually distinctive. This was done by researching studies and by conducting interviews with various stakeholders.

The three scenarios

The three scenarios we have developed all deal with four themes based on the biggest developments in Den Helder; port development, maritime urban development, accessibility and energy transition. Various directions have been explored in the scenarios in order to map out the possibilities and the needed building blocks to do so. Depending on the choices made for dual use, for certain situations and for spatial layouts, we foresee a different Den Helder for the future.

The first future scenario ‘Separated worlds’ seeks an optimization of the division of functions within the current division of the land. ‘City on the water’ is the second scenario and focuses on a lot of double use: several parties use the same function. In the last scenario ‘Energy port Den Helder ’ the emphasis is on major efforts in the energy transition. All developments in the port are, in a sense, related to this. Den Helder as a national player in the energy transition.

How do we proceed now?


The scenario development is a first step in the spatial transformation of Den Helder. The parties involved can use the scenarios to make agreements about which developments will be realized in which period of time. These agreements will be implemented in a new to be drawn up urban development framework. The port of Den Helder has a lot of potential for many different parties. The added value lies in the combination of the historic city, the location near the national energy network, the Navy and the proximity of the Wadden Area. If all parties see that added value, it can give Den Helder the boost it deserves.