On Dutch national radio, PortCityFutures researcher Maurice Harteveld shared his idea to solve the housing crisis crisis in The Netherlands. The national government aims to build one million houses in the coming decade, but where do these houses go in a small country where space is sparse? Radio show De Oplossers asked several researchers for solutions.
Harteveld, who is an urbanist at the Delft University of Technology, said:
At this point in time, part of the Waalhaven is already empty - and is only getting emptier. Additionally: we are running out of oil, so what are we to do with all these refineries? We have eight petroleum ports, which in total are three times the size of Schiedam. The port companies that are still there, and that will remain in our ports, are becoming cleaner and produce less noise. These areas therefore can give space to housing, and this is what we see is happening now. To do so, we need a smart mix of uses: clean companies, but also green spaces and services, such as shops and schools.
Port areas furthermore have inherent advantages:
Every pier is already a neighbourhood in itself. Surrounded by water, they make for great living environments. The port already has proper infrastructure, with roads and railways, so the only things we need to do: clean up, invest in smaller streets, and create good living environments with sufficient services.
Harteveld is working on a policy brief on this topic, which we will publish on this website at the start of 2022.
Listen to De Oplossers here (Harteveld starts at around 17 minutes in - in Dutch):
De Oplossers, December 17 2021,