Residents in many cities of the Netherlands have long understood that vibrant cities and lots of cars don’t really mix; they first experimented with temporarily closing streets in their city centers to vehicles in the sixties. Today, pedestrianized city centers are the norm, and are known for being bicycle-friendly.
Merwede, the first example of sustainable and healthy urbanisation in Utrecht.
Merwede will be home to 12,000 people on a nearly 60-acre site in southwest Utrecht, with a focus on pedestrians and cyclists, and with public transportation that connects to all parts of the Netherlands. A fleet of shared cars and bicycles will be available to everyone living there. Instead of one (or multiple) cars per household, filling the streets with congestion and parking spaces, Merwede will have one car for every three households.
Everything residents of Merwede in the Netherlands need will be available within walking distance, or reachable by bicycle along a network of cycle routes linking different parts of the district with the city centre.
The area will have good public transport links, allowing residents to travel long distances and connect with other parts of the country and beyond.
Instead of one (or multiple) cars per household, filling the streets with congestion and parking spaces, Merwede will have one car for every three households and there will only be about three spaces for every 10 households, 300 of which will be for shared cars.
Emergency services will be able to access the streets but the district’s heart will be a no-go zone for cars.