Skip to main content
EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article1 June 2018Utrecht1 min read

‘Healthy urbanisation’ the central theme in the mobility strategy of Netherlands' most competitive region

Not all inhabitants of the Utrecht province and the city of Utrecht (NL) might feel as if they live in a metropolitan region, but this is what the region’s new mobility strategy prepares for.

The Utrecht region is listed in the top three of the EU’s most competitive regions. The new mobility strategy for the Utrecht region, titled U Ned, states that it is ‘quickly growing into a metropolitan region’.

By 2050, the region expects a growth in demand for homes of between 157,000 and 175,000 and a growth of jobs by 100,000. A growth in passengers at Utrecht Central station from 88 to 100 million travellers per year by 2030 is anticipated.

As a result, the city will become more crowded on bicycle paths and roads, as well as on trains, trams and buses. U Ned is an attempt to strike a balance between, on the one hand growth, and on the other fewer accidents, lower CO2 and particulate matter emissions and lower noise levels. ‘Healthy urbanisation’ is therefore coined as the strategy's leading theme.

U Ned presents three strategies. First, through mobility management such as Mobility as a Service and talking traffic, it hopes to relieve peak rush hours and crowded spaces. New homes should be built only in existing areas served with good public transport connections. Second, new, well-connected locations could be developed, while a second intercity station could relieve the city further. Third, the city proposes an increased capacity for walking, cycling, public transport and cars, with the aim of investing in multimodality and achieving a modal shift.

Utrecht, located in the centre of the Netherlands, is a typical hub, with around one third of travellers coming from outside of the region. The report therefore insists on increased cooperation between the local, regional and national levels of government, as well as between governments and the knowledge institutions and companies that attract newcomers and commuters.


Elsewhere in the Netherlands, cities are also preparing for the future. This week, Dutch railway infrastructure manager ProRail announced works on all stations in Amsterdam. In the coming ten years, Amsterdam Central station anticipates a growth from 180,000 to 280,000 travellers per day, while Amsterdam South expects an increase from 80,000 to 240,000 travellers.


The strategy Programma U Ned can be downloaded here.


Publication date
1 June 2018
  • Urban mobility planning
  • Netherlands