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Urban exploration Houten


Municipality of Houten


Municipality of Houten


September 2017 - February 2018


Marco Broekman, Jordy Stamps, Max Tuinman, Ginevra Melazzi


Urban exploration regarding the DNA of Houten, housing development possibilities and the urban and regional challenges. 





The exploration has been completed



With the last plots being built in Houten south the city seems finished, though there are many developments that challenging the city’s appearance, like the growth of the regional population (75.000 new houses till 2040) and major demographic changes within Houten. Besides, themes like sustainability and mobility challenges the city as well. The current residential vision reaches up to 2025 and is based on the construction of 1800 homes for their ‘own’ market, meanwhile the tasks remain undiminished. This urban exploration has investigated the possibilities for expansion of housing after the year 2025 and thereby responding to the city’s and region’s qualities and challenges. It asks the city to walk new paths.


There are different choices to be made, which we have translated into five different ways of thinking. The first direction is called ‘conserve’ which basically means to stop developing Houten after 2025, so ignoring he different challenges. The direction ‘Family of Houten’ will built on its previous development approach and built homes for families from the region, thus partially addressing the regional housing needs. Another possibility is the densification of the city itself by adding apartments (and other dwelling typologies), mainly the areas near the railway station (Het Rond, Het Kant and de Molenzoom). Although this development is quite complex, it could make the city more inclusive. The fourth direction focusses on a possible high-quality public transport line (HOV) which connects Houten with (new developments in) Nieuwegein, Bunnik and the USP (University campus of Utrecht). Last direction is about mixed cities which challenge the current zoning of activities and could (like the previous direction) significantly contribute to the regional building program and mix of groups.


Our advice is to continue studying both at location-level and at urban-level and to make coherent choices, because while making these choices (whether to build houses, the choice of housing locations), other choices are implicitly made in relation to larger assignments.

Houtens DNA and developments in the region

Meeting during the process

Growth scenarios of Houten

Different ways of thinking

Testing locations by density

'Stadsgesprek' - consultation with the inhabitants of Houten

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