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Development Program 'Ons Stadshart van Morgen'




Municipality of Zwolle


2021 - 2022


Marco Broekman, Robert ten Elsen, Milja Hartikainen, Rebecca Smink (previous: Viktoria Papoutsidaki)


Development Program for Zwolle Center-Inner City 


B+B urbanism and landscape architecture, Studio Bereikbaar, Stadkwadraat and Merosch



In the future, Zwolle will be subject to inner-city growth, meaning the inner-city will grow within its existing boundaries. As a result, more people will work, reside and recreate within close proximity. Important choices about the limited space have to be made, mostly related to housing, mobility, and economic and cultural capital. In order to give direction to future development, BURA urbanism worked on a Development Program for the Zwolle Center-Inner City in collaboration with Gemeente Zwolle, Bureau B+B urbanism and landscape architecture, Merosch, Stadkwadraat BV, and Studio Bereikbaar. The development program focusses on further strengthening the economic and cultural position of Zwolle, and on creating a more green, attractive and future-proof centre-inner city for both its residents and (international) visitors.


In ‘Ons Stadshart van morgen’, a green and climate-adaptive city is seen as a precondition for realising the future-proof city centre. The development of a strong and well-connected Singel structure surrounding the historic city centre is therefore the motor of the development program. The Singelzone will thus have a cohesive function that connects the city-centre and adjacent key areas.

Key areas

The Singelzone ensures a better connection between the key neighbourhoods Noorderkwartier, Roelenkwartier and Willemsknoop/Stationsbuurt. Important developments are planned in these key areas that will add qualities, restore connections and further strengthen the stadshart. Besides reinforcing the Singelzone, reinforcing highstreets as a connector between the city center and the surrounding neighbourhoods is an important step in the center’s development as well. By diversifying and enriching experiences in public space, more meaningful places can be created for visitors and residents within the district and its neighbourhoods.

Development principles

In order to provide guidance for the preservation, reinforcement and development of the Stadshart, the development program consists of five development principles. The five development principles ensure that the main ambition of the development program – a future-proof city centre – will be realised in all its facets. 

  • The healthy, green and water-robust delta city:

    The development of a climate-proof Stadshart with space for green and water is prerequisite for providing an attractive environment where people can live, work and recreate. The approach is to focus on restoring and strengthening the water and green structures in and around the historic centre.

  • The sustainable and circular city:

    In line with the national ambitions – climate neutral and zero use of primary raw materials in 2050 – projects within the Stadshart should be sustainable and circular.

  • The enterprising and creative city:

    An ambition is to further strengthen the economic and cultural position of Zwolle and to make the city more attractive for its users. Therefore, future development will focus on providing more space for living, working, manufacturing, culture and a variety of shops.

  • The human-scale city:

    New development should always take into account the human-scale, therefore new facilities as well as new public spaces should be inclusive and invite to social interaction. 

  • The accessible city:
    In the future Zwolle will be more walkable and provide a healthier environment for its users, for example, in the form of green lively high streets. New hubs will centralise car traffic to the edges of the city making it possible to redesign the Singel into a well-connected green public space with continuous walking and cycling routes.

Development principles

Main principle

Vision map

Singelzone and key areas

Impression key areas

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