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Utrecht Southwest


Ownerscollective Merwede; Gemeente Utrecht (municipality), Greystar, AM, Synchroon, Lingotto, Janssen de Jong, BPD Ontwikkeling, G&S Vastgoed, Round Hill Capital, 3T Vastgoed and Boelens de Gruyter 




Marco Broekman, Bart Claassen, Jordy Stamps, Yun-shih Chen, Martha Seitanidou, Timothy Simons (Previous: Katrin Schneider, Chiara Stucchi, Floris van der Zee, Alexandra Kern, Chloé Charreton, Juli Lánczky, Max Tuinman, Tessa Schouten, Paul van Eeden, Zuzanna Bręk, Daan Helmerhorst and Imane Boutanzit)



Urban plan for the transformation of Merwede in Utrecht into a mixed use urban district


Gemeente Utrecht (municipality), Stadkwadraat, OKRA Landschapsarchitecten, Mark Rabbie urban concepts, Goudappel Coffeng, RebelGroup, Merosch, Stratego Advies and Unchain the Tigers


2016: Vision Urban Plan

2017: Sketch Design Urban Plan

2020: Preliminary Design Urban Plan and Image Quality Plan

Currently working on a Definitive Design Urban Plan


Merwede is the first example of Utrecht’s ambition for sustainable and healthy urbanisation in Utrecht. The new neighbourhood includes 6.000 dwellings, various services and sets the bar high regarding various ambitions. The area will be characterized by high-quality greenery in public spaces, courtyards and top roofs. This is made possible by its design as a car-free neighborhood prioritising pedestrians and cyclists. Residents and visitors can make use of a large selection of shared cars, shared bicycles and public transport. This plan is the result of an integral assessment of the various sustainable, spatial, social and programmatic ambitions that exist.

Merwede's mission can be summarised in five themes:


  • Mobile Merwede: Allowing residents of Merwede to move freely without their own car.

  • Healthy and sustainable: Designing Merwede to contribute to a healthy planet with healthy people.

  • Lively city district: Offering Merwede the liveliness and amenities of the city.

  • Green domain: Creating a Merwede that combines highly urban, green and relaxation at the same time.

  • Coulisse city: Merwede is a highly urbanized neighbourhood with respect for the human scale.

Different routes for slow traffic connect Merwede to the surrounding neighborhoods and the city. A central spine connects the different squares and local parks. Merwede includes a diversity of environments from quiet residential areas to busier meeting places and is the culmination of a series of city blocks that are composed of multiple buildings varying in both width and height. Merwede contains over 200 buildings in total. This creates a diverse roofscape and unique cityscape: a Coulisse City. 

The Urban Plan and image quality plan for Merwede is the result of intensive cooperation between eleven landowners, including the municipality of Utrecht. BURA (formerly known as marco.broekman) has been involved in the planning process since 2016 as leader of the design-team and has been collaborating with different advisors.

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Location of the plan area in the city

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Five themes

Mobile Merwede

Healthy and sustainable

Lively city district

Green domain

Coulisse city

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Coulisse city

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Mobility strategy

Zones with active programs

Spatial typologies

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Urban principles

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Sustainable and healthy neighbourhood

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Proposal for the implication of sustainability principles

Loods 6

KNSM-Laan 53

1019 LB Amsterdam

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Since 2020 marco.broekman is BURA urbanism


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