New Urban Centres in the Netherlands


Over the last 50 years, intense urbanisation has taken place in the Netherlands. This has resulted in the development of many polycentric urban regions, which consist of historic core centres, other historic centres as well as new urban centres (NUCs). Focusing on NUCs in Dutch city regions, this paper presents the results of a research project analysing the number and spatial structure of NUCs, examines their functional composition and explains the different types of centres that exist. The paper also analyses the level of centrality of the NUCs. The main finding is that functional composition is related to the type of area in which NUCs are built: district centres, villages, new towns, transition areas or university areas. With a character that is much narrower than that of core centres, the NUCs house a lower diversity of functions, fewer facilities serving an area larger than central districts, and a limited number of public transport modes.


The definitive version is available at and as a download: New urban centres (pdf)

PUBLICATION PUBLISHED IN Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografi CONTACT dr. Pieter van der Heijde
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Wanted: successful urban centres

When urban functions are concentrated in new city centres the advantages are considerable: it facilitates the efficient use of space, puts a brake on mobility meer