The definitive urban plan for the Merwedekanaalzone is out

A new step forward has been made in the development of the Merwedekanaalzone. The urban development plan for Utrecht’s new modern residential district is ready. The owners recently signed an agreement with the municipality. Subsequently, the plans were presented by the Municipal Executive to the Utrecht City Council for decision-making. Construction is expected to start in 2023.

The Merwedekanaalzone will be transformed into a large inner-city district. OKRA is responsible for the design of the public realm as part of the urban development plan. The new modern city district is to become a green area, car-free and friendly for cyclists and pedestrians. The district will accommodate 12,000 people and be climate-adaptive, based on the principles of circularity and resilience.

Healthy and liveable city
OKRA has developed an integrated water management strategy intended to maximize water retention and facilitate rainwater reuse. A new biotope for the area has been designed to enrich biodiversity and compensate for environmental changes due to urban expansion. The new district will also be energy-neutral and will have mobility hubs for shared transport. It will also have the largest underground thermal storage facility in the Netherlands. These nature-inclusive and climate-adaptive design principles are key to OKRA’s designs for healthy, liveable cities.