After extensive land reclamation in the 19th century, the Dutch municipality of Haarlemmermeer, in Amsterdam’s Metropolitan Region, has been designated as an area for sustainable urban growth. 

Arup is working with Schiphol Area Development Company (SADC) and Schiphol Trade Park (STP), to develop Mixity. Sustainability drives this mixed-use urban regeneration project, combining rural tranquillity and bustling city life within a unique heritage setting. People and community will take centre stage in this development, with 75,000 m2 of shared indoor space and 25 hectares of green park space. An engine for the regional economy, Mixity is set to deliver 400,000 m2 of flexible space to accommodate new businesses, strengthening innovation and competitiveness.

Redesigned working environments and inclusive workplace typologies are combined with public facilities, wellness and recreation via a new footbridge and active transport modes. This not only creates added value for companies and employees, but also for residents and travellers from Schiphol Airport.

Situated in the town of Hoofddorp, Mixity’s lighthouse project exemplifies how sustainability can futureproof an urban development project. The development benefits from a unique, strategic context, surrounded by emerging businesses and residential neighbourhoods, regional and national-scale infrastructure, and the unique polder landscape surroundings.

Arup developed this sustainable development strategy in response to urbanisation pressures and to create quality of life by promoting healthy living and working. Mixity combines community, mobility, landscape and heritage, and by engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, our urban designers developed concepts based on a deep understanding of place, integrating sustainability throughout.

Connecting with the water

The Dutch ‘polder’ structure’s character will guide the site’s future urban development, with water playing an essential role in managing microclimates and enhancing resilience against climate hazards. The Geniepark recreational area builds upon the area’s unique heritage, maintaining the historic existing canal which will be expanded with adaptable floodable plains. The development also includes a water management infrastructure that will store, treat and distribute rainwater across the development.  

The new footbridge serves as a ramp and reconnects the Stelling defence line - a historic military and UNESCO site intersected by rail and road infrastructure - as a reimagined heritage corridor, mitigating any visual impact caused by the railway and fostering the link with the park. A network of green and blue infrastructure extends from the park into the development to reinforce the natural polder environment and provide recreation space. 

Sustainability in action

Encouraging a modal shift from car usage towards active and public transport, the site includes an active travel infrastructure network with pedestrianised streets, a motorised traffic flow reduction, footbridge implementation, improvement of the station hub connection and an important lobby for an extension of the North-South subway, a major public transport network in Amsterdam which currently ends at Schiphol.

The modular energy system is based on a combination of low energy installations and solar panels. An optimal microclimate is achieved through a targeted orientation of the buildings protecting against the impact of direct wind and heat, with an abundance of green-blue spaces.

Social value – bringing in the community

Our stakeholder engagement approach in this project will continue to serve as a dialogue platform between developers, stakeholders, institutions and legislators on how to design and deliver future urban spaces. The framework sets purposeful relationships to be formed between future users, by providing guidance on how businesses and communities can come together and innovate in future working environments. 

The result is a more sustainable, people-oriented urban redevelopment that contribute to the broader social, economic and environmental resilience of the region.

The project was shortlisted for a Pineapple Awards International Future Place 2022.