Amersfoort, the European city of 2023, is a charming haven of liveability nestled in the heart of the Netherlands. With its picturesque canals, cobblestone streets, and a delightful mishmash of medieval and modern architecture, the city center of Amersfoort offers a captivating blend of history and contemporary urban life.
Presenting our proof of concept: We experimented for a day on a road within Wagenwerkplaats, a former Dutch Railways site in Amersfoort currently undergoing transformation, utilizing the concept of Smart Zones. To highlight that urban space can be used in an adaptive way, we teamed up with IMOSS Stedenbouw and opened this usually closed road to motorized traffic. Through the use of a Smart Zone, we flexibly arranged the space for a day to cater to various user needs: from (un)loading to creating space for terraces, vehicle parking, and a shared mobility hub. The outcome was unexpectedly successful, revealing that automotive traffic and a pleasant environment for visitors and residents can harmoniously coexist, given thoughtful space distribution throughout the day. This initial trial has illuminated the potential for a different approach—one that is not only possible but necessary!