The Zuidas is a new rapidly growing financial district, known as the ‘Financial Mile’. The Zuidas is located between the rivers Amstel and Schinkel along the ringway A10. The main focus of the Zuidas is to become a centre of top-level international knowledge and business. The  Zuidas will become an important national en international hub for the traffic connections. In addition, the Zuidas will soon be Amsterdam’s second most prominent housing location.


  • After more than 15 years of strong economical development in The Netherlands, Amsterdam had a shortage of sites to fullfil the growing demand of business locations.
  • The Netherlands was an attractive location for new businesses because of its international atmosphere and appealing tax regulations. It was an important location for global players on the mainland of Europe.
  • The city of Amsterdam was searching for new areas of spatial expansion.
  • During the eighties, processes of financial internationalization and economic globalisation created a stronger effect on the spatial development of the emerging metropolitan region.
  • One of the prime examples of this renewed orientation towards the economic potential of the city was the redevelopment of southern banks of the river IJ. The adaptation of this urbanisation was difficult due to the spatial scenario, office market slump and the required new infrastructure.


  • Create a new business district that enhances the position of the city and more precisely maintains the financial position of Amsterdam.  
  • The new business district aims to attract companies with international allure and to improve infrastructure.
  • Achieve a healthy balance  between living, working and amenities.


  • Adopted in 1998, the masterplan was based on a thorough analysis of the lessons learned by cities abroad in similar urban areas, such as Boston and Baltimore.
  • The strategic location of the Zuidas, a green field site on either side of Amsterdam’s southern ring road and close to the international airport, was crucial for its development.
  • The site was approx 270 ha in size.  
  • As it was located between two residential areas the site was more accessible and easier to develop.
  • The property was mainly empty because it was created as a reservation strip in the Amsterdam Extension Plan Form 1935.


  • The breakthrough came when ABN/AMRO Bank decided to leave it’s ensemble of scattered offices for new international headquarters.
  • The bank insisted on the Zuidas as its new location, instead of the southern banks of the river IJ, as suggested by the city government.  
  • The decision was mainly motivated because the Zuidas could be linked to national infrastructure such as Schiphol Airport and Randstad  Highway.
  • Public money from the state could be transferred to the project to pay not only for the infrastructure itself but for amenities and public space on a wider larger scale.


  • In 1980, the municipality of Amsterdam approved of the new headquarters of the ABO/AMRO Bank in the Zuidas.
  • The arrival of the World  Trade Center in 1985 acted as a magnet for other big companies to venture to the area.
  • In 1998 the masterplan was adapted.
  • The  municipality of Amsterdam and the Government established the Amsterdam Zuidas Enterprise.
  • The municipality of Amsterdam, the State and the province of North Holland came to an agreemen


  • The Zuidas is a key example of the new spatial planning in Amsterdam and the reorientation of the Amsterdam Regional Government.
  • 450  companies, 650,000 m2 of office space was established such as Google and AkzoNobel.
  • Zuidas is now Amsterdam’s second most prominent residential location: between 8,000 - 9,000 housing units, over 600 apartments have been completed, living area of 95,000 m2.
  • Zuidas is now known as a top international knowledge and business centre.
  • Combining urban development with initiating investments to improve infrastructure, the Zuidas, together with an attractive financial tax system, became a site with high quality and international allure.
  • The centerpisce, a new highway and railroad tunnel, has yet to be constructed due to financial problems.


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Project info




1998 - 2040 (expected)


Urban transformation of an area that marked the separation between two polder, one approximately 1.5 metres higher than the other.


Employment, residential environment, new hub




Municipality, National Government, Private investors