Holland Property Bike is an annual cycling event for professionals at decision-making level of the real estate sector and forms part of the Holland Property Plaza network programme. The interest in this HPP cycle tour is growing each year and it is expected that we will be able to greet approximately 65 cyclists at the start of the 9th HPBike tour in 2020. HPBike 2020 will take place from 25-27 June.
Launched in 2012, the first Holland Property Bike cycling tour visited Rotterdam, Tilburg, Venlo and Cologne. Since then HPBike has visited Eindhoven, Maastricht, Aken, Zwolle, Enschede, Osnabruck, Utrecht, The Hague, Arnhem, Mönchengladbach, Apeldoorn, Almere, Lelystad, Groningen and Nijmegen.
The start and finish for the 2020’s HPBike tour is in Maastricht. HPBike will offer again an interesting programme and challenging routes, crossing the Belgian Hasselt and Limburg.
Started in 2012, the HPP Bike Tour was recently ready for the eighth edition. After having visited cities such as Rotterdam, Apeldoorn and Groningen in the Netherlands – and Köln and Mönchengladbach in the FRG – it was now Nijmegen’s turn. With routes to the Posbank and Kleve / border area Nordrhein Westfalen there was again a diverse cycling program. The evening before the start, the focus was on the development of the city of Nijmegen as a whole and on a special area development: Hart van de Waalsprong. An impression.
The oldest city in the Netherlands but also a city that is full of dynamics. Nijmegen has been working hard for some time and impresses with projects that really give the city a boost. A great deal of attention is paid to the quality of urban design, public space and architecture. Landscape architect Matthieu Schouten, who works at the municipality as Project Leader for Spatial Vision, made it clear in a powerful presentation that this line will continue to be fully pursued in the coming years. The city where currently 177,000 people live (the eighth city in the Netherlands) has won quite a few prizes and events in recent years such as Velocity 2017 and Best Walking City. With the Spatial Vision currently being worked on, Nijmegen wants to build on four pillars: attractiveness, sustainability, economic resilience and social health. To start with the latter theme: efforts are being made, among other things, to improve the quality of life in post-war urban areas such as Dukenburg. In addition, there is room for citizen initiatives such as “Temporary Use and Destination Differently” and “Plant Your Flag”, where residents were invited to build in a ‘free’ manner (without architectural rules) during the crisis. In the Waalsprong (the Vinex-location of Nijmegen), neighborhoods are set up in such a way that social cohesion is strengthened, for example around orchards and parks.
Nijmegen can now also boast a prize for the sustainable city: 2018 Green Capital Europe. However, there are also major challenges, such as making existing neighborhoods gas-free and rolling out the heat network. There are also windmill initiatives, in a cooperative context. Bicycle paths will be improved and laid out, the Waalkade will be greened together with the residents and a park will be built around sustainable energy on the site of the Engie coal-fired power station. Public transport in the city is now also green (on biogas). The economically resilient city includes the Arnhem-Nijmegen metropolitan region. Topics such as city center, health and knowledge receive a lot of attention. Good examples: the Hertogstraat in Nijmegen that, together with entrepreneurs, is being converted into a culinary quarter. The station environment is being given an impulse and that also applies to the Vlaams Kwartier and the Valkhof Kwartier. The Novio Tech Campus is an example of a new high-quality working area. Campus-like development is also taking place on Heyendaal.
Connect city districts
Finally, the attractive city, where waterfront development in particular plays an important role. “Nijmegen embraces the Waal, that is the central theme. The city center is enlarged by draping four quadrants around the river. “The river itself has now become a place2b from a bottleneck in the event of flooding, because capacity expansion has gone hand in hand with more spatial quality in the Room for the River project. Districts are connected, quality of stay is added with, among other things, the new city island. Projects such as Waalfront and NYMA also strengthen the city’s bond with the river. Nijmegen is working on the canal zone for the future, among other things. The overview of the projects led HPP chairman Wienke Bodewes to conclude that Nijmegen is working on a new golden age: “An impressive overview!”
A real town
A project that certainly also contributes to this is Hart van de Waalsprong. Director Project Development Mireille Jeurnink (VanWonen) explained the development: the municipal tender in 2017. Develop a central area for the Waalsprong; the VanWonen / AM combination responded with a vision around three pillars. “Make a real town where people can meet each other and also fully focus on sustainability and mobility.” Syntrus Achmea came on board as an investor and the plan was also worked on with numerous end users. Result: the tender was won. The first blocks will be delivered in 2020, and completion is expected in 2023. Urban planner Johan Snel (AM) emphasized that this area fits in with the ‘Embrace the Waal’ philosophy of the municipality: ‘This should also be an interesting area for residents on the other side of the river.’ on the design of the central area, which must be attractive and accessible for a mix of target groups (‘the inclusive city’). Around a system of attractive public spaces there is room for around 450 homes and approximately 10,000 m2 of commercial space. “A lot of attention has been paid to the logistics system, where residents and visitors are quickly led to parking facilities to walk from there into the car-free center.” The progressive brick architecture provides a “urban” appearance. AM RED developer Thijs Huis in het Veld concluded with a sketch of the varied living program. Living here is accompanied by a mobility concept that includes shared cars. When it comes to shopping, the focus is on local entrepreneurs as well as on the big brands: “They are the local color.” Wienke Bodewes was once again full of praise: “This is going to produce a great end result.”
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In previous Holland Property Bike Tours, the HPBike cyclists visited the cities of: