Sweet Spot Randstad hero large Sweet Spot Randstad hero large

Staying relevant requires big thinking

Jeroen Lokerse • 03/06/2019
“Good interconnection of urban regions in the Randstad is the best way to create an agglomeration advantage for our entire country. Only then can we take maximum advantage of the fourth industrial revolution.”

The Netherlands has a lot to offer the world: we have an ideal business climate, leading universities and an excellent physical and digital infrastructure. But also an open culture that is economically and politically stable and, last but not least, we are the logistics hub of Europe. As a country, we can provide organizations with a total package. With a quality of life that matches their services and the housing, culture and training needs of their employees. This makes the Netherlands very promising when it comes to future-proof prosperity and economic growth. But then the ambition must be raised and the inhibiting factors tackled so that we are prepared for what the fourth industrial revolution will bring about. Because the current fragmentation of the Netherlands prevents agglomeration benefits from remaining relevant in the coming decades.

Scale is a prerequisite for long-term successful international competition and for being among the top 10 most competitive regions in the world. This can only be achieved if we are prepared to set higher goals and, for example, develop the Randstad into the model city of the fourth industrial revolution. The Netherlands as the Gateway to Europe. This requires a new, supra-urban direction in which strategic policy areas such as quality of life, infrastructure, housing and work locations are managed as one city. Because by boosting the economic climate in the western part of our country, this serves the whole of the Netherlands. After all, the multiplier that this yields for the rest of the country is many times greater than the sum of divided prosperity.


A greater focus on liveability is crucial in turning the current polarization trend into opportunities for everyone. The quality of life in particular determines whether a city or region is attractive. Whether this concerns clean air, sustainable and safe housing, a good and future-oriented infrastructure or highly qualified education. The good interconnection of urban regions - as we know them in the Randstad - is the way to create an agglomeration advantage for the benefit of the entire country.

The Netherlands needs a clear and strong proposition in which we measure ourselves against internationally very strong regions. We are often big in thinking small: from our perspective, Almere may well be far from Dam Square in Amsterdam. But how great would it be if Almere really becomes part of the same ambition and therefore of the same city? For a commuter in New York, London or Paris, the distance between Amsterdam and Rotterdam is comparable to the distance between the different neighborhoods in their city. And if it is possible there, it is certainly possible in our country.

This article is the second in a series of three in which Jeroen Lokerse examines the changing role and function of real estate due to the structurally changing world and the opportunities it offers to create sustainable business value for society and clients.

Read more - Value Of A City

City profiler image card

City profiler

Today, we can better see urban policy makers as 'city profilers'. They must make the right connections to arrive at future-proof solutions for our cities in the coming decades.
Elsbeth Quispel • 27/05/2021
De stad na COVID
Insights • Sustainability

The city after COVID-19

COVID-19 shows our vulnerability. At the same time, it gives us insight into how we should improve the quality of life in our cities in a future-proof way. Anticipating population growth, climate change, health and our continuing need to live, work and stay in cities.
Elsbeth Quispel • 22/04/2021
De Randstad loopt leeg card

The Randstad is emptying out

The initial cause of this has everything to do with supply and demand. For years there has been a chronic shortage of affordable housing in the Randstad, the economic heart of the Netherlands. This applies to both starters in the buyers' market and middle incomes in the tenant market.
Elsbeth Quispel • 25/03/2021
Auto de stad uit card
Insights • Sustainability

City streets should not have cars

The arrival of the car has radically changed the spatial development of our cities and the infrastructure in the Netherlands.
In order to bring cars and freight traffic safely and quickly from A to B, highways and motorways, bridges and viaducts, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings were necessary.
Elsbeth Quispel • 25/02/2021
Groene steden
Insights • Sustainability

A city full of green is not valued enough

A green environment or fresh air is not often a reason to live in a city, rather the opposite. It is often a reason to escape the city at the weekend and visit nature, or even to live elsewhere.
Elsbeth Quispel • 04/02/2021
Ruimtelijke ordening

The future-proof city

The value of the city lies in its future-proofness. In order to be able to anticipate the needs of the time, vision and ambition are needed as guidelines for strategic area development.
Elsbeth Quispel • 09/12/2020
Ode aan de woningcorporaties

Ode to the housing association

We are faced with a major challenge to ensure that living in the city remains affordable and thus retains its soul and that we feel connected to the city in which we live.
Elsbeth Quispel • 12/11/2020
Whats Next artikel 2 card

Agglomeration benefits are not just about scale

The news that we will not be able to go to the office for the next few weeks is difficult for me. For me, the office is the place to work together on projects, to have meetings and to be able to work quietly, but also the place to catch up with colleagues and my team; something that gives me energy.
Elsbeth Quispel • 19/10/2020
Ziel van een stad

The soul of a City

Now that I have lived in the city for 17 years, I call myself an Amsterdammer; thanks to and despite all the changes in recent years, a city that gives me energy, I enjoy living with my family and have the luxury of going to the office by bike every day. But how come I really feel like an Amsterdammer?
Elsbeth Quispel • 24/09/2020
Rotterdam view, Netherlands
Research • Economy

Sweet Spot Randstad

Digitisation and sustainability will have enormous impact on society in The Netherlands. These trends will change the spatial layout of our country. How can we organise The Netherlands to maximise the benefits from this change?
Jos Hesselink • 26/06/2019
Haneda: From An Airport To An Aerotropolis

Staying relevant requires big thinking

“Good interconnection of urban regions in the Randstad is the best way to create an agglomeration advantage for our entire country. Only then can we take maximum advantage of the fourth industrial revolution.”
Jeroen Lokerse • 03/06/2019
Insights • Economy

The Netherlands is missing out on opportunities

Business location criteria, will more than products or services, determine if organisations succeed or fail. The Netherlands must maintain its attractive position as the ‘gateway to Europe’ and businesses must establish themselves in locations with the best access to the labour market and working environments.
Jeroen Lokerse • 15/05/2019


Get in touch with one of our professionals.