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Railroad Zone Amsterdam

The railroad as backbone of Amsterdam South-East

Working in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam, Felixx investigated the urbanistic potential of the Amsterdam Zuidoost Spoorzone (Amsterdam southeast railway area).  The study explored the role of the Spoorzone as the key structure in the overall development of the Zuidoost and its capacity to become an engaging, linear green corridor, connecting, rather than dividing the city. The study demonstrated that integrated into the urban fabric, filled with new functions, and made accessible, the area could become a robust backbone serving the neighborhoods, the districts, and the city. Thus transformed, the area would become a valuable public space for the existing and future communities of Amsterdam Zuidoost.

Research by design

Today the railway zone between Duivendrecht Station and the University Hospital contains many linear fragments of neglected and leftover space behind buildings, under viaducts, running along train tracks, and forming an inhospitable corridor. Paradoxically, these unattractive areas surprisingly often become sources of considerable biodiversity. Ample and hard to exploit as real estate, they lend themselves perfectly well as starting points for linear parks linking the city with the region and providing new value in most unexpected places.

Giving purpose and destination to the lost and forgotten urban spaces. 

A series of workshops with municipal experts, stakeholders, and project groups revealed the main problems & opportunities for the area. They also revealed new objectives for the future of the Southeastern Railway Zone:

  1. Create a healthy living environment for people and animals, sustainable and climate adaptive.
  2. Design high quality and safe spaces for social interaction, sports, play and recreation.
  3. With optimal connectedness and attractive station environments.
  4. Reverse the backside effect and bring a human scale to this infrastructure oriented landscape.


Triple Spine

We have translated the assignment into the so-called ‘Triple Spine’. A spine as a strengthening structure, that 1) can maintain the urban and natural corridor along the entire length of the Southeast railway. 2) As a connective tissue that is consistent with current structures and ongoing developments on a local and urban scale. 3) And remains adaptable with the flexibility to local conditions and identities on both sides of the railroad tracks.

Inspirational plan of the railroad as Green, Connective, and Interactive urban spine for Zuidoost.

From division to diversity

The railroad now runs like a mental and physical barrier through the 4 km zone, creating a divide and striking contrasts on both sides of the railway. Instead of seeing this as a weakness and a consequence of segregation, 'the railroad as a backbone' looks at these contrasts as opportunities for public life. A palette of contrasts that - if properly planned - can evolve into a universe of choices for urban programs for daily/weekly activities and events.

Collage Strandvliet area

Multiple perspectives

Promoting cohesion and quality across existing organizational contexts is necessary for this. With regards to the core tasks of the triple spine, this means focusing on the larger scale in order to add quality and value that cannot be realized by the smaller individual projects. Improvements to the quality of the zone will complement the efforts to connect and activate the areas on either side of the railway, temporarily and permanently.

Central role for the Railroad

Inspirational images bestow the railroad area with its appropriately central role in the development of Amsterdam Zuidoost. Professional imagination converts mental and physical barriers into the spaces of social encounter, environmental quality and connected opportunities. The image is elaborated by combining three tracks where the "triple spine" offers qualities of robustness, flexibility and adaptability.

Collage Holendrecht pond


2020 - 2021


Amsterdam Arena


Research, Infrastructure, Landscape, Public Space


Amsterdam Municipality

Team & partners

Marnix Vink
Eduardo Marin Salinas
Elan Redekop van der Meulen
Shuangyun Chen
Bijlmer Believers 3.0


  1. Design Guide Public Space, Groningen
  2. Eemsdelta Campus
  3. Hondsrug Park Amsterdam
  4. Railroad Zone Amsterdam
  5. Yangmeikeng Sea Boulevard
  6. Rijnvliet, Edible Neighborhood
  7. Healthy Tracks
  8. Towards a healthy city by foot
  9. Floating Gardens, Amsterdam
  10. The Unbound Amsterdam
  11. Seaside Gardens, Gufunes
  12. Brainport Smart District Helmond
  13. The Swan, Zwolle (NL)
  14. Spatial Framework Blankenburg Süden, Berlin
  15. 'Typhoon-proof' Shenzhen's East Coast
  16. Circular City Bodø 2.0
  17. Jonas Amsterdam
  18. A green entrance for the airport
  19. Public Space Alpen
  20. Cartesius Quarter
  21. Isle of Dikes
  22. Smakkelaarsveld Utrecht
  23. Darmstadt Masterplan 2030+
  24. Bao’An G107 Corridor
  25. Master Plan Ter Aar, Nieuwkoop
  26. Waterfront Novosibirsk
  27. City Square Tyumen
  28. Almazov National Medical Research Centre
  29. Strategic Urban Green Study
  30. Public Space Strategy Kanpur
  31. Quartierlandschaft Dietenbach
  32. ImageWharf
  33. Ódinstorg Square
  34. Overloon War Museum
  35. Lokhalle Leverkusen
  36. Ludlstrasse Munich
  37. Yaanila Country Park
  38. Redevelopment Strategy Vogabyggð
  39. Villa Garden
  40. City life in the woods
  41. Schie Quarter Schiedam
  42. Socio-technical city of the future
  43. Buji River
  44. Vaskhnil Novosibirsk
  45. Precincts Canterbury Cathedral
  46. Maritime Campus Almere
  47. Resilient Riverscape Berat
  48. Sijthoff
  49. Strategic Plan Shkodra
  50. Ekaterinburg City Campus
  51. Transformation Strategy Gufunes
  52. Transformation Strategy Chelyabinsk
  53. Fish Market Leuven
  54. Zinder Culture Cluster
  55. Food Innovation Strip Ede-Wageningen
  56. S4 Highway Hangzhou
  57. Strategic Plan Fier
  58. Strategic Plan Elbasan
  59. Kronenburg Business Park
  60. Dharavi Mumbai
  61. Masterplan Smáralind Mall
  62. Urban Test Farm Emmen
  63. Ásbrú Enterprise Park
  64. Asylum Seekers Center Ter Apel
  65. Berlin Am Volkspark
  66. The Museum of the 20th Century
  67. Gardabaer
  68. Metropolitan Westerpark Amsterdam
  69. Science and Technology City Chongqing
  70. Yue Xiu 353 Transformation
  71. Erlongshan Recreational Park
  72. Danxia Recreational Park
  73. Campus Lelystad
  74. Proto Tamansari
  75. City Gardens Tyumen
  76. Park Somerlust Amsterdam
  77. Agricultural Innovation Campus
  78. Bandar Lampung Park
  79. R&D Campus Fengxian
  80. S-West Eindhoven
  81. Biodiversity based dairy farming
  82. Heidelberg Creative Quarter
  83. Brainport Industries Campus
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