Dutch urban centres thrive as assimilate new mixed-use role

Urban centres in the Netherlands are thriving but they are undergoing considerable change according to Kern director Herman Kok.

“When you look at central areas, retail is definitely still part of it, also in the Netherlands. The convenience retail scene is very strong,” he said pointing to examples of such operators Albert Heijn and Jumbo.

Speaking to Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts during the recent Provada real estate show, he said that much of the change in the Netherlands was precipitated by the demise of department store group V&D and the departure of Hudson’s Bay, both of which held anchor positions in town and city centres.

“Increasingly, centres become mixed use, they become multi purpose, they become places where people meet, where people consume but also where people work and where they live. So basically this is organic like urban and city areas we know from history,” Kok said.

Kern was formerly the Dutch council of shopping centres (NRW) and its new name translates as “core”.

“Similar to what we have seen in the UK with the British Council of Shopping Centres’ transformation into Revo, it is basically emphasising that we are focused on central areas,” Kok said.

“As long as there is retail, there is a mix of functions, there is transit of people and there are tendencies towards mixed-use transformations. That’s what we cover.”

Click on the video to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.