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History of Zuidas

A stroll down lovers’ lane

For many people born and raised in the south of Amsterdam, the location of Zuidas is one that conjures up memories of leisurely strolls taken on the edge of town. This is where two polders meet, one approximately 1.5 metres higher than the other. It was a kind of lovers’ lane. Photographs taken before the Second World War show people promenading up and down the unspoiled dyke, enjoying the views of garden allotments and the surrounding countryside. The suburb of Buitenveldert had yet to be built.


Looking back to the early 1990s, ABN AMRO were instrumental in the development of Zuidas. It all started with the bank’s decision to establish its new headquarters near Amsterdam Zuid station and Schiphol Airport, rather than opting for IJoever redevelopment project proposed by the City of Amsterdam.

ABN AMRO under construction

Master Plan

The bank’s decision encouraged Amsterdam to draw up a master plan for the development of Zuidas, which was adopted by the City Council in 1998. The plan was based on a thorough analysis of the lessons learned by foreign cities when creating similar urban areas. The Zuidas master plan aims to achieve a healthy balance between living, working and amenities. It forms the foundation of all the current and future developments in Zuidas.

Zuidas Vision Document

The adoption of the master plan in 1998 laid the cornerstone for the development of Zuidas. This plan is revised and updated every few years in a new version of the Zuidas Vision Document.  Each version incorporates changes to the plans on the basis of new insights and new agreements. The most recent Zuidas Vision Document was drawn up in 2016.

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