These big boxes in the landscape, also known as distribution centers, aren’t really pretty, as Post on RTL Z admits. In any case, there has been growing opposition in recent years to building new large distribution centers in our country. And recently, the construction of data centers, for example the huge Meta branch in Zeewolde, has also been put to an end.
Post says that space in our country is very scarce. “But distribution centers are also essential, because they contain supplies from hospitals and stores, among other things.”
“We’re also buying more and more online, these products have to come from somewhere,” adds Co Verdaas, Professor of Area Development at TU Delft.
with or on top of each other
As a solution, Post advocates a mix of functionality, in which homes and distribution centers are located together or on top of each other. Now you have parts of the city where there are only homes and parts where there are only businesses. But these houses are often deserted during the day, when the residents go to work. These industrial zones, which are just left after working hours, she says, do not benefit either of them for social safety.
According to Post, living near or above a distribution center shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you’re getting into the trucks on the other side. “And if the trucks were electric, you wouldn’t be bothered by noise, carbon dioxide, or nitrogen anymore.”
Post believes that municipalities can also place higher demands on the structure of distribution centers when jobs are mixed. For now, entrepreneurs are still building a purely functional building, also because there are few requirements, Post says.
Hook and eyes
But it’s not as easy as it sounds, Verdas says. “For years, there has been an emphasis on segregation of duties, because people prefer not to live in a mall. Companies prefer not to be near homes, because that can hinder expansion and complaints about inconvenience can be lodged.”
From a technical point of view, you can’t just build houses on top of an existing distribution center, the foundation isn’t strong enough, Verdas says. “You can solve that with a new foundation, which is just for homes. But there are costs involved.”
You can build homes in new distribution centers, but tall building is always more expensive anyway, he says. “Although this is offset by a higher return, because the homes will also be built on the same land.”
Verdas believes that there are also environmental hurdles. Distribution centers are often located at intersections, such as roads, and there may be power towers, for example. “That makes it a little more complicated than you might do with a Lego at home.”
‘Can come out financially’
Houses on several tiers on the edges of the distribution center are also good, says Stec Groep, who has made beautiful pictures of what that would look like. But the Post admits that such buildings did not yet exist in the Netherlands. This is perhaps the best indication that it is not that simple.
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