Mobility is one of the major challenges of our time. How do we ensure that, now the economy picks up again, we do not get stuck in overcrowded trains and on conjested roads? That is the question that the Dutch Delta Plan 2030 answers on. On Wednesday the 12th of June 25 Dutch organizations in traffic and transport offered this Delta Plan to the Dutch government. One of the solutions presented is a series of hubs on the edges of major cities. This is where retail, hospitality and other public spaces can make the difference. Which brands, retailers and concept thinkers dare to take up this challenge?

Hubs on the outskirts of the city

A hub is a place where different means of transport are linked to each other to make a so-called "chain journey" possible. For example, the place you go by bike to catch the train, or a place on the outskirts of the city or a junction in a non-urban area where the car and public transport come together. The advice is to make the transition from routine travel to flexible travel; which means, you do not automatically choose the same means of transport every day, but make a choice based on real-time travel advice.

Hubs as socio-economic connection

Our motto is: "from spaces to places". To make a hub really attractive it must be more than a logistics hub, namely a hub that connects all functions of daily life. A place to come together, a place that makes life easier, or more fun.

This vision is also reflected in the Delta Plan: "The use of hubs becomes more attractive if mobility comes together with social and commercial facilities that meet the (travel) needs of the traveller." Examples are flexible workplaces, shops, meeting places, hospitality, pick-up points, and so on. When choosing facilities, the needs of the catchment area must of course be taken into account. A hub in a big city has a different function than a hub in a rural region.

Who can realise a hub in a sustainably and surprising way?

For Welle7 in Bern, Switzerland, we have been allowed to work on an Urban Center (our name for a hub). In this shopping center, directly at the train station, the second home is created, the stopover between home and destination. Training, shopping, hospitality, sports and work; it is all combined in the multifunctional Welle7. Now I wonder, where would we like to see such a hub in the Netherlands? And which concepts fit in with that? Take Jumbo, for example, with La Place, Jumbo has made the first step with flexible office spaces. Are there any more good examples of Dutch concepts that can give such a hub colour?

Want to know more?

You can find everything about Welle7 in our book "Innovativity" or here.

You can find the Delta Plan Mobility (in Dutch) here: Deltaplan Mobiliteit.