The economy is doing well in the Netherlands and especially in the Eindhoven region. Nowhere is growth as strong as in this region. Consumers spend more. This means busy shops, full terraces, but also more cars and more trucks on the road. Good accessibility and traffic flow are essential for the smartest region, for the business climate, the quality of life and international trade. Under the banner of SmartwayZ.NL, governments, market and knowledge parties and other stakeholders work together intensively to improve the traffic flow in the Southern Netherlands and to stimulate innovation in this smart region.
The programme comprises eight related projects in the provinces of North Brabant and Limburg and focuses on the corridor (A58/A67 Breda-Venlo), including the Eindhoven traffic junction, the A2 (Eindhoven – Weert), the N279 (Veghel – Asten) and the area of south-east Brabant. The projects vary from smart mobility solutions to widening motorways and tackling transport hubs.
Our ambition is to use Smart Mobility to realise optimum accessibility and the smartest road network in Europe, with the traveller in the role of key player in a network of mobility systems and consumer of smart solutions and services. Smart Mobility is an independent project but it is reflected in the other seven projects.
How we work
The principles of collaborating and sharing knowledge are entrenched in the DNA of the south of the Netherlands, and form the basis for the characteristically open innovation which has made Brainport Eindhoven so smart and strong and has eliminated national boundaries for the Brightlands innovation campuses in Limburg. There are good reasons why SmartwayZ.NL represents not only government and industry but also institutes of learning, and explicitly seeks collaboration with nearby mobility and accessibility programmes. We are in contact with initiatives such as BrabantStad (which links the 5 major towns in Brabant), the Brainport National Action Agenda, the South-east Goods Transport Corridor (Goederenvervoercorridor Zuidoost) programme, Maastricht Accessible (Maastricht Bereikbaar) and De Verkeersonderneming (a multi-facetted initiative to keep traffic of all kinds moving).
We aim to achieve our goals in the most sustainable way possible, so that our actions are compatible with the Paris Climate Accord and the Dutch government's policies. In doing so, we are focussing on contributing towards the circular economy, the power transition and the reduction of CO2 emissions. We are also trying to reduce the demand for mobility, to achieve a shift towards more sustainable forms of transport and to inspire people to 'think green' by encouraging smart and economical behaviour.
We need to be flexible if we are to achieve our goals, and our programming has to be adaptive. This is in line with our focus on innovation in smart mobility; that calls - almost by definition - for continuous tweaking. The various projects in which SmartwayZ.NL is involved all exert some tangible influence on each other. The knowledge gained in one project is constantly being translated for use in other projects. In addition, we respond to changes in our environment, such as recent national and regional investments to improve the business climate and promote incentives for new technology.
Learning by doing
We apply the latest technologies in smart ways and - where necessary - we develop our own in collaboration with the private sector. We are not afraid to experiment and to learn from experience, but we remain realistic. We have been gaining experience with social design, for example, a new way of working that puts the designer at the centre of society. In other words: the end user provides an active contribution to the design process. The collaboration with our partners is also subject to continuous evaluation as part of our efforts to work as efficiently as possible.
SmartwayZ.NL is managed by a programme council comprising representatives from various levels of government, knowledge institutes and the private sector. The council has final responsibility for the implementation of the programme as a whole, and ensures that SmartwayZ.NL is more than merely the sum of its eight projects.