A city district in constant flux

Zuidas has traditionally been known as one of Amsterdam’s prime international business districts and the city’s main financial centre. It’s also a district that keeps evolving. With the arrival of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the associated focus on the life sciences and health sector, Zuidas is fast becoming a medical hub. Add to that a renewed emphasis on high-end housing and varied cultural and gastronomical offerings, and it becomes clear that Zuidas is surpassing its previously solely business-focussed reputation. Now, it’s becoming a cosmopolitan, diverse district where international business is combined with outstanding infrastructure and the great lifestyle Amsterdam is famous for.

The growing landscape of Zuidas

WTC Zuidas Amsterdam CC 2.0 BY Guilhem Vellut via Flickr

Around 800 Dutch and international companies are currently based in and around Zuidas, as are the RAI Convention Centre and the World Trade Center Amsterdam. The Vrije Universiteit (VU) – one of Amsterdam’s two main universities and among the Netherlands’ largest – is found there, too.

Zuidas remains the financial centre of the city (and the country). It’s home to banks, FinTech businesses and consultancies as well as financial, legal and business services companies. They include ABN AMRO, JPMorgan Chase, MUFG Bank, BinckBank, Axe Finance, Ebury, Deloitte, EY, Accenture and Freshfields. But the EMA’s arrival is also underlining the other important function of Zuidas: that of a medical and life sciences hub, complementing the nearby Amsterdam Life Sciences District. The university hospital affiliated with the VU, which is part of Amsterdam UMC, is one of the most prestigious academic medical centres in the country. The Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA) is also here; and businesses active in the sector include biotech multinational Gilead Sciences and the specialised recruiter Nexus Life Sciences.

Zuidas’ connections are getting even better

Close to both the historic city centre and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Zuidas is highly accessible for local and international journeys. The airport is a seven-minute train ride away, and central Amsterdam can be reached easily by bike or public transport. The summer of 2018 saw the opening of a new metro line, which connects Zuidas with central Amsterdam in mere minutes. In addition, one of the Netherlands’ largest-scale infrastructure projects, Zuidasdok, will further improve the district’s accessibility by widening the A10 South ring road and expanding Amsterdam Zuid Station.

Becoming a green, sustainable urban hub

Of course, good connections are of paramount importance to businesses. But Zuidas is also working hard at becoming a place you don’t actually want to leave. Office buildings are set in lively, vibrant surroundings with a variety of independent businesses present. Zuidas is developing into not only the city’s key international office location, but a popular residential area where special attention is paid to the human dimension of architecture, green spaces and environmentally friendly urban planning. 

Zuidas is also putting sustainability at the heart of everything it does, working to deliver a healthy, clean, compact and energy-neutral neighbourhood. Companies, educational institutions, social organisations and the Zuidas Green Business Club are working together to improve energy generation, energy conservation, sustainable mobility, clean air and the area's circular economy. This includes making Zuidas free of natural gases and the Zero Waste Zuidas project, in which 27 companies have signed up to a commitment to make the whole area free of residual waste by 2030.

Already a high-profile international business district and a centre of research and education, Zuidas is now evolving into a fully-fledged urban hub – a place to live, work and spend time in. With its high concentration of businesses, public institutions and growing residential areas, it’s a revived and dynamic part of the city.