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With the constantly declining relevance of national borders and the expansion of Europe, competition between urban regions is rising. How is the Randstad Region performing? In the eight Randstad Monitor, the Randstad Region is compared with 19 other metropolitan regions in Europe. This is a short version of the monitor. Download the short version and the full report via

Randstad Region stands for strengthening the competitive position of the region in an integrated Europe and improving the quality of life of the Randstad Region. The competitiveness (wealth) and quality of life (welfare) of and in the region are central points of constant focus. GRP 1995-2000

Report structure

of the housing and real estate market, supple-

In 2011, Randstad Holland generated earnings


This short version takes the following form.

mented by problems in the financial sector. If the

of more than € 241 billion, almost half of Dutch


Several general infographics are first presented

Randstad Region wishes to remain competitive,

GDP. The Randstad Region has a clear lead on

together with the key conclusions from the

action will have to be taken in these areas.

Randstad Monitor. The most eye-catching facts

the rest of the Netherlands. In comparison to Europe, another picture emerges. The GRP of

about rural areas under urban pressure,

Randstad Region

Stockholm, Berlin, Prague, the Ruhr conurbation

knowledge and innovation and the sustainable

The Randstad Region comprises the Provinces

and Paris are growing faster. They have less

living environment are presented. Conclusions

Flevoland, Noord-Holland, Utrecht and

difficulty with a stagnating housing market and

and challenges are then linked to these subjects.

Zuid-Holland. The term Randstad Holland

high mortgage debt or have implemented

broadly refers to the area of the five major cities

restructuring programmes (Germany). The 20

around the Green Heart.

European regions together generate a GRP of

Summary The growth of GRP in the Randstad Region is

€ 3.5 billion, or 30.6% of the EU27 total (€ 11.3

slowing down. In the period 2005-2009, GRP

billion). The obvious conclusion is that Europe is

grew relatively fast, placing the Randstad Region

becoming urbanised.

in the upper echelons of metropolitan region rankings. Between 2009 and 2011, the Randstad Region has developed moderately. Disappointing growth in the Randstad Region has been attributed to domestic factors: stagnation

Randstad Region



EU average





sector is vital to the Netherlands.

36.2 million

36% Commercial services

Population growth in the Randstad Region is

Growth in labour participation in the Randstad

relatively high as compared to other metropolitan

Region has slowed down as compared to previous years and other European regions, but





7,8 million inhabitants

6% Construction 2% Agriculture

101.2 million




average Netherlands

average Randstad



+4.1% +3.2% +2.9% +2.3%

EU average


Randstad Holland


Housing market stagnation

Employment in the Randstad Region is

The Randstad Region appears to be

shrinking, more rapidly than the GRP and

suffering from a correction of excess

2 seaports

in relation to other European regions.

lending. As a consequence, the Netherlands

40,961 km of roads

Employment development within the

is subject to reticent consumers and

Randstad Region is still intact, leading to

uncertainty on the housing market.


1,077 km railways

slower growth in labour productivity.

Patent applications

There is industry in the Randstad. However,

Patents are an indicator for the results generated

innovative industry is shrinking and lagging

by efforts in innovation. Patent numbers in the

behind. In Randstad Holland, this sector

EU are falling.

Copenhagen and 17% in Paris. High-end

Flemish Diamond

European policy through to 2020 is hallmarked by innovation focused on research and development. Research and innovation are priorities for the Randstad Region. The Randstad Monitor reveals that conditions are not favourable.

industrial employment opportunities are also

Ruhr conurbation


EU 20 regions


represents 4% as compared to an average of 10.5% in all EU regions, with 36% in

shrinking and the share of knowledge-intensive services at 5.2% is below the 6% average.

Investment in research & development


The European standard for investment in knowledge

The environmental quality of the Randstad

and innovation is 3% of GDP. In the 20 European

Region must be improved as a key contributor to

regions, the percentage is 2.42% of GRP, as

wealth and welfare in the region. Good welfare

compared to 1.83% in the Randstad Region.

means a good quality of life for residents, and

In effect, seen in the light of the major downturn in

enough ‘green space’ helps improve the urban

GRP over the past few years, this means less


establishment climate.

investment in the Randstad Region.

Randstad Holland

EURO norm




Randstad Holland The level of knowledge of the Randstad

Points for improvement

This growth is difficult to explain. The population is growing (7 million), unemployment is low as



average EU Regions

average Netherlands


population is in line with the average for the



223 17

European regions: 0.24 low, 0.33 middle and


0.36 high educated making up the total of 1.0

In December 2012, the European Parliament

in 2011.

approved a European patent.

Sustainable living environment The Randstad Region aims to be a good living environment for its residents. A good, sustainable environment contributes to regional welfare. It also helps make the region sustainably competitive. Many sustainability issues are decided in Europe. The Randstad Region includes sustainability in decisions and initiatives on economic developments in the region for boosting wealth.

Average EU regions

average Randstad

is mobility. As a result, the growth in labour

Labour productivity

productivity is lagging behind.

Labour productivity is an indicator for wealth now

Although agriculture is important, in 2011, trade

and home. The Randstad Region offers excellent

and transport were the economic drivers in the

access. Within five hours, 184 million people can

Randstad Region.

locked up tight, there is little employee mobility.

Top sectors +4%

As a result, growth in labour productivity in the

House Price Index (2005 = 100%)

The rural environment must remain open, for example

Randstad Region is lagging behind.

via economically-viable agriculture, to ensure the vitality


of rural areas in the Randstad Region. Pressure on rural





areas must be reduced because ‘green space’ contributes to the quality of life of local residents and


average EU Regions

average Netherlands

average Randstad

makes the region more attractive and competitive.

People are ‘fleeing’ the countryside population decrease


In 2005, 206,629 houses were sold.

1,077 km railway network

Nature 16,000 ha

40,961 km road network

12,300 km cycle paths

2,749 km waterways of which 2,030 km of economic importance

The PM concentration in Randstad Holland fell

Holland is in line with the European average fall

in the period 2001-2010 slightly more than the

of 0.5% per year, in terms of both concentration

average of the 20 metropolitan regions (1.7%).

and volume.

In 2010, however, the trend suddenly reversed, as compared to a further fall in the other twenty regions.

47 μg/m3



30,588 jobs 2.8% growth


-1% -2%

sectors depend on the urban environment

top sectors. A number of top

(agglomeration advantages, establishment

sectors are overconcentrated in the

environment) and a good infrastructure (ports,

Randstad Region: logistics, creative

airports) in the Randstad Region. The creative

industry, life sciences & health,

industry and life sciences & health are showing

water and head offices. These top

fastest growth in long-term employment.

344,172 jobs 2.8% growth

+1% 0%

Agro & Food

< Euro5 engines The Netherlands has identified nine


28,125 jobs 1.1% growth


12,648 jobs 0.4% growth


139,073 jobs 0.8% growth

Agriculture 6,200 ha

43 μg/m3

Barcelona Spain

Frankfurt Main Germany

38 μg/m3

40 μg/m3

Flemish Diamond Belgium

Randstad Holland

49 μg/m3 London England

61 μg/m3 Seagoing ships with fuel oil

23 μg/m3

London England

Onshore power for inland shipping

Milan Italy

Creative Industry


25,510 jobs 1.7% growth

The Randstad Region has little industry and few high tech establishments compared to other EU regions. Investments in knowledge and innovation are lagging behind. As a result, the Randstad Region has insufficient valorisation capacity, making it difficult to market knowledge and innovation. The Randstad Region above all deploys European investments in knowledge and innovation (future structural funds) for developments that contribute to a sustainable living environment.

The Randstad Region conurbation has a great deal to offer Europe. Since 1993, the Randstad provinces (Flevoland, Noord-Holland, Utrecht and Zuid-Holland) have been cooperating closely, in Brussels. This cooperation was initiated following the recognition that each of the provinces has shared goals in Europe. The provinces have efficiently and structurally joined forces in order to achieve greater effectiveness and a clearer profile. The work approach of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union after all offer numerous opportunities for influencing and lobbying. At the same time, the huge numbers of parties participating in this process make the joining of forces essential, in order to make one’s voice heard.

What can we do about it?

27 μg/m3

27 μg/m3 Randstad Holland

Flemish Diamond Belgium

27 μg/m3

Improve the environmental quality of the Randstad Region as a contributor to wealth and welfare. The Randstad Region must continue to exercise influence in the Netherlands and Europe to improve its competitive position in Europe.

Randstad Region must focus on:

Average EU Regions

31 μg/m3 Barcelona Spain


201,511 jobs 1% growth

About us

Frankfurt Main Germany

153,988 jobs 3.5% growth



> Euro6 engines

Life Sciences & Health 6,700 jobs 4.5% growth

23 μg/m3

Clean energy

Industrial emission



Particulates and nitrogen are sources of air

Tackling pollution at source by promoting

pollution emitted by traffic and fuels from cars,

cleaning fuels for cars and ships, electricity-

ships and industry.

based mobility and cleaner industries. This is a Randstad Region project in collaboration with 11 other European regions.

In 2011, 120,737.

Urban 22,000 ha

Particulate matter PM10

Air pollution by nitrogen oxides in Randstad

Average EU Regions

Serious shrinkage in rural areas

and in the future. Because the labour market is

Nitrogen dioxide NO2

41 μg/m3

region and rural surroundings. Mobility links work

4,3 million working population 3 airports

Research & innovation

Limited industry & knowledge

Accessibility is essential to the vitality of the average EU Regions


Labour market stagnation

21% Trade and Transport



8,287 km2 surface area

46.8 million

24% Non-profit services

11% Industry

Labour participation

is still high.

GRP 2009-2011


and Frankfurt/Main are more accessible.

third exporter of agricultural goods, the primary

Population growth



The Randstad Region is lagging behind related to national stagnation on the labour market and housing market.

is mainly in the tertiary sector. As the world’s

Typical of the Randstad Region is the continuous interaction between urban agglomerations and their rural surroundings. Vitality of rural areas in an urban environment, the peri-urban areas, is essential for maintaining economically-viable agriculture and upholding a good quality of life for people living in the region.





Only the Ruhr conurbation, the Flemish Diamond


Randstad Holland


be reached from the region by road, rail and air.

Economic development in the Randstad Region

Growth (1996 - 2011)

Gross Regional Product

Rural areas under urban pressure

Economic value of sectors

Policy at source delivers the best results, for example, implementing the polluter pays principle, and cleaner fuels and engines, as well as promoting clean regional, national and international transport.

40 μg/m3 Milan Italy

Labour market

Research & innovation

Housing market

For the purposes of the cooperation, the commissioning party is the administrative consultative committee Randstad cooperation in Europe. This administrative consultative committee consists of the four members of the Provincial Executive responsible for European affairs. Europe, as such, however, is not a separate policy area. European policy after all affects many substantive portfolios; as a consequence, the members of the Provincial Executive with responsibility for European affairs are in favour of an integrated approach to Europe. Responsibility in terms of content is shared with the specialist Provincial Executive members in four priority fields: future regional policy, research & innovation, sustainable living environment and rural areas under urban pressure.

Randstad Monitor 2012  

De Randstad Monitor 2012

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