Groningen was voted the healthiest city in the country. Of all the big cities in the Netherlands, the living climate is the healthiest, says the engineering firm Arcadis, which has examined twenty cities in five areas: mobility, outdoor space, the environment, the built environment and community. Nijmegen took 2nd place and Maastricht 3rd place. Zaanstad dangled below.
According to Arcadis’ John Boon, it’s no surprise Groningen ends up in the lead. “This city has been trying to keep cars out of the city center since the 1970s. And with success. Nowhere in the world are bicycles used as often as in the Netherlands and Groningen leads the way in the cities examined. The community is even trying to encourage even more people to ride a bike by building bicycle shortcuts and redesigning roads so that the car is subordinate to the bicycle, ”he says in the AD.
Groningen also has a relatively large amount of green and shady areas. “These types of places are becoming increasingly important due to climate change, especially cities are facing heat stress,” says Boon. He also states in the newspaper that the air quality is good. “In Randstad or in the south it looks different because of the presence of industry and the fact that there are many more people living there.”