Eindhoven, NL
A 'forbidden city' turned into an innovative neighbourhood


Strijp-S is a new and innovative neighbourhood, emerging on a former industrial area in the city of Eindhoven. Since 2000, the municipality of Eindhoven and the construction and real estate developer VolkerWesssels B.V. are developing a bustling area that integrates living, working and urban culture. Together with other partners, the public-private partnership is developing living accommodation, as well as work and office space. The area also has dedicated spaces for large-scale events and festivals and is home to a range of urban sports. The area acts as a living lab, in which there is space to pilot, (further) develop and scale products and services that can improve the liveability of the area. Throughout the process of development, national and local heritage is respected and integrated with new builds.


The Netherlands
Outside city centre


The area of Strijp-S is a former industrial area, right outside the city centre of Eindhoven, previously belonging to tech-giant Philips. Due to the great impact of Philips on the development of Eindhoven as a city, the former industrial area is recognized as a monumental heritage complex (national level) and is furthermore home to several buildings that are listed on the municipal heritage list.

In the area around Strijp-S, Philips built a ‘factory town’, providing housing and (recreational) services, for its employees. For a long time, the area of Strijp-S was known as the ‘forbidden city’, because the entrance to the terrain was only possible as a Philips employee. At the end of the 1990s, it becomes clear that Philips will move much of its organisational activities outside of Eindhoven, and a new purpose for the site is sought. In 2000, the municipality of Eindhoven and the construction and real estate developer VolkerWessels B.V. enter into a public-private partnership to buy and re-purpose the site. The site contains several buildings that are recognized as national and/or municipal heritage, as well as physical reminders of its industrial past (like overground pipe-work), which are integrated with new build developments in order to create a unique streetscape [2;3;4]

The goal of the partnership is to redevelop the former industrial area into a bustling neighbourhood with a unique urban character, where living, working and culture come together. Together with other partners, including, for example, housing cooperatives, the partnership is developing living accommodation, work and office space. There is a special focus on art and technology, and the chain of research & development. The area also has dedicated spaces for large-scale events, like festivals and markets, and is home to a range of urban sports (e.g. in the form of a skate- and BMX hall). The area furthermore acts as a living lab, in which there is space to pilot, (further) develop and scale products and services that can improve the liveability of the area. Initiatives under research in the living lab are among others related to the measurement and improvement of air quality, and the implementation of smart lighting throughout the area [1;3;4].


Heritage utilized
Building(s) and/or monumental structures; Values and/or symbols
Creative and Cultural Industries; New Lifestyles
Creative industries; Entertainment; Housing; Smart city; Public space


In 2000, the municipality of Eindhoven and the real estate developer VolkerWessels B.V. set up the public-private partnership ‘Park Beheer Strijp’ to facilitate the purchase and development of the site. Both partners have a 50% share in the partnership. The living accommodation is developed by (social) housing agencies, in close cooperation with Park Beheer Strijp, to ensure a fit with the overall concept of the area. Citizens are informed through public meetings. [2;3;5]

The development of Strijp-S have been made possible through a Dutch law called the Crisis and Recovery Act. This national act was installed in 2010 to aid recovery from the financial crisis. It allowed for experimental development. Strijp-S was one of the first projects to be notified in the area development plans under this law. [3]


Governance arrangement
Hybrid governance
Organisational form
Public - Private Partnership
Stakeholders involved in implementation
Local government; private sector businesses; public institutions

Business Model

The municipality of Eindhoven has bought the terrain from Philips, but the responsibility is shared with VolkerWessels B.V. in a 50-50 construction in the public-private partnership ‘Park Beheer Strijp’. Park Beheer Strijp takes over the buildings and land from the municipality against book value. The partnership develops new public spaces and orchestrates the exploitation of the land/buildings. It generates an income by the temporary exploitation of existing buildings (before redevelopment / demolishing) and by selling buildings/land to (real estate) developers and housing agencies. This construction is cost-effective.

The municipality has invested €140.000.000 to buy the site from Philips; a total of about €1.2 billion has been invested in the area so far. This is about 64% private and 36% public investment [2;4;5].


Initial investment
€140.000.000 for acquisition of site
Type of financial resources utilized
Public investment; Revenue generated through organisational activities; Private investment
Source of financial resources
Public local authority's budget; corporate investments
Non-financial contributions


  1. Strijp-S, organisational website,, accessed on 10-08-2021

  2. Geevers, K. (2014), Urban value proposition of industrial built heritage, A+ BE| Architecture and the Built Environment,  8, pp. 1-350.

  3. Babalis, D., & Curulli, I. (2016), Transforming Strijp S From Philips’ Industrial Site to New Residential and Creative Area, Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, 10, pp. 777-787.

  4. Presentation from Alwin Beernink, Director of Strijp-S in Rock2020 webinar, available on, accessed on 10-08-2021

  5. Strijp-S 2017: Land use plan (Bestemmingsplan), available on, accessed on 10-08-2021