Groningen the healthiest city in Netherlands; Zaanstad & Rotterdam least healthy
Groningen is the Dutch city with the healthiest living environment, according to a study by engineering firm Arcadis. Zaanstad is the least healthy city in the Netherlands. The four largest cities are also towards the bottom of the list.
Arcadis ranked the health of 20 Dutch cities based on five components - mobility, outdoor space, environment, built environment, and community. Groningen scored well in all five categories, getting its lowest ranking in 8th place for healthy outdoor space. It came 1st for healthy built environment, 6th for healthy mobility, third for healthy environment, and third for a healthy society.
It is no surprise that Groningen came in first place, researcher John Boon said to AD. The city has been working to keep cars out since the 1970s and leads the way worldwide for using bicycles as transport. The municipality is working on getting even more people on the bike by building bicycle shortcuts and redesigning roads so that the car is subordinated to the bicycle. Groningen also relatively has a large mount of greenery and shady places, things that are increasingly important due to climate change. And the city's air quality is good. "That's different in the Randstad or south due to the presence of industry and the fact that many more people live there," Boon said.
Of the Netherlands' four largest cities, Utrecht is the healthiest, coming in 12th place. The Hague came in 14th place, Amsterdam in 17th and Rotterdam tied in 19th place with Zaandam.
Healthy city index by Arcadis:
14. Den Haag