Antwerken initiative in Antwerp (Belgium)

By News Editor / Updated: 29 Aug 2014

The City of Antwerp is curently undergoing a large scale renovation of its transport infrastructure, including its road and public transport networks (scheduled to be complete in 2015). The activities are brought together in a Master plan Mobility for the wider city region.http://

Background & Objectives

The whole programme is coordinated by a temporary agency: the BAM (Management Unit Antwerp Master Plan). The BAM brings all stakeholders together and coordinates both the infrastructural works and the accompanying measures. This leads to a very strong synergy between both approaches to the problematic accessibility situation.The key investments include:
  • A renovation of the city ring road, a highway that is part of the TEN-T network.
  • A renovation of the main urban highway (‘Leien’) that crosses the city from South to North.
  • Large railway investments, including the connection of the Antwerp Central Station with the High Speed Train (HST) lines Brussels - Amsterdam, and the preparations of a regional railway system.
  • The construction of a fixed cross-river connection (a bridge, or combined bridge - tunnel) across the Schelde river.
  • Extensions of tramway lines to the outskirts of the urban region.


The vast scale of these construction works, the innovative segmentation and sequencing of the works and the importance of the accessibility of an important economic area such as the Port of Antwerp, lead to the decision to combine the hardware measures with a comprehensive but broad scheme of soft accompanying measures.>These measures represent a smart combination of:
  • Increased provision of public transport options, including new fast bus lines linking up with Park & Ride facilities located on the city centre outskirts.
  • Provision of alternative routes for motorised transport, with a strong focus on freight. This includes smart signposting (starting even at the Belgian boarders), and GPS applications. These alternative routes include measures such as temporary bridges.
  • Improvements to the cycle network.
  • Other initiatives to reduce employee comuting trips (e.g. promotion of Teleworking schemes etc.)
The accompanying measures are jointly promoted under the brand ‘Antwerken’, a wordplay with Antwerp and Werken (Works). The main message of the campaign is that everybody has to do their share to make the infrastructure works a success, and to reduce its impacts.


The campaign is linked to a specific situation and will disappear after the construction works have been implemented, although, some of the accompanying measures will however continue. The renovation of the ring road is one of the major road works to be finished soon (in about 2 years) and wil have the greatest impact of the overall accessibility of the urban region. The focus of the Antwerken campaign is then likely to change to an approach that is aiming at public involvement with the preparation of the fixed cross-river connection.

Further informatiom

More information on this initiative on the NICHES website:
Urban mobility planning
Valérie Benard
PDF icon factsheetantwerken_be_.pdf33.22 KB
30 Jan 2007
29 Aug 2014