Green light for development of World Food Center Ede

De Zwarte Hond is working on the transformation of the former Maurits-Zuid military barracks site into the World Food Center Ede. On Thursday 23 January, the Ede city council unanimously approved the strategic plan that we co-drafted. The realisation of this vibrant new urban district that celebrates the world of food can now truly begin. The development of building plans for the first offices and homes is well underway.

The site occupies a strategic location, situated in the heart of the so-called Foodvalley region, beside Ede-Wageningen station, bordering the Veluwe National Park and close to the Ginkel Heath, a nature reserve. World Food Center Ede is well-connected to the Randstad and to Germany. An ideal place for living, working and leisure, this new urban district forms a second hub for Ede together with the existing city centre. De Zwarte Hold worked together with the municipality of Ede and the developers WFC Development to draft the strategic plan. Led by Jeroen de Willigen, the team also designed urban plans for selected parts of the site.

Urban and innovative
Starting from the station - which is currently being renovated - the route leads through a new city park into the heart of the World Food Center. Located here, between the heritage-listed Maurits and Friso barracks is an important eye-catcher and food attraction: the World Food Center Experience. This will be surrounded by restaurants, a hotel and conference centre, apartments, commercial spaces and spaces for exercise and relaxation. Moving outwards from the centre, the focus shifts to living or working. Surrounding the lively core are several different zones: a residential zone; a neighbourhood with research institutes and innovative food companies; and a zone that can flexibly host housing or commercial space. The end result: an attractive, urban living environment on the edge of the Veluwe that supports leading international innovations in the field of food.

Green structure as foundation
At the World Food Center, nature is always close by. Towards the edge of the site the buildings become lower and sparser, and trees, heather, wild grasses and flowering meadows grow between the dwellings, offices and commercial buildings. There are forests at the periphery of the site and the green network within features wide streets, allotments and even a food forest with fruit trees, nut trees and edible plants. This mass of green also allows the area to be better adapted to extreme weather conditions and climate change. Also in terms of green, sustainable transport modes will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists and minimise vehicular traffic. The site will be completely gas-free and the buildings will be energy neutral where possible.

Connect and meet
We have long recognised the potential of this unique site. in 2011, De Zwarte Hond already researched the further development of Ede-Wageningen as a connecting knowledge hub in the Foodvalley region. The telling motto of this research: Connect and meet. Based on the urban plan of Jeroen de Willigen and his team, the World Food Center will be developed in the coming years into a fantastic new place where this connecting and meeting can really happen.