© MRP/Ballast Nedam Development
Infrastructure Provision, Residential Buildings, Quarters & Developments

Cartesius Utrecht


MRP en Ballast Nedam Development


Mecanoo, Paul de Ruiter en EVA Architecten

Surface area

Phase 2–6: 13.3 ha

Number of homes

Phases 2–6: approx. 2,500 homes

Project period

2018 - 2027

Utrecht is getting a unique new neighborhood: Cartesius. The area that was once the workshop and marshalling yard of the NS is being redeveloped into a lively, healthy, and sustainable urban district with housing and all kinds of amenities such as a city park, school, supermarket, catering establishments, and a range of commercial spaces. The historic CAB (Central Auto Repair Company, part of NS) is undergoing a transformation and is to become the focal point and living room of the neighborhood. In Cartesius, there will be more than 2,800 homes for various target groups — for rent and for purchase — and both ground-level and upper-floor housing. Cartesius Utrecht will be realized in phases over the next few years. Cartesius consists of six phases. Phase 2–6 has scope for about 2,500 homes. The developer Keystone has begun construction of about 300 homes in the first phase.

The developers Ballast Nedam Development and MRP have drawn their inspiration from the scientific theory of Blue Zones for the development of Cartesius. In Cartesius, there will be a differentiated and inclusive residential environment and a spatial environment putting meeting and natural movement in center stage with a completely unique identity and lofty ambitions. MRP and Ballast Nedam Development are building according to the latest insights in the field of health, sustainability, ecology, and the circular economy.  In close collaboration with various partners, such as universities, partial mobility providers and users, the concept for healthy urbanization is being developed in this area. For example, the green Cartesius Park and the green loop around the district invite people to outdoor activities, and there are amenities within walking or biking distance. To create support, local residents and interested parties are regularly involved in the developments of the new neighborhood.

On behalf of the two development parties, Drees & Sommer is coordinating the entire area development (phases 2–6), guided by the GROTICK elements. The project director and project manager have been assigned by Drees & Sommer to Cartesius for the duration of the project and will be responsible for the development management of the area development. The Cartesius project team consists of developers, project managers, and the marketing & communications team who will together shape the whole development of the new neighborhood. The project director and project manager will also handle representation of the consortium before the municipality of Utrecht, NS, and other stakeholders.

Added value

  • Development of current and forthcoming phases within time, budget, and quality targets.
  • Preparation of an integrated action plan for the current and forthcoming phases, within the established frameworks of the municipality and NS.
  • Coordination with various stakeholders and contractors (such as the municipality and NS).
  • Integration of the Cartesius concept into all the development phases.
  • Overall coordination of the project within GROTICK.


  • Development Management
  • Project Management
© MRP/Ballast Nedam Development
© MRP/Ballast Nedam Development