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Campus square

In autumn 2023, we will start work on a green metamorphosis of Campusplein, the square at the heart of the VU campus. Completion is scheduled for autumn 2024.

Redeveloping Campusplein

In the 2023-2024 academic year, you will witness a metamorphosis at VU Amsterdam: the square at the heart of the university’s campus will be transformed into a greener space. Previous redevelopment phases focused on the entrances and the steps leading up to the Main Building. Now, from this autumn to autumn 2024, the rest of the square will be redeveloped in several phases.

A number of trees will also be moved from their current location to another part of the square. The Catalpa was already relocated back in January and is now thriving in its new spot. This tree is currently flanked by containers, but from August there will be seating and, in the glass container, you will be able to see how green the campus is becoming.

Phases of redeveloping

The campus plaza will be renewed in four phases, taking just over a year. The start will be in autumn 2023.

Accessibility of campusplein during redeveloping

  • Temporary routes to buildings are accessible for everyone
  • Entrances remain accessible
  • Number of disabled parking spaces will remain or be relocated
  • Emergency service assembly points remain unchanged, view map with walking routes and assembly points

Phases redeveloping Campusplein

Vibrant heart

Campusplein is the vibrant heart of the university campus. It will have an urban, green feel that invites staff, students and visitors alike to come together and interact in a relaxing setting. An outdoor home-from-home where you can work or meet on one of the terraces or benches while enjoying a coffee from Doppio, The Basket or the SPAR supermarket and in the near future from The Living. On the VU campus, you will find restaurants, cafés and a sports centre, in addition to cultural venues Griffioen and Rialto cinema.

An interactive and sustainable campus

Mutual interaction is a key concept in the development of the campus. The VU campus facilitates organised and spontaneous encounters between staff, students and visitors. We also aim to make the campus as sustainable as possible. Through redevelopment, our ambition is to create between 20% and 30% more green space on Campusplein, to be achieved by planting more grass and trees. The redesigned square will also offer a new home to trees already growing elsewhere on campus. 

Biodiversity on campus

A greener central square and the installation of effective water management systems is a response to urban warming (hotter summers) and a way to create a pleasant microclimate. Replacing concrete structures with more vegetation will make the square a more welcoming place to linger. 

This greener space – including grass, perennials and a variety of trees – will not only promote health and wellbeing, but also encourage biodiversity and provide water storage in the event of heavy rainfall. The various green roofs on campus also form part of this system. Both the Main Building and the New University Building have a green-blue roof, and the same will soon be true of the Research Building, currently under construction. The Main Building also has a popular rooftop garden. The green roof on the New University Building is in full bloom during summer, attracting a host of insects and birds. Species recently spotted include the green furrow bee, the common redstart, clovers, rattles, poppies, and several species of bumblebees and butterflies.

A welcoming, low-traffic zone

The campus will remain a low-traffic zone thanks to clearly designated logistical processes and walking routes, aimed at keeping motor vehicles off the square as much as possible. Underground parking facilities are being developed for cars and bicycles. The resulting garage offers room for approximately 600 cars and 1,600 bikes.