New Infrastructure Suriname


sur lu 2011 2025 clipped


Suriname is a sparsely populated country. Its inhabitants mainly live in or around the capital Paramaribo. By far the largest part of the country consists of tropical forest. The main infrastructure consits of paved roads in the coastal strip and rivers into the country.

The last years different plans have been developed to improve the infrastructure, such as roads and dams. The most far-reaching plan is to construct a road and railroad throughout the whole country into Brazil. These plans would have a substantial impact on multiple aspects of the country.

Documentary film

In the summer/autumn of 2011 a film has been made about some of the potential impacts of the new road/railroad. For this film, Object Vision made animations of increased accessibility of the major urbanised areas and of possible land use changes and are available here:

Accessibility in Suriname 2011-2025

Land Use in Suriname 2011-2025

Land Use Model

The animations are made with the Ruimtescanner. The animations are the result of a Land Use model made for Suriname. The limitations of this model are related to:

  • the amount and quality of the data
  • social, political and economic uncertainties
  • unfamiliarity with the route choice
  • the limited time for developing the model

The resulting animations need to be considerd as indicative images of possible effects, mainly to be used for communication purposes. No rights can be obtained from the results.

Model Input

As for all land use models developed with the EuClueScanner or Ruimtescanner, a distinction is made between two types of model input:

  1. An expected number of hectares per land use type for in this application the whole country, called the claims. The claims for the urban and agriculture land use types are derived from population forecasts of the Algemeen Bureau voor de Statistiek in Suriname. The hectares land needed for the road constructions are taken into account in the claims for infrastrcuture/open area.
  2. The local suitability (at a grid level op 250*250 meter) based on: the current land use, slope, soil type, accessibility to roads/rivers/villages/harbour/airports, materials, consessions and protected areas.

Data Sources

The following data sources were used in the Land Use model:

Type Description Source
Land Use Map 2011 Map with land use data operations on  data Narena
Soil map Map with soil types ISRIC World Soil Information (2005)
Concessions/Protected areas Map with areas designated to concessions or potected nature GMD, Google Earth, SBB, Narena
Digital Elevation Model Altitude Map FAO
Slope Slope Map GIS operation n FAO
Infrastructure Current roads, rivers, airports and plans OpenStreetMap, Narena
Villages Map with point locations of villages/towns Narena, ABS
Rivers Map with primary and secondary rivers CBL
Materials Map with current location for extraction of raw materials Lutchman & Karssen
Administrative areas Maps with boundaries of administrative areas FAO
Brasil data http://data.geocomm.com/

Most data was collected during the IDB project 2009 (Development of the Interior).


Some resulting maps are also available in EduGIS, see e.g. the increased accessibility in 2025. Also teaching material is available, based on the Land Use model for Suriname.


The Land Use model and animations are made in cooperation with:

Vrije Universiteit
De Boelelaan 1085
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

tel: +31 (0)20 598 9083
fax:+31 (0)20 598 9904