This chapter aims to share the Dutch experiences with the transformation of urban and regional planning practices towards sustainability.
The chapter does so by answering the following research question: What were the main problems with the integration of environmental considerations in Dutch urban and regional planning practices, and how have these been overcome? This question is answered through a historical analysis of policy changes in the Netherlands, and through the presentation of two case studies.
The chapter shows that initial attention for sustainability resulted in the enactment of competing practices for environmental planning and water management planning, next to existing practices for urban and regional planning. The coordination of the resulting planning practices proved difficult due to opposing cultures of thought, and attempts to overcome these differences through comprehensive plans turned sour. The chapter illustrates how alternative solutions at the regional and urban level were eventually successful. In the Gelre Valley region, an open project approach translated in a sustainable regional plan. And in Schalkwijk neighbourhood in Haarlem, an environmentally sensitive conceptual framework – the Strategy of the two Networks – let to the incorporation of environmental considerations in urban planningpractices. In both cases, the insistence of the principal actor – provincial and municipal government – on sustainability issues was crucial.
This chapter introduces experiences with a transformation to sustainable urban and regional planning in the Netherlands. It will be interesting for practitioners and researchers of urban and regional planning practices and sustainable cities around the world.
Wissink, B. (2014), "Towards Sustainable Urban and Regional Planning: Experiences from the Netherlands", From Sustainable to Resilient Cities: Global Concerns and Urban Efforts (Research in Urban Sociology, Vol. 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 59-79. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1047-004220140000014003
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