Sustainable urban planning: the Netherlands and China

The Netherlands is your partner in sustainability and urban planning.

The Netherlands is a densely populated country in the delta of major European rivers like the Rhine, Maas and Scheldt. A large part of the Netherlands lies below sea level. In order to deal with challenges like population growth, urbanisation, pressure on infrastructure and the effects of climate change, we need an innovative and sustainable approach to spatial planning. The Netherlands has a lot of experience in this field.

Some examples:


Re-using materials is becoming more and more central to the Dutch economy. Wastage of energy and raw materials is kept to a minimum. The Netherlands is keen to exchange ideas with other countries about building a circular economy.


In the Netherlands there are more bicycles than people. Dutch people make widespread use of this cheap, healthy and green mode of transportation. The Dutch are experts at integrating cycle paths  safely into urban infrastructure.


Dutch roads are sustainable and interactive. Traffic flow is managed via information panels over the roads, based on the volume of traffic and the weather conditions.

Sustainable construction

As one of the world's most densely populated countries, the Netherlands must use its space efficiently. The Netherlands has a lot of knowledge about green construction methods. More and more houses are energy-neutral.

Flood safety

Protection against rising sea levels and other effects of climate change is of vital importance to the Netherlands. That's why the Netherlands has an extensive system of dikes and flood defences.

Sustainable urban planning: the Netherlands and your country or region

Smart mobility

To sustain mobility and preserve the quality of life in the Netherlands in the future, we endeavour to make the most of the possibilities offered by information and communication technology (ICT). We refer to this use of ICT solutions as smart mobility.

The Netherlands believes that innovations in road mobility should improve traffic flows on our roads in terms of safety, efficiency and environmental impact. Although smart mobility has many benefits, there are still many challenges and questions to be answered. To a certain degree, governments, companies and knowledge experts worldwide are looking at the same challenges and questions. "Smart mobility calls for close, clear coordination", stresses Minister Melanie Schultz of Infrastructure and Environment. By sharing and working together, challenges and questions are more easily tackled.

Circular economy

The Netherlands is spearheading a movement towards a more circular economy and has become a “living lab" that provides the rest of the world with examples to learn from. Being a frontrunner in the circular economy, the Dutch are gaining a lot of knowledge and the developments create benefits for both the Dutch economy as well as the society as a whole.