Let's make the Netherlands great again!

The New Planning

TU Delft and the Vereniging Deltametropool together created a consortium of academic and social partners to meet the need for a new model of spatial planning for Netherland's.

The New Planning is a collaborative project between Deltametropolis Association and TU Delft. The ‘new planning’ project will stimulate a step change in the practice in spatial planning to bolster resilience, foster more liveable cities ensure more sustainable and inclusive development. The project will break through the current impasse in the governance of the Dutch territory, and provide a roadmap for the transition of planning institutions towards the new model.

The project will build a new model of planning from in-depth analysis of Dutch spatial planning and learning from international comparation that requires extensive engagement with societal partners. A ‘new planning’ is urgently needed because the institutions that proved so successful in meeting the post-war challenges of growth, housing need, and environmental conservation are no longer fit for purpose. Dutch spatial planning practice is evolving incrementally in an ad hoc and theoretically uninformed way. The system is ill-prepared to tackle the urgent challenges of sustainability, resilience, the energy transition and information age. Major initiatives, notably the Environment Act, are not well connected to either the other formal planning tools or the informal institutions that determine how the system works.

The ‘new planning’ will be formulated from a theoretically informed evaluation of the current model that considers the need for policy integration, functional territorialism, democratic legitimacy, proportionality, engagement with citizens, and readiness for accelerating societal change. Novel methods of international comparative benchmarking, dialogue and simulation of prototype components will be used, alongside traditional methods of institutional analysis through case studies.

Academic and social partners will cooperate at four levels of analysis –within the Netherlands, with the neighbourhood of north-west Europe, in comparative  institutional analysis of European examples, and in scoping  exemplars of innovation in spatial planning worldwide.

It is essential that the project addresses the urgent issues experienced in current Dutch planning practice. Our early collaboration has already helped to shape the pre-proposal and we expect the participants to provide more in-depth understanding of their perspectives and the benefits we can gain from the domestic analysis and international comparison. The outcome will be an agreed set of most urgent priorities shared by stakeholders; agreement about the main tasks and data needs from key partners, agreement to take part in analysis and simulation exercises; and a wider network of contacts who will engage in dialogue and dissemination.

NWO Matchmaking Event

As the first step towards the project, we organised an interactive meeting with the project partners and stakeholders. This event was an open invitation for all the other organisations who can contribute to the planning system of the Netherlands.

The purpose of the event was to ensure that the full range of planning stakeholders who are working in the planning system are able to play a part in the design of the project to reflect their concerns. We were seeking to widen the partnership with other primary partners (particularly in the market sector) and other interested parties who will be involved in dialogue and dissemination.

We had an interactive workshop where all the participants voiced their opinions and expertise to contribute to a more concrete proposal including the needs of societal partners and academic enquiries. We are developing and finalising the proposal currently and looking forward to international collaborators.

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