Societal challenge

Societal challenge

Numerous matters need to be considered when choosing and developing housing locations. The relationship with the natural surroundings is one matter that receives too little consideration. In the past insufficient allowance was made for the bearing capacity of the soil, for example. This resulted in high costs for the maintenance of roads, sewers, cables and pipes. To limit the effects of floods, it is now recommended to provide multilevel safety by developing homes where in an emergency a person can seek refuge on the 1st or 2nd floor.

When choosing a location and developing homes, it is worth exploring local possibilities for using sustainable energy, such as wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy and hot/cold storage in the soil.

The value of the natural surroundings for other activities should also be factored into decisions on where to build homes. Good agricultural soil needs to be retained for growing crops, for example, while planners and licensing authorities should take an area's biodiversity and landscape value into account.



We can make better use of our natural surroundings by making greater allowance for an area's features right from the outset, during planning, construction, usage, maintenance and demolition. For example:

  • bearing capacity of soil and costs of foundations
  • risk of flooding and the flood height
  • biodiversity, pollination and pest control
  • landscape value
  • suitability for agriculture
  • suitability for wind energy
  • suitability for solar energy
  • suitability for geothermal energy
  • suitability for hot/cold storage


There are several policy frameworks when choosing and developing locations for residential construction.

The Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Structure Vision contains plans for space usage and mobility. Among other things it sets out the infrastructure projects in which the government will invest in the coming years.

The zoning plans, structure visions and general rules laid down by municipal authorities, provincial authorities and central government can be found in 'Spatial planning' or 'What is allowed where?'

By means of the Online Local Planning Desk (the desk for planning permits and water permits), you can check which licensing and notification obligations exist. You can also arrange your permit on a one-stop-shop basis.



The book which title translates as ''Multilevel safety – water-robust construction in urban areas'' , (in Dutch 'Meerlaagsveiligheid. Waterrobuust bouwen in stedelijk gebied') provides inspiration for creating multilevel safety in a city. It outlines possibilities for different spatial configurations and for building in a water-robust way, while maintaining and increasing water safety. The examples in this book show that minor interventions can sometimes produce major results.

App Huisje Boompje Beter
This free app will help you make your home and garden climate-proof, with the aim of letting you live more sustainably and more comfortably. The idea is to create climate-proof surroundings that will greatly benefit particularly people who live in urban areas. The app addresses the changing climate and provides practical tips that can be carried out simply and quickly for pleasant living in the future.

The app is downloadable from Google Play and the App Store.


View maps

View maps

Maps will soon be available.