Practical examples

The Dutch Atlas of Natural Capital offers not only maps but also information and operational perspectives about how to make sustainable use of the natural capital, in other words how we can use that natural processes more efficiently and sustainably. A lot can be learned from the practical examples. Allow yourself to be inspired!

This spring several new practical examples were published on the Atlas of Natural Capital. We refer to two of those here:

  1. Climate control in Arnhem
    Cities are hotter than the surrounding countryside. This so-called heat island effect can lead to heat stress during hot weather in the summer. Climate change will probably exacerbate this effect, along with the accompanying inconvenience and health problems. The municipality of Arnhem commissioned a study, which has been going on since 2008, to assess the way in which heat affects the city. This study has revealed that the temperature difference between the countryside and the city centre is greatest in the evenings and can easily amount to more than 7 degrees. The differences are smaller during the day, but the highest temperatures are measured during the course of the afternoon. In the sun and out of the wind it can easily feel 15 degrees warmer and the risk of heat stress is then considerable. Arnhem is one of the first cities in the Netherlands to have investigated the problems relating to heat stress and to have anchored the approach to that problem in policy.


  1. Singelpark Leiden: citizen participation

The historic city centre of Leiden is surrounded by a six kilometre long moat ('de Singel') which dates from the 17th century. The old ramparts are the location of, among other things, the Hortus Botanicus botanical gardens, the Observatory, museums, cemeteries, city mills and listed buildings from the city's industrial past (including an old gas plant). Residents of Leiden took the initiative to turn this example of cultural heritage into one large connected park, known as the Singelpark. A park in which to experience sport and culture, to discover nature and history, to find peace and meet people.

The municipality of Leiden, which had wanted to turn the edge of the moat into a green area for years, embraced the idea.