Inspiration books urbanisation Zuid-Holland

Provincie Zuid-Holland, NL

How to work on a healthy and handy living environment?

A well-designed living environment is essential and has a direct impact on the health and daily life of residents and users. It is therefore important that it is organised in a careful and intelligent way. We believe that, with an integrated approach, the challenge of urbanisation can be used as a driving force to improve the existing living environment. The themes of proximity (handiness) and health are central.

The province of Zuid-Holland is the Netherlands in miniature. Numerous challenges and interests come together here, and space is very limited. So, if it is possible to use the challenge of urbanisation to enhance the existing living environment here, this will create confidence that it can be done anywhere!

Together with the Province of Zuid-Holland, De Zwarte Hond is happy to take the lead in inspiring municipalities and other stakeholders to use their housing programme to make the environment handier and healthier. Three Inspirational Books have been produced, showing examples of how, at what level and with whom this ambition can be achieved.

The three Inspiration Books are:
– Compact and High-Quality Construction in Compact Centres
– A High-Quality Mix of Functions
– The Environment as Lifestyle Coach

Compact and High-Quality Construction in Small Centres

Neighbourhoods – workplaces – public transport hubs (from top to bottom)

Compact and quality in response to the challenges of small centres!

Adding housing and other functions to the existing built-up area contributes to supporting a location’s facilities, handiness and residential quality. Existing neighbourhoods can also be provided with new types of housing, which can trigger a wave of relocations. These are two examples where the current building programme is not seen as an end in itself, but as a means to strengthen or support existing village qualities.

In addition to adaptation, this approach requires always looking at the project level to see what added value can be achieved for the environment: looking beyond the building site to improve quality.

Download the Inspiration Book here (in Dutch language).

The goal of densification in compact centres

The spatial playing field

A number of recurring places in compact centres

Tools for neighbourhood densification

An example of neighbourhood densification

Tools for densification in compact centres

A high-quality mix of functions

Buzz – Hush – Fuzz (from top to bottom)

Mixing based on actual performance

A vibrant living environment is impossible without a mix of functions. Where nuisance is assessed by performance-based regulations (as in the spirit of the Dutch Environment and Planning Act), functions can enter or remain in an area as long as they comply with these agreements. In practice, much more mixing can take place than currently seems possible on paper – with appropriate regulation and enforcement, of course, to prevent extremes and protect the vulnerable.

Using this idea, we can still organise cities, but now into five types of area based on qualities: quiet, buzz, hush, fuzz and giant. Organising our environment in this way offers many more opportunities to make it interesting, vibrant and diverse.

Download the Inspiration Book here (in Dutch language).

The advantages of mixing functions

Mixing functions based on actual performance

Different mixing environments in Zuid-Holland

Instruments for a Fuzz zone

An example of a Fuzz zone

Tools for a qualitative mix of workplaces

Healthy urbanisation

The environment as a lifestyle coach

Cities are more than just bricks and mortar. They are places where people live, and where they should be able to make healthy choices and build society together.

Positive health gives substance to this. Positive health is a broad view of health based on six dimensions (physical functioning, mental well-being, meaning, quality of life, participation and daily functioning). This broad approach contributes to people’s ability to cope with the physical, emotional and social challenges of life.

In order to create a liveable city, all sorts of rules and principles need to be followed for issues such as clean air, noise and nuisance abatement (freedom from; protection against). But it is not just the application of rules that makes a city liveable. There must also be space for people to become part of the city and to organise their lives in the city (freedom to; empowered to).

The environment itself can be seen as a lifestyle coach, which is not mandatory but invites healthy use.

Download the Inspiration Book here (in Dutch language).

The environment as a lifestyle coach

Working together for a healthy street or building

Examples of collective living

Healthy neighbourhoods

An example of a healthy neighbourhood initiative

Tools for a healthy environment

Inspiration books urbanisation Zuid-Holland

The Inspiration Books for the urbanisation of Zuid-Holland focus on three interrelated themes: mixing different functions, the qualitative densification of compact centres and working on a healthy environment.
The publications have been produced in collaboration with the province of Zuid-Holland and a number of other actors. The aim is to provide inspiration, guidance and tools for governments, planners and other stakeholders. The main message is that the challenge of urbanisation offers a great opportunity to make our existing living environment healthier and more mixed.


Inspiration books urbanisation Zuid-Holland
Provincie Zuid-Holland, NL
1,3 km²
Provincie Zuid-Holland
Urban Design
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