Together Towards Sustainable Urban Deltas

The Dutch contribution to Habitat III


This century will see a substantial majority of the world’s population living in urban centers. The United Nations Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, 15-20 October, has as its mission, the adoption of a ‘New Urban Agenda’—an action-oriented document with the aim of changing the way we build, manage, and live in cities . The Netherlands delegation, led by the Mayor of Utrecht, Jan van Zanen, takes this message to the Habitat III conference, with multiple  smart Dutch solutions.

Dutch Diamond Approach
Throughout modern history, urbanization has been a major driver of development and poverty reduction. Through Habitat III, governments can respond to this key development with cities taking the central role. In this effort the Dutch delegation will  contribute through a series of interactive joint-sessions  featuring Dutch organizations –  companies, governmental agencies , knowledge institutions – exemplifying our willingness to team up with our partners in order to tackle the world’s urban challenges – what we call the ‘Dutch Diamond Approach’.

Together Towards Sustainable Urban Deltas

These interactive  joint-sessions will take place within the ‘The Netherlands Pavilion’ at the Habitat Expo floor, with numerous side-events from Dutch organizations and the Human Cities Coalition’s Ruta de la Experiencia of which Pakhuis de Zwijger’s Fabrica Ciuidad is one of the main components.

While many challenges remain ahead of us, joint-initiatives of multi-stakeholder groups have already come up with inspiring and scalable solutions. These include just a few of the Dutch inspired interactive approaches for the future, such as:

  • The Ocean Clean-up Project – developing technologies to extract, prevent and intercept plastic pollution with ocean waters
  • City of the Sun – The largest climate-neutral residential area in the world
  • Philips Led Street Lighting – How a smart use of street lighting can contribute to the sfety, sustainability and livability of our cities
  • Floating Buildings, for climate proof urban planning – In response to the continuing urbanization and the simultaneously increasing consequences of climate change, The Netherlands offers innovative solutions building upon the age-old technology of living on water

Delta approach
In protecting the integrity of all aspects of our delta life together, the Netherlands has devised a holistic approach that establishes participation across all essential government bodies and embraces meaningful collaboration with multiple key stakeholders . For the Dutch, there is more at stake than only signing the UN’s ‘New Urban Agenda’ in Quito. It’s about working together, sharing knowledge and experience to safeguard the livability of our cities for future generations to come.