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Smart urbanization and public space

In the city, various tasks come together digitally and physically. We need 900,000 additional homes, the climate urgently requires adjustments in the built environment and energy supply is no longer a given. In addition, the pressure on the available space, the mobility system, our energy networks and public finances has further increased. Smart choices are necessary in this, but cannot always be made, partly due to a lack of (digital) information.
Photo of people at picnic table in residential area
Photo of a skate park in the city of Groningen

We want to achieve the following

We want to tackle the big challenges in conjunction. This requires the targeted coordination of policies – both among governments and between governments and business – so that we quickly make sufficient scale and impact. And in doing so, we need to make maximum use of the possibilities of information technology, within socially responsible frameworks. In the theme of smart urbanization and public space, we give substance to linking spatial tasks, working methods, parties and information technology in a more integral, smarter and sustainable manner. So that our cities remain a pleasant place to live and work.

Getting Started

Within the theme, we focus on the following pillars:

  • Integral working in practice

    Many Dutch cities have a similar spatial structure with similar (historical) districts within them. Based on existing and new knowledge and expertise, we are working on common policies and methods from an integral perspective so that standardized and customized solutions can land in those cities and neighborhoods. This way, we offer tools for market parties and municipalities to shape smart, sustainable urbanization without re-inventing the wheel.

  • Digital solutions

    In this theme, we will contribute to the development of digital solutions that provide insight into the (coherence of) challenges in a city. Think of the visualization of flooding in the built environment as the result of a downpour. With this insight, a municipality is offered support in its policy. For example, we encourage the creation of a national Digital Twin app store to also make solutions easier to scale up and share. Applications being worked on include sensor data, urban data platforms and Digital Twin applications.

  • Coherence from data to city

    Digital solutions in the city go through several stages: from raw data (shown in the bottom layer "data" in the image below), to combined data unlocked in a platform (layer 2), to information plotted on a map (layer 3). In a city support center, analyses are performed on the information, and at the top level, excisions are made of the information applicable to specific issues in the city. The DMI-ecosystem ensures that any vendor at any layer can easily collaborate with any vendor at other layers. The ecosystem ensures that solutions are scalable and standardized, with open interfaces so that any city can use the solutions.

  • Concrete area developments

    In many cities, area developments touch upon issues of housing, energy, nature, social inclusion and mobility. We are getting to work in a number of initial areas to put these digital tools into practice. In the short term, efforts will be made where digital solutions can contribute, such as drawing up a Schedule of Requirements or doing calculations. We are doing this together with the municipalities and the parties within the DMI-ecosystem. So here we work directly in practice, but take the insights back to other cities to enable scalable solutions. Whenever necessary, we also seek connections with other (national) programs and projects and include it in policy coordination and guidelines.

Photo of a lady with a dog on the sidewalk in front of a porch apartment in city
Image of Hiemstra's Layer Plate
Portrait photo of Noor van den Brink

Your point of contact

Do you want to know more? Then please contact Noor van den Brink, theme leader Smart urbanization and public space.

The city needs us. We all do our best, but often from our own 'island', and we can do better. Companies and municipalities, the State and the world of knowledge: let's join hands and work together!  

Integrally connecting spatial tasks

Into the depths

Within the theme of urbanization, there are several ongoing projects and programs to which we contribute and with which we collaborate . Together, we ensure a safe, accessible and future-proof Netherlands.

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general calendar

View of the Netherlands

In this program, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is working with partners and users on a fundamental transformation from separate basic registries to a cross-organizational, multifunctional data landscape.

Multiyear Infrastructure, Space and Transport Program

This Multi-Year Program includes government projects and programs to promote the accessibility, safety and spatial planning of the Netherlands. The national government works intensively with provinces, municipalities, transport regions and water boards on the projects.

100 Climate-Neutral & Smart Cities

As part of the Horizon Europe program, the EU has launched a mission, "100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030." The objectives of the mission are to achieve 100 climate neutral and smart European cities by 2030. The cities act as pilot and innovation hubs so that all European cities are climate neutral by 2050.


DigiGO is a platform for digital collaboration in the built environment. It is a network of, for and DigiGOby professionals in the design, (road) construction, and engineering sectors. DigiGO works to accelerate chain-wide digitization.

NOVEX | The National Environmental Vision

In the NOVEX program, all governments are working together on a plan for the design of the Netherlands. The national goals and interests are brought together in an initial package. The twelve provinces then set to work - with the water boards and municipalities - to spatially translate, combine and incorporate the national tasks and goals into the provincial plans. The ultimate goal of the program is to arrive at a clear implementation agenda per province and per NOVEX area.
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