Greening the City: How to Get Rid of Garden Pavement! The ‘Steenbreek’ Program as a Dutch Example

Derk Jan Stobbelaar*, Wim van der Knaap, Joop Spijker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The Steenbreek program is a private Dutch program which aims to involve citizens, municipalities and other stakeholders in replacing pavement with vegetation in private gardens. The Dutch approach is characterized by minimal governmental incentives or policy, which leaves a niche for private initiatives like Steenbreek, that mainly work on behavioural change. The aim of this paper is to build a model based on theory that can be used to improve and better evaluate depaving actions that are based on behavioural change. We tested this garden greening behaviour model in the Steenbreek program. The main result is that the model provides an understanding of the ‘how and why’ of the Steenbreek initiatives. Based on this we are able to provide recommendations for the improvement of future initiatives. Steenbreek covers a wide range of projects that together, in very different ways, take into account elements of the theoretical framework; either more on information factors, or on supporting factors, sometimes taking all elements together in a single action. This focus is sometimes understandable when just one element is needed (e.g., support), sometimes more elements could be taken into account to be more effective. If a certain element of the framework is lacking, the change of behaviour will not (or will only partly) take place. The model also gives insight into a more specific approach aimed at the people most susceptible to changing their behaviour, which would make actions more effective.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3117
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2021


  • Behavioural change model
  • Green city
  • Green gardens
  • Greening behaviour
  • Pavement


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