The Dutch Planning Experience

A.J.J. van der Valk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


The Netherlands is densely populated and highly urbanised. Growth management and spatial planning have a long-standing tradition. This article reveals driving forces and new trends in planning. The intricacies of the planning system are interpreted in an institutional and political framework. Decision making by consensus is the dominant planning style in The Netherlands. Notwithstanding, a strict adherence to the compact cities policy and a restrictive building policy for open areas, the western southern and central parts of the country are developing into an urban field. Fear for suburban sprawl and fragmentation of land is a stimulus for the development of new concepts for efficient land use. Multiple land use is an eye-opener for Dutch planners at the start of the new era.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-210
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number2/4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • physical planning
  • land use planning
  • landscape
  • fragmentation
  • netherlands


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