How do you develop a sustainable city?

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Cities are dynamic entities that face great challenges in making and keeping the urban environments of more and more inhabitants sustainable and liveable. What will the city of the future look like? In this series of articles, TNO focuses on the adaptive city, the accessible city, and the sustainable city. In this article we highlight the sustainable city.

TNO’s vision on the city of the future primarily involves regarding it as a system that serves its stakeholders, including, in the first place, the people who live in it. The city is a hub of physical, social and ICT networks – a complex system in which interlinked actors form the foundations and where connections are changing all the time. It is important that we gain a better understanding of the complexity of the urban system, with all its dependencies and connections, in order to make it sustainable and future-proof. In other words, learning by doing and safeguarding the lessons we learn.

“A sustainable city is constantly on the move, seeking to find the right balance. In doing so, it taps its dynamics”

The sustainable city

A sustainable, healthy and future-proof city is one that is mindful of competitiveness, climate and the environment. To be truly sustainable and liveable, a city requires a well-functioning network of all urban flows – such as material flows, energy and traffic. Such a network is based on the knowledge and understanding of data and information about the quality and quantity of these flows. After all, each of the city’s flows and processes are interconnected, meaning they all influence one another. That also requires close cooperation and co-creation with all urban actors. A sustainable city is constantly on the move, seeking to find the right balance. In doing so, it taps into its dynamics.

More about the city of the future

How cities can plan their futures flexibly

How do we keep cities accessible in the future?

Paper: The sustainable city

Keen to find out how your city or region can plan its future flexibly? Read our paper entitled ‘The sustainable city’ or get in touch with us.

Position paper: The sustainable city
contact person
Leo Kusters
Leo Kusters MSc
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focus areas
  • Urbanisation