Sustainable & inclusive entrepreneurship

Smart cities

The concept of Smart Cities is a continuous journey, not a final destination. As our cities change at such a rapid pace, it is difficult to predict what citizens would need and wish for in the upcoming 30 years. The Netherlands believes that the only way to boost sustainable urban development and build inclusive and future-proof cities, is by working together and learning from each other.

Sustainable Development Goals

Almost all Smart City technologies relate to the Sustainable Development Goals, defined by the United Nations. Reaching these goals are crucial in creating a liveable planet. For this we need (service) innovation. The execution of Smart Cities is local, but we are all facing the same issues and challenges. As former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon stated, “There is no plan B, because there is no planet B”. We have to collaborate to combine existing technologies and shape new solutions to create a better future and a better world.

Smart approach

The Netherlands was one of the earliest urbanised countries. Over the centuries, the Dutch have found creative and innovative new ways to manage complex urban situations. Through original holistic spatial planning and international partnerships, the Dutch have developed a high quality of city living that is well-balanced with its agricultural landscape.


Smart Cities plays an important part on the Dutch sustainable urban development agenda. It is about enhancing liveability, sustainability and inclusivity of cities. The government has therefore defined five conditions necessary for the future of Smart Cities:


  1. Safe and standardised digital infrastructure
  2. Public-Private collaboration with room for experimenting
  3. New, inclusive governance models, together with citizens
  4. Education and employability
  5. Collaboration on a regional basis, in which cities function as a network


International cooperation

The world's (urban) challenges call for international cooperation wherein every voice is important. Every challenge provides an opportunity. We are stronger because we have different perspectives - united by empathy and our collective vision in creating an integrated approach.


Join us on this continuous Smart Cities journey. 


Continue the conversation on Smart Cities with our experts: 



   Netherlands Enterprise Agency   Future City Foundation   Smart City Plaza


Smart cities magazine - Cocreating Future Cities

Have you read our first NL Smart Cities Magazine vol. 1 (August 2021)?

Check out magazine on cocreating future cities celebrating new perspectives and clever design solutions, sharing learnings, showcasing projects around the world and inviting you to join us on a smart cities journey. Just click on the link above to download your copy!