Solving urban challenges together

Update

November 12, 2021

Social

Solving urban challenges together

Update

November 12, 2021

Social

As cities worldwide attract more and more people, public space is coming increasingly under pressure. Climate change and rapid urbanisation are intensifying the problems faced by people living in urban areas. During the pandemic, connectivity played a vital role in stabilising society and the economy. As city, regional and national governments around the world look to build back better, we want to help them by sharing great ideas online.

That’s why the Netherlands is asking its Embassies, NBSOs and Innovation Attachés across the world to invite their networks to share ideas for liveable cities on the Closer Cities website. The Netherlands is committed to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and addressing climate change. In order to have greater impact as a small country, the Netherlands is keen to share our knowledge and expertise with our international partners and learn from others.
 

Share your inspiring idea

Calling all municipalities (civil servants, city planners, mayors), private sector (tech startups, scale ups, businesses), researchers, makers, citizen inventors and other urban actors:

If you have an inspiring idea, it is easy to submit a project. Simply follow the steps and fill in the form (takes approximately 30 minutes).

Step 1. Go to the Closer Cities website

Step 2. Click on Share a project

Step 3. Fill in the questionnaire (project form) and share!

Through this so-called symbolic action, we hope to accelerate the spread of initiatives which address the sustainable development goals, climate change or just make cities better places to live. On 14 February 2022, we will share best practices worldwide during an interactive online event.
 

Green-roofed bus shelters

One of the inspiring ideas on the Closer Cities website is Utrecht’s green-roofed bus shelters. The idea has also been implemented in other Dutch cities and in cities in the UK, Germany and Sweden. The effect of green-roofed bus shelters is to:

  1. Cool the cities
  2. Increase biodiversity
  3. Capture water

Advertising on the bus shelters invites citizens to apply for a subsidy for a green roof on their own property, thus inspiring cooling measures across the whole of the city. By introducing more greenery into streets, the bus shelters also make the cities more pleasant places to live.
 

Research into boosts and barriers

Closer Cities will analyse the data it receives to research the best ways to share ideas. Which factors make sharing successful and which act as barriers to successful sharing. Participants will become members of a community which benefit from the learnings on boosts and barriers to urban knowledge transfer. The initiatives do not have to have Dutch involvement. We are just as keen to learn from you as we are to share our knowledge on how to keep cities liveable now and in the future.

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