Urban developement

Sustainable solutions through creativity and system knowledge

Current urban challenges and broad technological developments mean that we can and must design cities differently. Witteveen+Bos’ urban designers deal with these complex spatial tasks on a daily basis. Central to our spatial solutions is systems thinking with a high ambition for biodiversity and urban green space.

Cities traditionally fulfil a multitude of urban functions, including living, working, recreation and tourism, and mobility. This creates great pressure on urban space. Rural areas are also experiencing an increase in housing, tourism and recreation as well as more intensive agriculture. Urban and rural areas are becoming increasingly interconnected. One of the consequences is an increasingly complex administrative-legal context; in addition, financial sustainability is becoming an increasingly important aspect.

Systems thinking

The complexity, scale and inextricable interconnectedness of the tasks within this context require us to be able to think in extremes in order to offer action perspectives to all parties and stakeholders. For now and the future. Therefore, analysing the needs and understanding of the systems is a core aspect in urban design projects.

Design study is an important tool for Witteveen+Bos experts to assess needs. It ensures that we can knowledgeably investigate interventions in a wide variety of urban systems and translate them into concrete design solutions.

In our systems thinking, we pay attention to all layers pf the physical living environment. Managing water and soil is obviously an important aspect of this. As well as the sustainable and future-proof design of urban infrastructure and networks. The same goes for finding a balance between enduring economic prosperity and a healthy living environment, including a healthy biodiversity. It is a challenge we gladly accept.

Decision-making in participation

To these physical layers, we like to add a fourth layer: the process layer. In our view, urban design challenges can only be solved properly in a precise process, based on proper participation and transparent and well-founded preparation of the decision-making process. Based on this philosophy, and with nature as an imaginary partner in the development process, we create a sustainable, natural city for our clients and those that use the city.

The urban design services we offer

Plan and policy:

  • Strategy;
  • Vision;
  • Concept development;
  • Design study.


  • (re)development plans;
  • SD-PD;
  • Transformation challenges.

Works execution:

  • Aesthetic Plan of Requirements;
  • FD;
  • Implementation drawing.

More information?

Harro Wieringa Team manager Urbanism