Many people are already living in cities or suburban centres. This number of people is only expected to increase. This growth entails challenges. How can urban areas cope with this growth? What are the consequences for liveability and public spaces? Can the existing infrastructure handle this growth? To what extent can we accommodate this growth through redevelopment and transformation of existing properties?

Obviously, aspects such as sustainability, biodiversity and climate change adaptability play an important role. Oururban environment must be increasingly prepared for periods of large temperature fluctuations and abundant rainfall.


The trick is to facilitate far-reaching urbanisation without sacrificing quality of life for people, animals or the environment. Witteveen+Bos works daily to create healthy and climate-robust living environments tailored to the needs of the users. We do this from both a design and policy perspective; in other words, with an integrated view.

The ideal living environment is not a uniform concept. It is a force field in which diverse interests are at play. We try to create the highest possible value within the available financial frameworks. An important aspect of achieving this is by having stakeholders actively participate.

Original character

Urbanisation also affects the housing market. Apart from the construction of residential buildings, we are involved in the construction of offices, car parks, underground building components, stations and industrial complexes. Witteveen+Bos is also frequently asked to provide the planning, design, tendering and construction of residential buildings, both new-build and transformation areas.

The starting point thereby is that we preserve the original character and appearance of existing buildings while at the same time striving for comfort and energy-neutrality. We achieve this, for example, by incorporating new forms of heat and cold supply, electricity generation and energy-saving techniques.

The designs that we work on have a unique identity. Whilst respecting what already exists, we look to strengthen the present qualities. As Willem Gerrit Witteveen, one of our founders and a former Rotterdam city architect, put it: “combining modern and historic in a smart manner”.

Underground solutions

With pressure on urban space, the demand for underground solutions for traffic and public utilities is increasing. In this field, Witteveen+Bos focuses on the structural design and subsurface integration of civil engineering works (such as car parks). Our technical knowledge of and integrated design philosophy on geotechnical engineering and construction play an important and distinctive role here.

By applying state-of-the-art knowledge in projects like the North/South metro line and Zuidasdok in the Netherlands and the Oosterweel Link in Belgium, we have gained extensive experience in working in sensitive, highly complex urban environments. Feasibility and safety are essential aspects of our designs of underground infrastructure.

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