The Urban Delta

A diachronic system approach to urban development, water, energy and food in the landscape of The Netherlands

The general trend is for spatial planning issues to be approached in an increasingly integrated manner. The interweaving of city and country and the relationship between aspects such as urban development, traffic, water management, agriculture, the environment, energy and (water) safety are becoming more prominent. This means that the analyses on which spatial plans are based must also be set up in a broader context, whereby the functioning of complex structures and systems is approached in a coherent manner.

Detail Polder Map Hoekwater 1901

In the project The urban delta we apply a notion of heritage and landscape in which we think not only at the object and structure level, but on the basis of a system approach in which not only the physical reality is important, the development of cities, water systems, infrastructure, and food and energy landscapes, but also the social reality, the systems of government and governance that determine the spatial structures and the relationships between city and country. Throughout history, cities have often looked at their own problems through the region and tried in various ways to use and control the region.In the first place, the project will generate and order a large amount of data using GIS systems. On the basis of data, analyses, maps and stories can be made that can serve as examples and inspiration for the various areas. It is a step-by-step project: the data layer and a number of analyses will be carried out by the RCE, but the deepening to the regional and local scale level can take place within provinces, water boards or municipalities. The data, examples of analyses and toolkits for the regional and local scale will be made available to the public.


Funder:Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands/Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (RCE)
Programme:Visie Erfgoed en Ruimte
Overall budget:€ 316.435
Grant amount:€ 175.982
Contribution to TU Delft: € 140.453
Role TU Delft: Project partner
Project duration:March 2018 - December 2019
TU Delft researchers:                Dr. Reinout Rutte
Thomas van den Brink
Otto Diesfeldt
Yvonne van Mil
Iskandar Pané
Arnoud de Waaijer

Project partners

Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands


Dr. Reinout Rutte