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Action Agenda for Architecture and Spatial Design: Building on the Strength of Design

2013 - 2016


The agenda sets out initiatives and tools that the national government in the Netherlands wants to use to strengthen the position of designs and designers.The thrust of policy is directed towards ensuring that architecture and spatial design make an excellent and effective contribution to the spatial and cultural development of the Netherlands and, partly as a result of that, to strengthening the country’s international economic position (investment climate, exports and competitive position). By making this effort, the Cabinet wants to help assure the existence of an architecture and spatial design sector that is and remains economically vital, socially relevant and culturally innovative.

Culture of Design



Architecture and Belvedere Policy

2005 - 2008


The Action Programme on Spatial Planning and Culture focuses on cultural features in spatial planning by increasing the involvement of the design disciplines in spatial planning and by bringing cultural history to bear on development. The main objective of the Action Programme on Spatial Planning and Culture is to improve the spatial quality of our buildings, villages, cities and landscapes. The action programme combines architecture policy and the Belvedere policy (aimed at strengthening the influence cultural history has on spatial planning) and is a step towards increasing the volume and consistency of cultural policy input in spatial development policy. Linking the architecture and Belvedere policies in a single programme will reinforce the basis for cultural objectives in spatial policy and broaden interministerial cooperation.

Shaping the Netherlands

2001 - 2004


As the third Netherland´s policy of architecture, it continues and updates the policy set out in the first two policy documents, and sharpens its focus. The two main themes running through the policy document are: ‘architecture is everyone’s business’ and ‘shaping the Netherlands’. The second theme, encompassing measures, recommendations and activities to get the nine projects off the ground, is easier to implement than the first.

The Architecture of Space



The Architecture of Space deals with disciplines such as urban developments and land-use planning, radical infrastructure and planning projects (like the high-speed railway lines and the expansion of Schiphol Airport), increasing of the green spaces in the city, emergence of market forces as a major factor in spatial planning.

Space for Architecture



Space for Architecture created the conditions for architectural quality, based on a concept that integrated cultural and user value with value for the future. This document, which was produced by the Ministry of Health, Welfare & Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning & the Environment, not only looked at architecture itself but also at the way people experienced it, i.e. it looked at both supply and demand. It led to the establishment of the organisation Local Architecture, consultants for potential principals, and the Netherlands Architecture Fund, which allocates grants to interesting projects. The document also provided the basis for the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. The Architecture Policy Think-tank is an inter-ministerial working group that was set up under the chairmanship of the Government Architect to supervise implementation of architecture policy and, in particular, to break through the barriers between ministries. An indirect, bottom-up effect of the document was an unprecedented growth in the number of architecture centres springing up throughout the country.