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Provision of a new and innovative dataset for Planned Land Use based on the Dutch paradigm shift from spatial planning to the integrated management of the physical environment

Arie Duindam

(Submission #119)


On 23 March 2016 the Netherlands Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment published the Environmental Planning Act (EPA). It is expected the EPA will enter into force in 2021. The EPA seeks to modernise, harmonise and simplify current rules and procedures on the management and protection of the physical environment, comprising at least buildings, infrastructure, water, soil, air, landscapes, the natural environment, cultural heritage and world heritage.

The EPA is based on a paradigm shift: from protection of the physical environment by means of an approach that prevents activities towards a policy cycle in which continuous care for quality of the physical environment forms the focus and which creates scope for development. Sustainable development is the key objective and is therefore a binding element.

Over the past years, the Dutch Spatial Planning Act as a predecessor to the EPA has made considerable progress by digitising over 60,000 location-specific regulations and zoning plans and making these available online ( By providing geographic coordinates for policies and regulations, digital maps have been created. These maps have formed the basis for the Dutch INSPIRE dataset for planned land use under the Annex III Land Use theme.

The EPA provides a foundation on which to combine all current environmental law into a single Act. The legislative bill immediately gives rise to better means of integrated policy, greater usability and substantial simplification of environmental law. This means that all current regulations and zoning plans will be combined and integrated into roughly 500 physical environment plans.

On 16 February 2017 the Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment has decided that all physical environment plans under the EPA will be made available as a new INSPIRE dataset as part of the Planned Land Use theme. The data will be provided by Kadaster. Due to the broad substantive scope of the EPA this means that the amount of data about the physical environment planning situation will increase. One of the characteristics of the new physical environment plans is a conceptual shift from a map-based approach to a rule-based approach, with full integration of legal text and digital maps. This offers all kinds of new possibilities for the use of this dataset. The presentation will focus on the content and possibilities of this new dataset, as well as the conceptual rule-based modelling of the data with the challenges this presents for the data user.


Topic Area:  [1.8] Spatial planning (land – maritime – coastal zones)
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   No
Data Provider:   Yes
Data User:   No
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   No
INSPIRE newbies:   No
Policy Officers:   No
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   No
Thematic specialists:   No
Comments:   Environmental Planning Act, Land Use, Planned Land Use

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