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Towards Energy-neutral New Housing Developments. Municipal Climate Governance in The Netherlands


  • Milly Tambach
  • Henk Visscher


The Dutch government intends to sharpen the current energy performance standard of the national building regulations for new buildings (Energy Performance Coefficient) step by step to an energy-neutral level by 2020. In their climate policies, municipalities are preparing to meet this level for new buildings—some of them even earlier. Nevertheless, possibilities to impose energy performance levels, higher than formulated at national level, are limited for municipalities. This paper investigates, how and through which policy instruments Dutch municipal authorities can promote energy-neutral new housing developments. This research suggests the following municipal climate governance approach and instruments: (1) an integrated design strategy for sustainable energy systems throughout the city: in both urban areas and buildings; (2) market-party-selection in tendering procedures based on sustainability criteria, including the energy performance of dwellings; (3) encouragement of community engagement for the deployment of renewable energy sources; (4) (inter)regional cooperation among cities in similar climatic zones on the development of both more uniform calculation methods for zero-energy buildings, and of a more uniform methodology for cities to monitor progress towards the self-set targets. However, stable and long-term-oriented European and national financial support for municipalities seems to be needed for municipal climate governance to become successful.

Suggested Citation

  • Milly Tambach & Henk Visscher, 2011. "Towards Energy-neutral New Housing Developments. Municipal Climate Governance in The Netherlands," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 111-130, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurpls:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:111-130
    DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2011.638492

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leonardo Meeus & Erik Delarue & Isabel Azevedo & Jean-Michel Glachant & Vitor Leal & Eduardo de Oliveira Fernandes, 2010. "Smart Cities Initiative: how to foster a quick transition towards local sustainable energy systems," RSCAS Working Papers 2010/70, European University Institute.
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