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This is what we stand for

The challenge facing the earth is the challenge facing The Hague

This is what we stand for

The 21st century confronts us with big, new challenges. Climate change causes more extreme weather, resulting in more frequent heatwaves and extreme rainfall. A growing world population places ever greater demands on a finite supply of raw materials. 

Duurzaam Den Haag translates these challenges to the scale of our city. Climate change is big, abstract and far removed. That is why we focus on the elements that each ‘Hagenaar’ – resident or entrepreneur – can contribute to in his or her immediate environment for the future of our planet. We put our heart and soul into it. We offer all our knowledge and experience to serve one big ambition: a climate neutral, sustainable city, where the people of The Hague can live a good life.

From ambition to action

A climate neutral The Hague by 2030 - This is what the municipality of The Hague has set as an objective for the city. Allow that to sink in and realize what it means in real terms. Insulating 10,000 houses per year and heating them without the use of natural gas. Getting the whole city to transition to 100% clean energy. Making all our transport – both public and private – 100% sustainable. It’s now 2019 – we have a great deal to achieve in the coming 11 years. And we’re not even talking about the indirect emission of CO2 which we all cause through our consumer behaviour – the food we eat, the things we buy, the airmiles we fly. 

The Hague does not lack ambition. Certainly not when it comes to technical solutions: there are many of them available. But it does lack practical initiatives in which the people of The Hague can join. Because it is up to residents and businesses to take up the challenge. In the coming decade they have to make the transition to clean energy, insulate their homes and companies and change their way of living and doing business.

Duurzaam Den Haag: catalyst and organizer

To realize The Hague’s climate ambitions, we need everyone: residents, businesses, social welfare organizations, housing corporations, policymakers, managers, investors and financers. People have to do it, but the authorities, social institutes, and financers have the means and the weight; if they give society room to do the job, it can be done rather faster. 

Duurzaam Den Haag wants to be the obvious choice of partner in connecting the world of authorities, institutes and financers with that of residents and entrepreneurs. As catalyst and organizer, we understand the art of achieving concrete results together. We believe in talking and listening, but most of all we believe in doing. Our working method is independent and reliable, professional and optimistic, practical and rooted in the city. And we are fully dedicated to our goal: a sustainable city with a future.

Faith in the 'Haagse Krach'

At Duurzaam Den Haag, we believe in ‘The Hague’s Drive’. The inventiveness and creativity of all those in The Hague is the driving force behind the transition and the key to realizing The Hague’s ambitions. Everyone can make their own contribution to the climate goals to make the city more beautiful, better and more livable in doing so. This is why Duurzaam Den Haags' starting point is the impact sustainability can have on the daily lives of people in The Hague. What does making life more sustainable mean to them? What do they gain? 

To achieve The Hague’s climate goals, we need to take the next step. The urgency is great and there is no time to lose. That is why Duurzaam Den Haag is taking even more initiative than before, to make sustainability accessible and attractive for large groups of people in The Hague. Therefore we are focusing on energy (conservation and clean energy) and climate adaptation (greening and water storage) in the first place.

How is Duurzaam Den Haag tackling its climate ambitions?

1) Information counter for all residents of The Hague We offer an information counter and platform for everyone who wants to contribute towards sustainability in whatever manner. We are able to bring him or her into contact with partners in the city who can help. We show the results, so successes in the city can inspire others. We are present everywhere in the city to tell the people of The Hague how they can start living more sustainably themselves. In this way, we are building up a lively community of The Hague thinkers and doers.

2) Help to realize sustainable plans Residents, companies and authorities with sustainable plans that have an impact and can make a difference to the street, neighbourhood or city, are supported by our knowledge, advice and our network. We focus on the main themes; energy and climate adaptation, and in doing so, on people who wish to start on energy saving, generating clean energy, greening the neighbourhood and/or water storage. Seeing is believing:  the more people in The Hague see what is possible and that the city is improving, the more people will follow the good example.

3) New energy and 'green' in the neighbourhood In three of The Hague’s neighbourhoods, Duurzaam Den Haag has taken the lead in transitioning: Koningsplein and surroundings, Moerwijk-Oost and the Noordpolder neighbourhood in Laak. In the coming ten years, the residents will be making their own neighbourhood entirely energy-neutral and climate-proof. This way, we make a substantial contribution towards The Hague’s climate ambitions, with 10,000 homes that have been fully insulated, using 100 percent clean energy, and even contributing towards energy generation for the net. Here paving will be replaced with vegetation. This will contribute towards better water drainage and making the city cooler – all good for biodiversity and the health of the population.

Together with the neighbourhood, we design a neighbourhood energy plan, organize the supply and the financing, and mobilize the residents and businesses. In doing so, we use all the knowledge and experience we have built up over the past few years in activating the city. The needs of residents and businesses in the selected neighbourhoods are key; they take action themselves and reap the benefits.

What does this require?

To realize The Hague’s climate goals, the city needs space for innovation and entrepreneurship. Good preconditions are therefore required.

1) Good vision, clear perspective To undertake sustainability projects themselves, residents and entrepreneurs need a clear perspective: a clear, long-term vision from those in authority so that people in The Hague have a good grip of their plans and can invest in sustainability. The starting point of such a vision is the human dimension. If the people of The Hague have to shape the transition, ensure that the policy involves people and their interests.

2) Neighbourhood-based budget for sustainable energy and vegetation Residents and entrepreneurs who wish to start the energy transition and greening of the city need room to shape plans in their own way. The solution is a neighbourhood-based budget for sustainable energy and vegetation: clear and practical regulation that enables the people of The Hague to do whatever is necessary themselves.

3) Government that supports sustainability Residents of The Hague who wish to start with sustainability projects, deserve a public authority that encourages them: a clear partner that enables initiatives. At present they still often have to deal with a municipality that gives them differing responses, with unclear rules or conflicting conditions in laws and regulations.

4) A new generation of professionals To ensure the transition to clean energy provision, many hands are needed. Builders and fitters will need to adapt their services to meet the new demands; a new generation of professionals needs to be trained.

Many opportunities, time for action

The urgency to achieve the climate goals is great but, at the same time, the tide is more favourable than ever. Sustainability is in. Currently, there are plenty of opportunities to seriously get to grips with The Hague’s climate ambitions. Duurzaam Den Haag wants to make the most of these opportunities. For the future of the city and all residents of The Hague.

The text on this page is a shortened version of the Manifesto 2018-2028.