The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland [ˈneːdərlɑnt] (listen)), informally Holland, is a country located in Northwestern Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces; it borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, with a North Sea coastline to the north and west. It shares maritime borders with the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium in the North Sea. The country's official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland. Dutch Low Saxon and Limburgish are recognised regional languages, while Dutch Sign Language, Sinte Romani and Yiddish are recognised non-territorial languages. Dutch, English and Papiamento are official in the Caribbean territories.
The four largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Amsterdam is the country's most populous city and the nominal capital. The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest seaport in Europe. Schiphol is the busiest airport in the Netherlands, and the third busiest in Europe. The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD, and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centred in The Hague.
Netherlands literally means "lower countries" in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 m (3.3 ft) above sea level, and nearly 26% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 14th century. In the Republican period, which began in 1588, the Netherlands entered a unique era of political, economic, and cultural greatness, ranked among the most powerful and influential in Europe and the world; this period is known as the Dutch Golden Age. During this time, its trading companies, the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, established colonies and trading posts all over the world.
With a population of 17.7 million people, all living within a total area of 41,850 km2 (16,160 sq mi)—of which the land area is 33,500 km2 (12,900 sq mi)—the Netherlands is the 16th most densely populated country in the world and the second-most densely populated country in the European Union, with a density of 529 people per square kilometre (1,370 people/sq mi). Nevertheless, it is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products by value, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture, and inventiveness.
The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848. The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion, prostitution and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a liberal drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in Civil Law in 1870, though it was not completely removed until a new constitution was approved in 1983. The Netherlands allowed women's suffrage in 1919 and was the first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. Its mixed-market advanced economy has the twelfth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indices of press freedom, economic freedom, human development and quality of life, as well as happiness.
Biodiversity[edit | edit source]
Rewilding, or re-wilding, activities are conservation efforts aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes and wilderness areas. Rewilding is a form of ecological restoration with an emphasis on recreating an area's "natural uncultivated state". This may require active human intervention to achieve. Approaches can include removing human artefacts such as dams or bridges, connecting wilderness areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and keystone species.
Community energy[edit | edit source]
Hoofdpagina - WindParken, Wiki used in the Netherlands to plan windturbines, to realise a CO2 cut of 20 to 30%. (in Dutch)
Cycling activism[edit | edit source]
More video: Cycling for everyone
How the Dutch got their cycle paths on youtube
Groningen, "World Cycling City"[edit | edit source]
Groningen is known as the "World Cycling City"; around 57% of its residents use a bicycle for regular commute within the city. In 2000, Groningen was chosen as the Fietsstad 2002, the top cycle-city in the Netherlands for 2002. Similar to most Dutch cities, Groningen is developed to accommodate a large number of cyclists. An extensive network of bike paths were planned to make it more convenient to cycle to various destinations instead of taking a car.
The city has segregated cycle-paths, public transport, and a large pedestrianised zone in the city centre. Groningen's city centre was remodeled into a "pedestrian priority zone" to promote walking and biking. This was achieved by applying the principle of filtered permeability—the network configuration favours active transportation and selectively "filters out" traveling in a car by reducing the number of streets that run through the centre. The streets that are discontinuous for cars connect to a network of pedestrian and bike paths which permeate the entire centre. In addition, these paths go through public squares and open spaces, increasing the aesthetic appeal of the trip and encouraging more participation. The logic of filtering a mode of transport is fully expressed in a comprehensive model for laying out neighbourhoods and districts—the fused grid.
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Food activism[edit | edit source]
Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle[edit | edit source]
Road safety[edit | edit source]
A woonerf (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋoːnɛr(ə)f]) is a living street, as originally implemented in the Netherlands and in Flanders (Belgium). Techniques include shared space, traffic calming, and low speed limits.
The term "woonerf" has been adopted directly by some English-language publications. In the UK, these areas are called home zones.
Sharing[edit | edit source]
Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]
Basic income[edit | edit source]
In the Netherlands, municipal-level basic income experiments have faced setbacks and changes in the quest to meet compliance with federal law; however, as of October (2017), several cities have now launched experiments with the removal of conditions on social assistance benefits.
Other initiatives[edit | edit source]
Resources[edit | edit source]
Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]
- Areaonline, added 13:04, 8 February 2022 (UTC)
- Transition Towns Nederland
- Transition support materials (in Dutch)
Events[edit | edit source]
November 29 Buy Nothing Day (in Dutch)
Research[edit | edit source]
- International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS)
- Working Group on Development Techniques
Video[edit | edit source]
Other resources[edit | edit source]
News and comment[edit | edit source]
see separate article: Netherlands news
Near you[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia: Netherlands
- Hivos international, Dutch organization for development. Hivos provides financial support to organizations in Africa, Latin America and Asia, it provides advocacy and it supports knowledge sharing in particular in the field of social change, digital activism and rural innovations. W