There is considerable pressure on space in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. Residents, companies and visitors have very diverse requirements of their surroundings. Requirements that are often difficult to unite. TNO has developed an interactive tool for spatial planning that provides detailed insight into the effects of modifications to the surroundings: Urban Strategy.

The balance of a tightrope walker is needed to intervene among all the different vested interests in urban areas and major infrastructures. Any modification to a particular terrain will almost always have an impact on other areas. For instance, you can boost the air quality of a city district by allowing access exclusively to clean trucks or by rerouting all freight traffic. But the two measures turn out quite differently when it comes to accessibility and traffic safety.

What is Urban Strategy?

Urban Strategy is a calculation model for interactive planning that comprises two components: sophisticated software and TNO service, which assures you of expertise, reliability and independence.

TNO helps you to enter the requisite data, like up-to-date digital maps, traffic flows and demographic data. We then guide you through altering the variables so that you can see what effect a modification, such as the laying or widening of a road or the construction of an office building, will have on, for example, the traffic intensity, air quality, noise pollution and external security. TNO also helps you to correctly interpret the results. Urban Strategy makes it evident why one solution is better than another.

Who can use it?

Urban Strategy helps administrators, planners, project developers, housing associations, consultants, (landscape)architects, urban developers and traffic managers to explore new situations, evaluate existing situations and find comprehensive solutions to complex bottlenecks. Urban Strategy makes evident why one solution is better than another, and therefore helps to present the plans both clearly and convincingly.

What is the pay off?

Urban Strategy enables you to realise comprehensive and well considered solutions to complex planning problems where there is often a wide variety or even conflict of interests. Urban Strategy has already proved its value many times in practice, as in the Rotterdam port area and the widening of the Dutch A1 motorway at Muiden (see film). It is an objective and highly practical tool that has the added benefit of significantly reducing the duration of your planning projects. A process that once took weeks to months can now be reduced to just a few days.

Experiences with Urban Strategy

Urban Strategy has been applied in a large number of projects. These projects differ in use case, location and scale. To give an impression of the fields of application of Urban Strategy, we listed some examples:

Rotterdam City Harbour Redevelopment
Stadshavens Rotterdam is a major development project involving the port transition must go through to create an urban area with urban functions. This leads to a number of disputes concerning environment and integration.

Shenzhen (China) development of new district: balance between spatial development and mobility planning
The Challenge: Smart design of Antuoshan residential area. less noise

  • less air pollution
  • satisfy the policy requirement
  • attractive for potential buyers


Tilburg: Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning
Urban Strategy is used to formulate support the SUMP process: the discussion may focus on the facts which helps to speed up the process and involve stakeholders.


Harbor planning North Holland
In Harbor areas, many activities come together. The province of North Holland has the ambition to balance between optimal use of the available area and to minimize the impact of the harbor related activities on the environment. TNO supported the province in this process by using Urban Strategy.


Appl.AI Webinar #2: How safe are self-driving cars?