VerDuS is an abbreviation of the Dutch term Verbinden van Duurzame Steden (Connecting Sustainable Cities). Within this knowledge initiative, scientific researchers work together with professionals to develop knowledge that helps address issues relating, for example, to urbanisation, the environment, mobility and transport. VerDuS is an initiative of NWO (Dutch research Council), Platform31 and various ministries.
Connecting Sustainable Cities
Place in the NWO strategy
Connecting Sustainable Cities was one of the six NWO themes for the 2011–2014 strategy period. All six themes address topical issues in society: Connecting Sustainable Cities relates to the logistics, water and energy “top sectors” as defined by the Dutch government.
The Connecting Sustainable Cities theme currently consists of the following research programmes, each of which has its own subsite that can be reached by clicking on the relevant tab above the logo on this page or on the title of the programme in the descriptions below.
- Smart Urban Regions of the Future | Consortia of academic researchers and practitioners in urban areas will create knowledge together in the domains of spatial development, housing, accessibility, economy and governance and their interfaces. The first projects will start in 2016.
- Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe | Densely-populated urban areas are a problem not just in the Netherlands, but in other European countries too. To stimulate cooperation between researchers in different countries, NWO is participating in URBAN EUROPE, a research programme that contributes to vitality, liveability and accessibility in European cities.
- Knowledge for Strong Cities (2008-2014) | This programme addressed the strategic issues and challenges that exist in the urban setting. Urban stakeholders are therefore involved in the research, even helping formulate the research question. There is also constant interaction between the cities and researchers for the duration of the programme.
- Sustainable Accessibility of the Randstad (2008-2014) | This programme addressed sustainable mobility issues relating to spatial development, the energy transition and climate change. Various departments contribute to the programme, also financially.
- Urban Regions in the Delta (2011-2014) | URD develops knowledge for sustainable spatial policy and for integrated regional development in urban networks. The research focused on water, quality of life and mobility as well as issues relating to governance and information systems. Research is based on case studies within the Netherlands as well as international comparative research in Europe. The programme is financed by NWO and the Economic Structure Enhancing (FES) Fund – the natural gas revenues used by the government to strengthen the knowledge economy.
- ExploRail | ProRail, Technology Foundation STW and the NWO Division for the Social Sciences have joined forces to reduce the vulnerability of the extremely busy Dutch railway infrastructure to disruptions. How can we localise problems in the railway network more quickly? How can we collect the information we need on the condition of the rail infrastructure to be able to make effective decisions for maintenance, planning and repairs? Ultimately, modern measuring techniques, ICT and good management must result in smarter, more efficient maintenance and renewal of the rail infrastructure. ExploRail consists of two sub-programmes: Intelligent Rail Infrastructure and Whole System Performance.
- Joint Research Project China – operational research | In 2012, research teams consisting of scientists from the Netherlands and China were able to submit proposals relating to ‘The Application of Operations Research in Urban Transport’. “Operations Research” is an interdisciplinary mathematical science that focuses on the effective use of resources, and areas of application include traffic, public transport and logistics. The proposals submitted were assessed by an international committee that included Chinese researchers. Seven research proposals received funding in January 2013.
- UDW: Urbanising Deltas of the World | The NWO Wotro UDW research programme contributes to global water and food security and sustainable economic growth in river deltas. The programme launched its first call for proposals in 2012, in which consortia of scientists and non-scientists from both the northern and the southern hemispheres could take part. The projects focus on knowledge and research, developing instruments, technologies and prospects for action, and promoting the innovative capacity of participants.