Who owns the city?

Imagine our children playing on safe streets. Imagine doing your grocery shopping by bike. And imagine an easy commute to work via clean public transportation or shared electric cars. This is the kind of sustainable city we are aiming for. And we want to do it together. Once we choose for more sustainable transportation, better air quality will follow. That’s good news for everyone who breathes.

The issue: Air quality in the Netherlands is poor

Clean, healthy air is a basic human right. However, the air we breathe in the Netherlands is unhealthy. The air is filled with countless toxic substances. Increased air pollution is the major cause of thousands of premature deaths every year as well as related health problems for tens of thousands of others.

The government has done far too little to resolve this issue. Instead, it has

  • invested billions in new roads;
  • repeatedly increased the maximum speed limit;
  • failed to provide suitable alternatives to the car.

The solution: More room for clean transportation

The solution is quite simple: more room for sustainable transportation, such as cycling, walking and more sustainable forms of public transportation. This will make our cities healthier and better places to live for everyone in the near future.

Whether you are a person with mobility issues or  are a low-income earner, you still need to be able to commute daily to your important destinations. If we make sustainable forms of transportation more affordable and efficient, more people will be able to participate.

What we do

Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) campaigns for better air quality and better urban planning strategies. Together with local residents, we:

  • monitor the air quality in our cities;
  • lobby both local and national political parties;
  • demand that the government take action to improve air quality, implement sustainable transportation and create more breathing space in the cities.

The solutions – quite literally – can be found on the street.

Want to know more?

Contact our spokesperson Anne Knol -
Are you a journalist? Get in touch with our press officer Leonie Beunen -