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Improving the provision of data on the living environment

Uitwerking Gegevensvoorziening omgevingswet


The Dutch government is developing the Omgevingswet (Environment Planning Act) in order to improve the decision making process on spatial development. To achieve the objectives of the Act it is important that the provision of data on the living environment is in order. This study shows that the availability, usability and consistency of the data needed to assess the impact of new spatial developments, are not always sufficient. Information on permits, authorizations and zoning as well as local environmental research are inadequately accessible.

It is recommended that spatial data will be made available in a coherent system via a single access point, the so-called 'Avenue of the Living Environment'. This avenue should unlock the data and information on specific domains such as air, water, noise and soil gathered in so-called 'information houses'.

To quickly and easily assess the potential effects on the living environment, it is advised to develop screening tools for the various environmental domains, based on rules of thumbs or signaling maps. In addition, it is important to develop integrated assessment frameworks addressing effects on sustainability, health and natural capital.

In some domains, such as air, the data and information have already been organized. Development of an information house along the avenue may be possible with relatively few modifications. Other domains, such as soil and noise, require a greater effort. A national improvement program should be launched to develop these information houses and the Avenue of the Living Environment.

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