New governance strategies
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Selected Examples of successful practices


A model for setting up informal advisory boards


The Spatial Quality Teams (Q-teams) provide advice on the design quality of spatial and architectural plans that are being developed in Dutch cities in an informal advisory capacity. Most Q-teams advise on urban development plans, such as city centre developments, residential areas, business parks and urban renewal.


The Dutch Spatial Quality Teams is a mechanism initiated by College van Rijksadviseurs and are set up by a local, provincial or national authority.


The Dutch Spatial Quality Teams (Q-teams) are composed of multidisciplinary teams of experts that provide independent advice on spatial developments mainly on urban development plans. Assen et al (2018) defined two types of Q-teams: specific and generic. A specific Q-team operates within the framework of a specific planning or developmental area, within the physical boundaries of the spatial assignment, such as an urban development zone or an infrastructural or landscape development. Within this area, the team guides and assesses individual projects on their contribution to the quality of the whole and may last only for the duration of the assignment. A generic Q-team operates within given administrative boundaries (a municipality, a province or even a region) and has no defined end date. Within this framework, the Q-team has a more proactive role as it can bring up topics for discussion, and stimulate, investigate, supervise, assess and evaluate. This means that generic Q-teams are more proactive, have a longer-term duration and provide an advisory role between the spatial vision established for an area and the diverse planned and spontaneous initiatives of private and public actors (Assen et al 2018: 5).


The Spatial Quality Teams provide design capacity to the local, provincial or regional authority through informal advisory practices developed by multidisciplinary teams of experts, intervening in the early stages of planning and design processes. Although some of the Q-teams focus on the design review functions of specific urban development plans, several Q-teams are charged with a more proactive role promoting and enabling design quality within a defined jurisdiction.




Main photo caption : (c) College van Rijksadviseurs