Are larger cities more sustainable? Lessons from integrated sustainability monitoring in 403 Dutch municipalities

Bastiaan Zoeteman, Hans Mommaas, John Dagevos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The challenges faced by municipalities in terms of integrated sustainability have until recently been difficult to study due to a lack of comparable data. This study discusses methods for conducting integrated sustainability assessments. One such method used by Telos, Tilburg University, has been further developed and used to benchmark local and regional sustainability development. In 2014, data for all 403 municipalities in the Netherlands on 90 indicators were retrieved, covering both economic, socio-cultural and environmental dimensions. The lessons learned are discussed, including the introduction of city typologies and the impact of the population size of municipalities on sustainability scores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-72
JournalEnvironmental Development
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016



  • integrated sustainability monitoring
  • city typology and size
  • social, ecological and economic capital
  • urban development
  • city-region interactions
  • Netherlands

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