The Hague, Netherlands
City population: 488605
Duration: 2007 – 2011
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 1700 m2
Type of area: Residental, Public Greenspace Area
Last updated: October 2021

Citizens have taken the initiative to create a community garden on an area where an abandoned building was located. With community engagement and support form public and private sector actors along with non-profit organisations, the garden was officially opened in 2011, bringing urban green space closer to the residents of the quarter. (1,2,3) The garden consists of recreational facilities, green space, a vegetable garden, fruit trees, a pond and activities are organized, which all largely contributes to social cohesion. The community has formed multiple groups that are responsible for parts of the community garden. (1)



Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Green playgrounds and school grounds
  • Parks and urban forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces
  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Community gardens
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Regulation of built environment
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social cohesion
  • Social interaction
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Promotion of cultural diversity
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Sustainable production


Creation of new green areas, Transformation of previously derelict areas

Project objectives

1. Create a meeting spot on the location where an old building is located for citizens which contributes to social cohesion in the neighbourhood (1,2,3). 2. Improve the quality of life of neighbourhood citizens, including the quality of the neighbourhood by removing the impoverished building, reducing social isolation of cultural minorities and elderly, producing fruit and vegetables by means of a vegetable garden and fruit trees, promoting art projects and to put children in contact with nature by creating a natural playground (1,2)

Implementation activities

- Building cooperation with residents, the neighbourhood association and the shopkeepers. - Consultation with the former owner of the site (project developer Timpaan Hoofddorp B.V.) about the purchase of the property and cooperation - Formation of community group representing the project management (3) - Organisation of fundraising events (3) - Setting up an 'art house', adjacent to Emma's Hof. (3) - Promotion of the project through several media channels Radio West, TV West, AD / Hague newspaper, Konkreet, Telegraaf, HaagWestNieuws, The Hague Central (3) Fruit trees, a pond, a vegetable garden in which a school helps with the maintenance, events including exhibitions, workshops, festivals, markets (including sustainability market) and community parties, recreational facilities including a 'mosaic bench', a natural playground for children, art projects, experimenting with public green and sustainability (1,2,3).

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups
  • Marginalized groups: Elderly people


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Citizens or community group

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning
  • Crowd-sourcing/Crowd-funding/Participatory bdget
  • Taskforce groups
  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)
  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)
  • Co-management/Joint management
  • Citizen oversight (e.g. boards, advisory)
  • Citizen monitoring and review

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The project was initiated by 8 citizens who formed an initiative group and started to increase participation of the neighbourhood by collecting signatures. This initiative group developed the general plan and goals for the park and bought the land and the building from the project developer that was the owner of both (1,2,3). The park was designed by Leonoor van der Linden of Arcadis. (2). The initiative group has created a foundation, 'Stichting Emma's Hof', that now owns the land and coordinates volunteers who do the maintenance and organize activities (1). A primary school (De Groene School) also helps in the maintenance of the vegetable garden (3).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? No
... a national policy or strategy? No
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown (Groen Kleurt de Stad 2005-2015' (Green Colours the City), which has likely been the financial enabler of the initiative.)


Total cost

€500,000 - €2,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • EU funds
  • Public national budget
  • Public local authority budget
  • Corporate investment
  • Private Foundation/Trust
  • Crowdfunding

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget
  • Direct funding or subsidy

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of goods
  • Provision of labour
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Citizens (e.g. volunteering)
  • Private sector (businesses, financial institution)

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Lowered local temperature
  • Green space and habitat
  • Promotion of naturalistic styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Increased green space area
  • Restoration of derelict areas

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved liveability
  • Increased opportunities for social interaction
  • Increased involvement of locals in the management of green spaces
  • Increased access to healthy/affordable food
  • Increased sustainability of agriculture practices
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Promotion of cultural diversity
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records