Netwerkstad Twente,Netherlands The Story of Urban Renewal and Community Transformation


Robert Eduard Antal » Urban Innovation » Urban Development Breakthroughs in Twente,Netherlands

Contributions and Roles of Member Cities in the Eurocities Network: A Spotlight on Twente, Netherlands

Innovation and Sustainability

Twente, Netherlands, is deeply committed to sustainability and innovation. Cities within the Eurocities network, including Twente, work collectively towards ambitious goals to reduce CO2 emissions and promote green technology. This commitment aligns with broader European targets to create a sustainable future.

Goals to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Twente focuses on reducing its carbon footprint by implementing renewable energy sources, encouraging energy-saving practices, and fostering community engagement in sustainability programs.

Promotion of Green Technology

Twente invests in cutting-edge green technologies, such as solar energy, wind power, and electric vehicles, to create a sustainable urban environment.

Official City Website:

Smart City Initiatives

Leveraging technology to enhance urban life is a cornerstone of Twente’s strategic plan. Smart city initiatives aim to optimize resources, improve living standards, and promote sustainable practices.

Examples of Smart City Projects

  • Smart Water Management: Twente employs advanced sensors to monitor and clean local waterways, ensuring a safer and more efficient water supply system.
  • Enhanced Healthcare Services: Using telemedicine and AI-driven diagnostics, Twente enhances healthcare access and quality for its residents.
  • Energy-Efficient Infrastructure: Intelligent grid systems and smart lighting contribute to energy savings and reduced environmental impacts.

Cultural and Social Projects

Twente takes an active role in cultural and social projects, emphasizing inclusivity and support for vulnerable groups. These initiatives reinforce social cohesion and cultural exchange.

Examples of Cultural and Social Initiatives

  • Community Arts Programs: Diverse art and cultural festivals that engage different groups within the community.
  • Support for Vulnerable Groups: Dedicated programs aimed at integrating refugees and providing support for the elderly and disabled.
  • Educational Workshops: Offering a range of workshops and learning opportunities for cultural enrichment and community engagement.

Urban Planning and Development

Significant urban development projects in Twente focus on enhancing livability and addressing climate change. Thoughtful urban planning reflects the need for sustainable growth and resilient communities.

Examples of Urban Development Projects

  • Sustainable Housing: Development of eco-friendly residential areas that prioritize energy efficiency and green spaces.
  • Public Transport Enhancements: Improved public transportation networks that reduce carbon emissions and enhance connectivity.
  • Green Corridor Projects: Creating green corridors that link urban centers with surrounding natural areas to promote biodiversity and recreation.

Youth and Education

Twente fosters a vibrant environment for students and young professionals, investing in education and opportunities for youth engagement. These efforts ensure the future growth and prosperity of the city.

Examples of Youth and Education Initiatives

  • Innovation Hubs: Establishment of innovation hubs that provide young entrepreneurs and professionals with resources and mentorship.
  • STEM Education Programs: Encouraging interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through school partnerships and extracurricular activities.
  • Internship and Apprenticeship Opportunities: Collaborations with local businesses to offer practical work experiences for students and young job-seekers.

Benefits of Participation in Eurocities

For Twente, being a part of the Eurocities network brings numerous benefits, including access to a vast pool of knowledge and expertise, funding opportunities for innovative projects, and a platform to showcase best practices. Additionally, it enables learning from other cities’ experiences and fosters partnerships that drive collective progress toward a sustainable, inclusive, and innovative future.

City Overview: Twente, Netherlands


Twente is located in the eastern part of the Netherlands, within the province of Overijssel. The region is known for its picturesque landscapes, including rolling hills, rivers, and extensive farmlands. Twente is bordered to the east by Germany and lies to the west of the Salland region. The IJssel River is a notable geographic feature that flows through the region.


The population of Twente is approximately 630,000 people. The demographics display a balanced mixture of age groups, with a slight concentration of young professionals, students, and families due to the presence of major educational institutions and economic opportunities.

Economic Overview

Twente’s economy is diverse and driven by several key industries, including manufacturing, technology, and education. The region is home to many high-tech companies, research institutions, and start-ups, particularly in the fields of nanotechnology and software development. Agriculture also plays a significant role, with numerous farms producing a variety of crops and livestock. The regional GDP is robust, reflecting the area’s economic vitality and innovation.

Historical Significance

Twente has a rich history dating back to ancient times. The area was originally inhabited by Germanic tribes and saw significant development during the medieval period. Twente became an important center for the textile industry in the 19th century, which shaped much of its urban and social development. The region also played a role during World War II, serving as a strategic location due to its proximity to Germany.

Cultural Attractions

  • Rijksmuseum Twenthe: An extensive art museum that houses Dutch and international art from the Middle Ages to contemporary times.
  • Hengelo’s Market Square: A bustling area known for its historic architecture, shops, and cafes.
  • Grolsch Brewery: A legendary brewery offering tours and tastings of their famous beers.
  • Twente Biennale: An important contemporary art event that attracts artists and visitors from around the world.

Education System

Primary and Secondary Education

Twente boasts a well-developed education system, with numerous primary and secondary schools catering to a range of educational needs. Schools in Twente are known for their high educational standards and modern facilities.

Higher Education

The University of Twente is a key institution in the region, renowned for its engineering, science, and technology programs. Other important higher education institutions include Saxion University of Applied Sciences, offering a variety of professional and vocational courses.

Transportation Infrastructure

Twente’s transportation network is highly efficient, facilitating easy movement within the region and connections to other parts of the Netherlands and beyond. Key components include:

  • Public Transit: An extensive bus network and regional train services connect the towns and cities within Twente.
  • Airports: The region is served by Enschede Airport Twente for domestic flights, while Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is accessible for international travel.
  • Roads: Well-maintained highways and roads link Twente to major Dutch cities and neighboring Germany.

Urban Development Projects

  • Kennispark Twente: A high-tech business park that fosters innovation and collaboration between industry and academia.
  • Greenbelt Development: Projects aimed at increasing green spaces and promoting sustainable urban living.
  • Sustainable Housing Initiatives: Efforts to build energy-efficient homes and retrofit older buildings to meet modern standards.

Environmental Initiatives

Twente is committed to environmental sustainability and protection. Initiatives include:

  • Renewable Energy Projects: Investments in wind, solar, and biomass energy generation.
  • Waste Management Programs: Comprehensive recycling and composting schemes to minimize landfill use.
  • Conservation Efforts: Protection and restoration of natural habitats and biodiversity in the region.

Quality of Living

Twente offers a high quality of living, characterized by excellent healthcare services, safety, and a range of amenities. The region is known for its clean environment, family-friendly communities, and vibrant cultural scene. The healthcare system is comprehensive, with several reputable hospitals and clinics ensuring high standards of medical care.

Quality of Life Indexes

  • Livability Ranking: Twente often ranks high in national and international livability indexes, thanks to its balanced lifestyle, vibrant economy, and cultural offerings.
  • Health Index: The region enjoys a high health index score, reflecting the quality and accessibility of healthcare services.
  • Environmental Quality Score: Twente’s environmental quality score is strong, driven by its initiatives in sustainability and conservation.

Profile of Mayor Sander Schelberg


Sander Schelberg

Current Position:

Mayor of Twente, Netherlands

Political Affiliation:



  • Bachelor of Public Administration, University of Twente
  • Master of Urban Planning, Delft University of Technology

Professional Background:

Before becoming the mayor of Twente, Sander Schelberg had a diverse career encompassing roles in both the public and private sectors. He worked in local government in various capacities, including:

  • City Planner, Municipality of Almelo
  • Deputy Director, Twente Regional Development Agency
  • Urban Development Consultant, Royal HaskoningDHV

His extensive experience in urban planning and development has been instrumental to his role as a mayor.

Achievements as Mayor:

During his tenure as the mayor of Twente, Sander Schelberg has spearheaded numerous initiatives and projects, especially in sustainability, urban development, and technological advancements:

  • Sustainability: Implemented a city-wide green energy initiative, significantly increasing the adoption of solar and wind energy.
  • Urban Development: Revitalized downtown Twente through mixed-use developments and increased public spaces.
  • Technological Advancements: Introduced smart traffic management systems to reduce congestion and improve commute times.

Vision for the Future:

Mayor Sander Schelberg has articulated a clear and ambitious vision for the future of Twente:

  • Smart City Initiatives: Plans to incorporate IoT technologies to enhance public services, ranging from waste management to public transportation.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Aims to transition Twente to a zero-carbon city by 2030 through stringent environmental policies and incentives.
  • Community Engagement: Strengthen community relationships by creating more participatory platforms, allowing citizens to have a greater voice in local governance.

Personal Life:

Outside of his professional commitments, Mayor Sander Schelberg is an avid environmentalist and enjoys hiking and cycling. He is also deeply involved in community service and regularly participates in local events and charity drives.

Awards and Honors:

  • European Green City Award, 2021
  • Urban Innovation Leadership Award, 2019
  • Dutch Smart City Pioneer, 2018

Twente, Overijssel, Netherlands

Quality of Life


Twente boasts a reliable safety index of 78.56, indicating a secure environment for residents and visitors alike. This high safety index reflects low crime rates and a strong sense of community, making it a desirable place to live.


The city offers a robust healthcare system, with a healthcare quality index of 76.54. Residents have access to high-quality medical services, ranging from general practitioners to specialized care. The presence of modern healthcare facilities ensures prompt and effective treatment for all health-related needs.


Twente scores admirably low on the pollution scale with an index of 20.65, ensuring a clean and green living environment. The city focuses on sustainability, with numerous parks and green spaces that contribute to its overall cleanliness and residents’ well-being.


With a transport index of 70.78, Twente’s public transportation system is both efficient and economical. The city is well-connected with buses and trains that are reliable and punctual, making commuting hassle-free. Cycling is also a popular mode of transport, promoted by an extensive network of bike lanes.


Twente is home to the University of Twente, which is well-regarded for its high-quality education and research facilities. The university attracts international students and scholars, contributing to a vibrant academic atmosphere. The city’s educational institutions are noted for their innovative programs and strong industry links, preparing students for successful careers.

Cost of Living


For those looking to reside in Twente, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately €800. This relatively moderate cost of housing makes the city an attractive option for both professionals and students.

Groceries and Dining

  • Monthly grocery costs for a single person: €200
  • Average cost of dining out: €15-30 per person

Living in Twente, residents can expect to spend around €200 monthly on groceries. Dining out is also affordable, with meal prices in restaurants ranging from €15 to €30 per person, catering to various budgets and tastes.


The basic monthly utility costs for an 85m2 apartment average at €150. This includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage disposal, maintaining a reasonable cost of living for residents.


A monthly public transport pass in Twente costs around €90. This pass provides access to the city’s comprehensive public transit system, making it easy to navigate the city affordably. Additionally, the city’s infrastructure supports biking and walking as practical alternatives.


  • Fitness club membership: €30 per month
  • Cinema ticket: €12 per visit

Leisure activities in Twente are accessible and varied. A monthly membership at a fitness club costs about €30, while a cinema ticket is priced around €12, providing residents with ample opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

Role within the Eurocities Network

As a member of the Eurocities network, Twente collaborates and interacts with other European cities, benefiting economically and culturally. This membership fosters exchange and cooperation on urban development projects and policies, contributing to the wider European narrative. Twente’s active participation in this network underscores its commitment to innovation and sustainability, enhancing its appeal as a dynamic and forward-looking city.

Overall, Twente presents an impressive quality of life with a moderate cost of living. The city’s strengths, including its safety, healthcare, cleanliness, transportation, and education, make it a compelling destination for residents and visitors. The data referenced in this description is sourced from Numbeo.

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