PROJECT: Nota Industrie

A decentralization policy targeting a structural problem that was occurring throughout The Netherlands: jobs had to be created quickly for the rapidly increasing population. 


  • The ongoing industrialization and growth of the population in The Netherlands led to different spatial economic patterns.
  • Noord-Brabant was looking for a solution that would not re-create how the urbanization of the area ‘North of the Rivers’ / The Randstad had become.
  • Catholics were aware of the correlation between the declining engagement with the Church and the increase of urbanization.
  • During the time of industrialization, an increased number of people moved from the suburbs to the city with desires for better employment.
  • The Catholic elite feared these changes because of secularization, fear of social unrest and rebellion. Cities were dirty, unhealthy and potential hotbeds of socialist rebellion.
  • Immediately after the Second World War, the provincial authority agreed on a major industrialization programme managed by Jan De Quay, a famous Dutch politician.


  • To enforce decentralization, The Welvaartsplan stated that the industry should move to the location of the workers.
  • An increase in the control of economical and cultural activities in parallel with a decrease in development.
  • Ensure people stay loyal to the community and the Church.


  • Factories could be set up in existing towns, where a labour pool was readily available.
  • Companies had more space to expand in the suburbs.
  • Existing spatial patterns could be used.
  • Basic networks and high accessability of other economic cores.
  • Top quality land in good condition.


  • Control development by combining economical, political and spatial goals.
  • Use existing cultural and spatial patterns.
  • Create a network of satellite cities all over Brabant within a radius of 6 km to each other, developing a decentralized mixture of living, rural and industrial space.
  • A Welfare Plan (Welvaartsplan, 1947–1949) was created in response to the growing demand for industrialization.


  • Commisioner de Quay proposed in his ‘Pre-advice Prosperity Plan’, a series of religious, social, economical and spatial strategies such as railway policy, overseeing expansion municipality and promoting traditional education in the municipality.
  • A selected allocation of industrial sites and a secondary road network was proposed to influence the siting of companies close to existing settlements.
  • The North-Brabant Welfare Plan (1947–1949) indicated which small towns and villages were to industrialize.


  • The spatial effect of the Welvaartsplan can be seen in every arial image of the area.
  • The north of Brabant has had very successful economic growth.
  • The resilience against the economic crisis (1980-1990) in The Netherlands can be seen in the small scale patterns and regional networks of people and entrepreneurs who trust each other.
  • Brabant is one of the top 5 innovative clusters of industry and logistics in Europe.


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Project info




1947 - 1948


A decentralization policy targeted to tackle a structural problem that was occurring throughout the Netherlands: jobs had to be created quickly for the rapidly increasing population.


Decentralized industrialization throughout the region




Province, Queens comminssioner J.E. de Quay, Catholic church