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Sustainable Villages Network


Villages all over the world are facing the same problems confronted with global issues like climate change, overuse of natural resources, changing biodiversity, water and food supply problems etc. Villages have to deal with the effects and anticipate on it.

On local level, people can develop resilience and organise solutions. Taking action can be done alone but it is much smarter to do it together with all the inhabitants of a village. Villages are used to interact and anticipate, as a community, on social and environmental changes. In that way it’s a natural process that villages are developing sustainable activities.

The Sustainable Villages Network

The Sustainable Villages Network is a, voluntary based, initiative to connect villages in the Netherlands in a Network where they can inspire and meet each other, exchange knowledge and experiences. A digital platform plays an important role but even more important is the physical meeting in courses, events and excursions. Both will be organized on a provincial level by a support organisation.

The Sustainable Villages Network keywords are: meeting- sharing and inspiring. Please watch this inspiring short movie, explaining the idea. 


The digital platform makes it easy for villages to show their activities on 16 theme’s. Not only energy, waste or water but also, for example, culture and art, healthcare, mobility, food or local economy. Villages are able to exchange information “peer to peer”. To support the villages in their sustainable development the Network offers experts, organisations and educational institutes for free. On the website there is also an agenda and you can find interesting links and information about projects.

The voluntary organisation Sustainable Villages Network is professionally supported thanks to the provincial government of Fryslân, initiator Doarpswurk and a national foundation “Doen”. The aim for the next years is a contribution of all the provinces and municipalities. The Network has one principle: Every action counts. It doesn't matter what you are doing as a village community, just act!

The Sustainable Villages Network: Meeting, sharing and inspiring. Every action counts.

We've started in 2013. More than 300 villages in 11 provinces in the Netherlands and the Flamish Region of Belgium have joined since. Our goal is 1000 sustainable villages in 2020!! We hope to reach that number much earlier.


International Network

Villages all over the world can inspire each other and share knowledge and experiences. Only the language is an obstacle but we work on a information platform in the English language. Also the system of the Sustainable Villages Network is easy to replicate. Every country can use this open source platform and modify on specific items.

The importance of the Sustainable Villages Network is the contribution to the transitionprocess on the intervention level of proven community action in Villages. Everywhere on earth villages understand each other. They are willing to exchange knowledge among each other.

Our aim is to work together with other community based initiatives like Global eco village network (Gen) and Transition Towns.


Additional information: 



This movie is about the history and future of village halls in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

YouTube Channel (English subtitled)

YouTube Channel (Dutch)

SMART EU Grundvig project

Pdf document


Vital Villages project

Website Rural Academy

Website Vital Villages


COMPLEX (EU research project)

Website COMPLEX 

PDF Document “Climate Related Energy 
Developments in the Netherlands”

Research group CSTM University of Twente


Aarhus 2017, Rethink the Village (European Capital of Culture)

At 30 march 2017 a Danish delegation visited projects in Fryslân. The Sustainable Villages Network was presented in Aldtsjerk, together with projects from Heeg and the Trynwâlden.

Presentation Sustainable Villages Network

Presentation Heeg

Presentatieon Trynwâlden