The livable city

As more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, the need for healthy and sustainable urban areas is growing. Environments that are people-oriented, accessible and future-proof. The traditional, monodisciplinary design approach is no longer feasible. At ABT, we apply a holistic and integrated design approach to neighbourhoods and cities, taking into account a wide range of disciplines.

Interactive elements of complex system

In cities many human activities take place in a relatively dense area, often with conflicting demands, in an environment influenced by both natural and artificial factors. With in-depth knowledge of these aspects, we understand the effects of each design choice and can improve the experience of the urban environment. We consider buildings in their natural and urban context. Buildings are not isolated islands in an urban environment, but interactive elements of a complex system.

Design approach

ABT designs buildings in their climatic context, with maximum use of natural resources (sun, wind, water) and minimum use of technology. We will establish every possible interaction between different buildings in the urban network in terms of energy, data and material flows. We take into account the public space between the buildings and design maximum comfort in order to promote health, social interaction and the local economy.

Local solutions to global problems

Global issues such as climate change and the energy transition are difficult to address at national levels. On an urban scale, we can work more effectively. We support municipalities, urban planners and developers in making cities and neighbourhoods more resilient and healthier, solving global issues on a local scale.


We develop integrated solutions to various urban challenges:

Urban energy and smart grids

Well-designed smart energy grids and renewable energy systems will accelerate the energy transition, reduce costs and increase social values. They are essential in times of distributed energy resources (DER), electrification and densification of urban areas.

Nature-based solutions

We work with blue and green infrastructures to increase urban resilience, quality of public spaces and biodiversity.

Urban Planning Physics

Comfortable and healthy outdoor spaces are paramount to creating successful cities. A clear, engineering-based vision is needed to ensure these aspects in neighbourhood design.

Smart buildings

The building blocks of smart cities are smart buildings. We design buildings to interact intelligently with their surroundings and their users. But also buildings whose functionality can continue to be optimized over time.


We are making smart use of data and artificial intelligence to improve the quality of our living spaces.

Health and comfort in buildings

Sustainable built environments require buildings that enable lower energy consumption while providing maximum user comfort. We consider building, users and nature as a coherent whole.


The transition from a linear to a circular economy is in full swing. The urban environment offers many opportunities to optimize material flows between different facilities, and connect waste streams and demand for raw materials. At the building level, we embrace opportunities for circular use of materials.

Safety and security

A safe public space encourages social interaction and the local economy.

Mobility Strategies

In our view, cities are for people and not for cars. We are exploring new mobility strategies for optimal use of public space.


People make the city. The world is becoming increasingly digital and individualistic. At the same time, the need for social cohesion, networking and cooperation is growing. We design buildings and neighbourhoods that focus on the needs of people.

Image header Timmerhuis: © Ossip van Duivenbode