Natural capital, material flows, the landscape and the economy

Harry Lintsen, Fred Lambert, H.N.M. Hölsgens, Ben P.A. Gales

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In this study, natural capital occupies a special place. After all, the way natural capital is exploited is crucial for issues of well-being and sustainability. This chapter analyses the exploitation of natural capital in the Netherlands around 1850. It deals with three categories of resources produced by natural capital. First, organic resources (including grains, potatoes, cattle and milk) and the associated supply chains in agriculture and foods (farming systems, food production and food consumption). Second, mineral subsoil resources (in particular sand, clay and gravel) and the associated supply chains in construction (housing construction, water management, and infrastructure). Finally, fossil subsoil resources (in particular turf and coal) and the associated energy supply chains (industry and households). The exploitation of natural capital took place in a variegated landscape possessing great biodiversity and an agricultural economy that provided plenty of room for population growth.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWell-Being, Sustainability and Social Development
Subtitle of host publicationThe Netherlands 1850-2050
EditorsHarry Lintsen, Frank Veraart, Jan-Pieter Smits, John Grin
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-76696-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-76695-9
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2018


  • Agriculture
  • Biodiversity
  • Construction
  • Economy
  • Energy
  • Foods
  • Natural capital

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