Zuid-Holland is a densely populated province. More than 3.5 million people live, work and travel in an area of less than 3,000 square kilometres. Zuid-Holland has cities such as the port city of Rotterdam, the government city of The Hague and the university city of Leiden. In addition to cities, towns, villages and infrastructure, Zuid-Holland has rural areas with agriculture and nature, peace and space.
The Zuid-Holland economy is in a transition. The Rotterdam port area is changing from a classic port economy into a knowledge-intensive complex, based on technology and IT, green raw materials and smart services. The horticultural sector is becoming sustainable to retain its position as the world's largest fresh produce production and trade centre. The knowledge infrastructure and business services become increasingly important in the developing innovative economic activities.
Zuid-Holland has many locations where knowledge-intensive businesses and knowledge workers are concentrated around universities, knowledge institutes or large companies: the ‘knowledge axis’. Knowledge and innovative applications developed here can be used in strong clusters such as the mainport and the greenports. Contact between institutes and multinationals such as Shell, DSM and Unilever promotes the exchange of knowledge, people and resources.
To create an excellent location for settlement and to ensure a high standard of living, the province of Zuid-Holland invests in recreation areas and nature reserves for both residents and visitors. The province strives to establish a balance between working, living, travel, history, culture and leisure, while actively protecting vulnerable green areas, nature, water and the typical Zuid-Holland landscape, and supporting agriculture and economic activities.