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Design Exhibition

Climate change challenges us to look at our social functions, living environment and public space in a new way. The changing climate requires adjustments in agriculture, the water systems and in urban structures. It requires careful water handling, retention and possible water buffering. What’s more, dealing with rising temperatures requires different ways of approaching living situations and building infrastructure through adding water and greenery into the city. Therefore, there is a challenge for our cities, coastal areas and landscapes: to make our living environment climate-robust and climate-adaptive at the same time.


This design exhibition is aimed at improving the quality of life by designing our living environment in a climate-adaptive manner. For the design exhibition, design agencies will work on nine locations in urban and rural areas in Groningen where the effects of climate change can be found.

With these designs, we want to show that quality of life can be improved by climate adaptation. In addition to these new designs, previous examples of where climate adaptation has been successful are also shown. The results of the design exhibition come together in an exhibition, book and excursion.


Work is being carried out in four locations in the urban area and four locations in the rural area. We work on two scale levels, strategic level and elaboration level.
Urban area design locations
City centre & Minervaplein
In the summer, the city centre of Groningen forms a large heat island where a cool spot is difficult to find. We would like to add more greenery and improve the quality of life in the city centre. The so-called ‘drain’ of the city centre, Minervaplein and the Gedempte Zuiderdiep, is the design location. All the water of the city centre flows towards the Minervaplein and the Gedempte Zuiderdiep, which causes a flooding risk. Design agency LIST is working on this location.
De Hereweg/Rijksstraatweg is een belangrijke toegangsweg vanuit het Zuiden de stad in. De plannen voor Ring Zuid en het Zuiderplantsoen bieden mogelijkheden om van de Hereweg een nieuwe aantrekkelijkere en klimaatrobuuste stadentree te maken waarbij een goede balans gezocht wordt tussen mobiliteit en leefkwaliteit. Het centrum van Haren is de ontwerplocatie. Het centrum en met name het Raadhuisplein is erg versteend waardoor het een hete en onaangename plek is in de zomer. De wens is om het groene, lommerijke karakter van Haren ook terug te laten komen in het centrumgebied. Aan deze locatie werkt ontwerpbureau Agence TER.
Damsterdiep & Driebond
The Damsterdiep zone is a development zone where living, working and quality of life must come together, in which the connection with the city centre and Meerstad is wanted. In the Damsterdiep zone, the design location is the business park Driebond. The business park forms a large heat island where flooding is expected in the event of changes to the weather in the future. We want to improve the quality of residence at Driebond by working together with local entrepreneurs. Design agency TREDJE NATUR is working on this location.
Suikeras & Aweg
A significant part of the city’s growth will take place on the western side of the city. Plans are currently being made for the transition of the former sugar union site. The Suikeras (Sugar Axis), between the sugar union site and the city center, will become an important access route via the Hoendiep and the Aweg. The Aweg towards the city center, is the design location which will be further developed into a cooling place where quality of life will be central. Design agency West 8 is working on this location.

The Reitdiep-Axe connects the city with the countryside and vice versa. It shapes the cultural-historic connection between Middag-Humsterland and the history of the City of Groningen. Moreover, the Reitdiep-Axe is the ecological link between the city and the Wadden Sea. The design team of Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, consisting of the Research Centre for the Built Environment NoorderRuimte and the Academy for the Arts Minerva, focuses, within the context of this landscape, on the Zernike Campus. The design team will emphasise the reciprocal connection between urban and rural, City and Ommeland and reflects a climate proff and resilient future. Because the Reitdiep is also one of the historical routes for bringing food and goods to the city, the Zernike Campus is the crucial chain of a circular, local and organic growth of food and its consumption.

Rural area design locations
Intermediate water
Between the Drents Plateau and Groningen there is intermediate water available for the city. A design agency is going to work on the task of preserving the peat and (peak) storage of seepage and rainwater. This will be combined with opportunities for, among other things, a new extraction area for drinking water, water purification, new nature and recreation. Within this location, the focus is on the triangle of peat polders on the ‘hard’ side of Groningen. Design agency B+B urbanism and landscape architecture is working on this location.
Former Sea arm
In this historic mound landscape, a design agency had the following brief: how can the Reitdiepzone combine fresh water storage with new forms of cattle breeding? What’s more, how can grassland management -with a closed cycle- be maintained with the building of new rural housing? Biodiversity plays an important role in this area, in that we must also deal with the conservation of meadow birds and fish migration. Aesthetically, the agency’s design builds on the characteristic beauty of the Wierden landscape. Design agency MORE Landscape is working on this location.
Shifting boundary
The high land along the Wadden Sea must adapt to the effects of the changing climate, with water safety as a priority. Design agency Flux is looking for a solution for high water safety combined with a long-term strategy, in which saline agriculture plays a role in sustainable living, working and energy production. Design agency Flux landscape architecture is working on this location.
The islands in the Wadden Sea must also adapt to the changing climate. A new transition between the Wadden and the North Sea that contributes to the long-term challenges for the Wadden Sea is wanted. For the island of Schiermonnikoog, the task is to form a self-sufficient island in combination with coastal defense, its own freshwater supply, water purification, sustainable energy generation, agriculture and dynamic nature. Design agency LAMA landscape architects is working on this location.


Yttje Feddes and Peter Veenstra are the curators of the design exhibition. With their experience in the field of landscape architecture and planning they will provide guidance to the design agencies from the design exhibition.


Yttje Feddes is a garden and landscape architect. Between 2008 and 2012 she was the National Consultant for Landscape. Feddes is an experienced advisor who can deal with the dilemmas of the client. In addition to her work as a landscape architect, Yttje is a guest lecturer at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, a member of the Committee for the Environmental Impact Assessment and a member of various quality teams, advisory councils and professional juries.


Peter Veenstra is a landscape architect. He is a co-founder and partner of LOLA Landscape Architects, where he leads many competition projects and design studies. Freedom in movement and use is always the starting point in his designs, both in metropolitan environments and in open nature. In 2013 he received the Rotterdam Maaskant Prize for Young Architects.

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