Bart van Leeuwen appointed as Spatial Quality Supervisor in Assen

Bart van Leeuwen has recently started working as Spatial Quality Supervisor for the City of Assen. In this position, he advises the city council on current urban planning tasks in Assen, where a range of major spatial challenges are pending. For example, around 3,000 homes need to be built by 2030. There are also issues in the field of climate change, maintaining the supply of amenities, and ensuring that various neighbourhoods remain liveable.

Regarding the ambitions of Assen, Alderman Karin Dekker says: “The housing plan – which was recently adopted by the city council – is our guiding principle in this respect. We are focusing on the existing city. There is the greatest need for housing and there is also an urgent necessity to renovate places and improve them. A large-scale plan is the development of the Havenkwartier into a dynamic residential area. A major challenge awaits the city centre, as vacant retail properties are converted into homes. And in addition, we are losing no time in building sufficient homes in Kloosterveen. For all this, we were looking for a versatile, experienced urban planner who can help us carry out these assignments, in which the energy transition and sustainable development, as well as the greening of public space, are important aspects of the plans.”

Bart is an urban planner at De Zwarte Hond, the bureau for architecture, urban development and strategy with offices in Groningen, Rotterdam and Cologne. He will perform both functions side by side. “I am looking forward to the challenge of Assen, to which I will apply myself with total dedication in the coming years,” he says. “I want to inspire others and place urban planning on the agenda, both in the public debate and the discussion within the civic organisation.”

Creative director of De Zwarte Hond, Jeroen de Willigen, says: “At De Zwarte Hond, we think it is important that we as an agency commit ourselves to the social debate. That is why we are proud that Bart will fulfil this important role within the City of Assen. Assen is an interesting and pleasant city with the same challenges that many medium-sized cities are struggling with. Thanks to the experience of Bart and De Zwarte Hond, they will be able to make progress fast.”

Photo: German Villafane