Een voorbeeldige stad

In 1928, Hendrik Petrus Berlage drew up, together with H.P.J. Schut, a plan for Groningen based not on speed, nuisance and curve radii, but on coherence, continuity and proximity. Almost a century later, this plan remains captivating. It appears to be an excellent and, above all inspiring, basis for the major challenges of today and tomorrow, from the huge need for housing and the desire to keep the city compact to the immense issues surrounding climate and energy.

Een voorbeeldige stad – An Exemplary City – is an ode to the city and the urban assignment. It is a call to embrace once more the basic principles of urban planning, to make public space the heart of urban design again, to look beyond the value of mere money. And above all, to work on the city with love and attention for the context. This is how we keep the city exemplary.

Groningen serves as a non-coincidental case. This is the city to which the authors have pledged their hearts. Moreover, it is the city where urban planner Jeroen de Willigen was city architect for six years: the framework within which this book was published. And not unimportantly: few cities in the Netherlands can tell the story of the city as completely and idiosyncratically as Groningen can.