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City joins University to set up lab for city of the future

03 December 2013

What will the city of the future look like? And how can residents and users help to build a well-balanced city? This is where the Urban Gro Lab comes in! Students, entrepreneurs and locals have joined forces to explore the opportunities for Groningen as a city of the future.

The Urban Gro Lab is a creative breeding ground for people, questions, creativity, inspiration and technology. It aspires to create a place where various parties can work on dynamic practical research to help design a city of the future. A place where education can rub shoulders with the city.


The lab will serve as a source of information. How do we move around the city? What do we think of the open spaces and who do we meet there? But the lab is also a source of ingenuity, a place where residents, users and researchers can fire each other up with their ideas and findings. As Esseline Schieven, director of urban development at the Groningen municipal authorities, puts it: ‘I hope that the Urban Gro Lab will teach us how to interpret and revitalize our city.’

In the lab, she researchers from Groningen will join forces with students from cities including Vienna and Beijing, making Groningen an international source of knowledge and inspiration regarding living conditions in cities of the future.
Baking brain cookies – beer mats with ideas for places in the city where the Urban Gro Lab can make a difference.
Baking brain cookies – beer mats with ideas for places in the city where the Urban Gro Lab can make a difference.

Master class

Visitors to the launch were able to witness the lab in action. Esseline Schieven gave students of Environmental & Infrastructure Planning from the University of Groningen a master class about ‘The state of the city’, adding impetus to their research in the Ebbinge district where these budding urban planners are analysing the use of public open spaces. They hope that their refreshing new ideas will enhance the range of activities taking place there. A bustling city has a lot to gain from a lively, dynamic urban life in its streets and squares.

The results of the first research project from the Urban Gro Lab will be presented at the end of January in the Open Ebbinge Lab.
Last modified:15 September 2017 3.32 p.m.
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