Design Guide for Public Space Groningen | Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners

Integrated approach to public space design and inclusive tool for cocreation, providing cities with an innovative methodology for climate change mitigation and urban resilience.

Release Time: July 15, 2022

Felixx: Michiel Van Driessche, John de Groot, Elan Redekop van der Meulen, Cherk Ga Leung, Shuangyun Chen

Goudappel: Christiaan Kwantes, Stijn van der Slot

Stipo: Sander van der Ham

University of Amsterdam: Marco te Brömmelstroet


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Commissioned by the municipality of Groningen, Felixx worked together with Goudappel, Stipo & Marco te Brömmelstroet on the ‘Leidraad Openbare Ruimte’ (Guide for the Public Space) of Groningen. The Guide is an inspiration document for a new kind of public space with less space for parked cars and bicycles and more space for green, sports, play and social interaction.

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide From-1-to-10-demensions ©Felixx

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide Farwell car logic ©Felixx

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide Monument ©Plomp

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide Stationsweg ©Plomp

Shared space - The starting point of the Guide is the street. That is where the human scale is most prevalent. In order to design streets for people, it is important to rethink the street as “a shared space,” a public space for people rather than a mere functional connection from point A to B. When cars no longer are the dominant factor in our streets, valuable public space is freed up that can be assigned to accommodate strategies for climate adaptation, emission reduction, safety, densification and population growth.

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide Dukdalf Before ©Felixx

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide Dukdalf After ©Felixx

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide Bedumerweg Before ©Felixx

Groningen first - On  December 22nd, 2021, the City Council approved the Guide for reorganizing mobility and public space throughout Groningen. The document shows which dimensions are necessary for a high-quality public space and helps the conversation with inhabitants about the opportunities for a better quality of life in the streets, the neighborhoods, the city and villages.

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide Bedumerweg Later ©Felixx

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide Diamantlaan Before ©Felixx

GroningenPublicSpaceGuide Diamantlaan After ©Felixx

Ten Dimensions - The Guide proposes a design method in which mobility is no longer normative but where accessibility, safety, perception, health, social interaction, ecology, climate adaptation, economics and cultural history together make up the street. By naming these ten dimensions at the outset, a new balance between all these interests is created.

PublicSpaceGuide Plan De Hoogte Alternative Organisation ©Felixx

PublicSpaceGuide Plan De-Hoogte GreenBlue ©Felixx

Street typologies - a selection of fourteen street typologies has been developed that together represent the entire street network of the municipality of Groningen. This enables us to position each street within the urban fabric.

PublicSpaceGuide Plan De Hoogte Mobility ©Felixx

PublicSpaceGuide Plan De-Hoogte Experience ©Felixx

PublicSpaceGuide Plan De-Hoogte Social ©Felixx

Now, Soon and Later - In order to visualize the spatial tasks of the future street, street analyses, inventories and inspirational images are made of the current situation, the new street after a redevelopment and a possible development of the public street domain in a further future. We call these stages Now, Soon and Later.

Iconic places - The ambitions of the Groningen municipality require a long-term change of mentality. The Guide offers an attractive future for Groningen, the city and the village centers. Something to look forward to. Therefore, iconic places have been selected in the Guide where a future dream is visualized. The ten dimensions of the street have been applied to three characteristic Groningen places with corresponding street typologies. Each place represents a specific identity and role within the planning context of the city in the past, the now, soon and later.

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