Places of Hope - Looking forward to the future!

Pioneering for a new future

Many of us are currently living in the same way as we did in the last century. We live in a post-war terraced house or concrete apartment building. We work at a remote industrial area or monotonous business park. And we're sitting daily in our car, stuck in traffic on the ring road. Also the way we heat our homes, generate our energy or get rid of our waste still dates from the previous century, a time of seemingly endless possibilities and growth.

How can we deal with the challenges of the 21st century, from climate change to a demand for social cohesion, if we keep lingering in the past? When driving on the ring road, the revolution seems far away. But all over the Netherlands various pioneers are already giving shape to their own living environment. More in harmony with nature and with each other. These pioneers are all kinds of people - from a dike warden to a supermarket entrepreneur - and often act in unexpected places. Where we can see the starry sky again, live with dry feet in our own nature reserve or purchase with neighbours a windmill that supplies the entire village with power.

The exhibition Places of Hope takes you to these special places and introduces you to dozens of inspiring ‘Landmakers’: people who shape our environment with their projects and offer hope and inspiration for a sustainable future. That future starts in Leeuwarden, in the North of the Netherlands, where people and nature and city and countryside are inextricably linked.

Places of Hope is situated at the monumental Kanselarij building at the Turfmarkt. For centuries counsellors and regents would debate here about how to organise and design the surrounding country. This approach of decision making lies in the past. These days, the Kanselarij is a creative hub for anyone interested in the future. Places of Hope shows the many Landmakers of today and also invites visitors to give shape to their living environment – such as the neighbourhood and the countryside - of the future.

Leeuwarden 2018
Places of Hope takes place in the context of Leeuwarden European Capital of Culture 2018 and takes the Northern Netherlands as the starting point towards the future. With this mindset, the way that people in the Netherlands are actively changing their living environment strikes us. In harmony with each other, and with nature. In surprising coalitions and in unexpected places. The exposition is curated by director of the Urban Futures Studio, Maarten Hajer, and Urbanist at Non-Fiction, Michiel van Iersel. 

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