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Creating Space

final conference Creative City Challenge

Creating Space

Creative City Challenge, final congress, 20 September 2012


On 20 September 2012, the Municipality of Groningen will organize the final conference of the European project entitled Creative City Challenge (CCC).

With our partners from the North Sea region – Hamburg, Bremen, Oldenburg, Kortrijk, Høje-Taastrup, Göteborg, Dundee, Newcastle and Delft – much work has been carried out in developing and exchanging knowledge and experience in the field of creative knowledge clusters, hotspots, etc.

The conference will be held in the rising creative urban area of Groningen: the Ebbingekwartier (Ebbinge Quarter). There, the grounds of the former Gas Factory have been given a temporary layout and access routes. The ‘Open Lab Ebbinge’, which is a component of this creative zone, functions as a new breeding ground for the creative economy and forms a practical laboratory for new types of interim architecture, urban planning and new environments for creative entrepreneurship and the mingling of ideas. A living lab for open innovation.


Open Lab Ebbinge - Ebbingekwartier

The conference consists of two parts. The morning programme features a film about the most interesting and appealing projects implemented in the context of the CCC over the last three years. A publication describes the results of the most striking projects (best practices). Besides the results, we shall surprise and entertain visitors with speakers who stimulate and inspire. This will all take place under the chairmanship of the well-known journalist and publicist Tracy Metz, who is an expert in the domain of urban issues (writing for the NRC Handelsblad daily newspaper among others).

In the afternoon, you can experience the current situation with regard to temporary use of space and the genesis of creative hotspots in the European North Sea region. Frank de Vries, City Councillor for Spatial Planning, shows how Groningen, in addition to the developments at the Open Lab Ebbinge, is now gaining experience with the ‘temporary zoning policy experiment’ on the SuikerUnie (former sugar refinery) grounds, which cover more than 130 hectares (approx. 320 acres). The Municipality of Groningen formulated an idea competition on this theme. More than 170 contributors pointed out what could be possible on these grounds in the coming 15 years.

Temp.architecture will give a presentation of the results of its research into temporary use of space. In this, they examine the differences and similarities between various occurrences in European partner cities. They have looked at the lessons that can be learned and at the way in which temporary use of space can be applied to generate a good climate for the creative sector, or may even lead to an other, better, area development. New earnings models will arise as work progresses.

Finally, the exhibition entitled New Space for the City by temp.architecture will be opened. This exhibition provides an up-to-date overview of how empty premises and vacant lots can be assigned a different function, at least temporarily, while simultaneously making a contribution to the creative knowledge city (a publication by the Netherlands Architecture Institute, NAi, will follow in January 2013). At this conference, you will be in the (international) company of professional colleagues, entrepreneurs and experts (triple helix).