From April 4 until November 25, 2018, the exhibition and program Places of Hope shows a new perspective on the Netherlands of tomorrow.

Places of Hope

“Places of Hope offers space for the imagination. Visitors leaving the exhibition will look to the future with confidence”Maarten Hajer, curator


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, curated by Maarten Hajer en Michiel van Iersel, 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.


It’s time for a new approach towards ‘land making’ where not only professionals, but also a wider audience is invited to talk about and to give shape to their living environment of tomorrow. This will happen through:

  • The interactive exhibition Places of Hope, aimed at a wide audience, with a diverse program and personal approach.
  • Offering a workshop for research and design with a focus on the North of the Netherlands, including the studio 'Agriculture and water in the Low Middle of Fryslân', where the peat land landscape functions as a model for a number of regions in the Netherlands, and the studio 'The Self-aware North’ which offers a perspective for the three Northern provinces of the Netherlands.
  • Organizing a manifestation with an opening on April 4th and closing in November 2018 and an active program (at Kanselarij and other locations), as well as a learning network of Landmakers throughout the Netherlands.
  • Publishing stories and images that offer a perspective for regional developments and the Netherlands as a whole in an international context.

Places of Hope


Places of Hope will take place from April 4 until November 25, 2018. The exhibition is open weekly from Thursday to Sunday from noon to 6PM. In addition, programs and activities take place throughout the whole duration of the exhibition, with sometimes activities in the evenings. Early 2018, this website will provide more information about the program.

Places of Hope is on view at the Kanselarij and surrounding buildings, located at the Turfmarkt 11 in Leeuwarden.

The exhibition is free of entrance.


Places of Hope is organised within the framework of Leeuwarden-Fryslân Cultural Capital of Europe 2018 and takes the North of the Netherlands as a departure point to the future.

The exhibition is part of the multi-year program Proeftuin Nederland van Morgen (a ‘test garden’ for the Netherlands of Tomorrow) focussing on innovations for the physical environment. Climate change and the circular economy, a country with social-inclusive cities and villages, a balanced economic development: these are the tasks for the Netherlands of tomorrow. It is clear that there are large spatial, social and administrative challenges ahead of us. How do we mobilize the energy to make this transition? Together with Landmakers from all over the Netherlands, the Proeftuin Nederland van Morgen shows how various practices already work on these strategic challenges.

Proeftuin Nederland van Morgen is an initiative of various Dutch ministries and is realized in collaboration with dozens of regional and local partners across the country.

Proeftuin Nederland van Morgen gives an update to a wide audience every two years. Following the Innovation Expo in 2016, Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018 offers another opportunity with Places of Hope, after which the IBA Parkstad Manifestation in 2020 and Floriade Exhibition Almere in 2022 will follow.


North Netherlands:
Duurzaam Ameland, Holwerd aan Zee, Dark Sky, Sense of Place, Eems Dollard 2050, De nieuwe Afsluitdijk, Woudagemaal, Ecommunitypark, Kenin fan e Greide, Leeuwarden Campusstad, Dorpsmolen Reduzum, Peinder Mieden, It Nije Doarp en Better Wetter

Cleantech Regio, Marker Wadden, Circulaire Werkmilieus SADC, Healthy Urban Living, Gebiedscooperatie O-gen, De Dijk is van ons Allemaal, The Wise City, IBA Parkstad, Floriade Almere, Ring Ring, Circulaire Delta Regio’s, Klimaatactieve Regio’s, Leerateliers BNSP, Lerend netwerk Gezondheid en Ruimte, Omgevingsvisie Gelderland


Would you like to receive more information about Places of Hope, do you have input for the program or do you have interest in participating? Please contact us: