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Groningen continues
Online program about the future of the gas extraction file

Unfortunately, a physical conference was not possible in 2020. The Knowledge Platforms BuildinG and Leefbaar and Kansrijk Groningen therefore organized an online program in November: 'Groningen continues'. A title with a double meaning. The reinforcement operation is slumbering, damage reports are still pouring in and many Northerners have been trapped in uncertainty for years. But the title also refers to the enormous resilience of the region and the willpower of its residents and entrepreneurs: we go on!

In the program, various guests spoke about the state of affairs in the gas extraction case, the administrative agreement that was recently concluded, and the need for a different approach to residents and the opportunities for the region.

The guests were Michel Dückers (Netherlands Institute for Healthcare Research), Susan Top (Gasberaad) and Sander Wubbolts (Bouwend Nederland). They discussed safeguarding the interests of residents (Susan Top), what the impact of earthquakes is on residents' health (Michel Dückers),and how construction can really provide added value for residents (Sander Wubbolts).

In addition, photographer Dirk-Jan Visser explained in a short film how the book Voorland Groningen, walks through the Anthropocene, which he collaborated on, came about. The book and app Voorland is an invitation to take a walk through the centuries-old Groningen cultural landscape together, and read the signs of a time that will come. Dirk-Jan showed how he got to know the region as the photographer of the book.

Finally, Rolf Koops and Tom Postmes discussed the administrative agreement and the role of knowledge and innovation in the case. Chris Kuijpers (Director-General of Governance, Spatial Planning and Housing at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations) explained the role of the Ministry.

The program was led by Arno van der Heyden.

This online program was a collaboration between both knowledge platforms and media partner NoordZ.

Bio’s guests

Michel Dückers 

Michel Dückers is research leader at Nivel (Netherlands Institute for Healthcare Research). Within his research program Disasters and Environmental Threats, he focuses on the impact of disasters and environmental threats on human health.

Susan Top 

Susan Top is secretary of Groninger Gasberaad.
The Groninger Gasberaad is a collective of social organizations in which as many sectors as possible are represented. In August 2020, the Gasberaad published a barometer to provide an overview of all batches, pilots, schemes and authorities.


Sander Wubbolts 

Sander Wubbolts has been working at the construction and infrastructure entrepreneurs' organization, Bouwend Nederland, since 2013. As regional manager of the North, Sander is committed to the interests of construction and infrastructure companies within the earthquake case. But as a resident of the province of Groningen, he is also involved in the developments surrounding the earthquakes.

Dirk Jan Visser 

Dirk Jan Visser is a documentary photographer, teacher and researcher with a background in art and journalism. In addition to his work as a documentary maker, he is one of the initiators and owner of Atelier aan de Middendijk. This is a small farm in Usquert that served as a base for the making of the book Voorland.

Rolf Koops

Since its foundation in 2017, Rolf Koops has been director of the BuildinG Foundation, a northern knowledge and innovation center for future-proof construction. In BuildinG, entrepreneurs, researchers and governments come together to test and develop new products that can be used in Groningen and beyond. Focus on the residents, earthquake resistant, life cycle resistant and energy efficient: BuildingG is at home in the future.

Tom Postmes

Tom Postmes is professor of social psychology at the University of Groningen. He is also the scientific director of the Knowledge Platform Leefbaar and Kansrijk Groningen, which brings together and shares knowledge about the social impact of soil movement and the transitions involved: from unsafe to safe, from gas to green, from disaster area to liveable environment. He studies human behavior in virtual groups and communities, in large crowds, but also in organizations and "normal" teams. The key question in his work is how a collective grows out of the behavior and ideas of individuals.

Chris Kuijpers 

Chris Kuijpers has been Director-General of Governance, Spatial Planning and Housing at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations since 1 August 2017. He focuses, among other things, on the cooperation between housing construction, spatial development and government.

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