Integral spatial perspective A7 corridor Groningen – Midden Groningen

The landscape between Groningen and Hoogezand-Sappemeer is intersected by the A7. We have drawn up an integral spatial perspective to meet the demand for space for businesses and dwellings, sustainable energy generation and a recreational water channel between the Zuidlaardermeer and Woldmeer.


Het landschap tussen Groningen en Hoogezand-Sappemeer


Gemeenten Groningen en Midden-Groningen


BURA Urbanism, Stec Groep en InVra plus

Surface Area

25.000 ha

Design Year



2021 -

The landscape between Groningen and Hoogezand-Sappemeer is a dynamic one. It is intersected by the A7 and developments in the city and surrounding lands are creating new demands such as business locations, space for housing, sustainable energy generation and a recreational link (by water) between the Zuidlaardermeer and theWoldmeer. We have drawn up an integral spatial perspective to allow all those various claims on the landscape to coexist, both now and in the future. We have produced this integral spatial perspective in cooperation with BURA Urbanism, Stec Groep and InVra plus for the local authorities of Groningen and Midden-Groningen.

This landscape of clay, peat and brooks is certainly not everyone’s friend, but if you look patiently, a landscape unfolds before your eyes with a very interesting history, high natural values, and unusual structures. But it is a landscape that needs care because the ‘fast landscape’ has been growing more and more dominant along the A7 corridor and the canals. This puts pressure on the ‘slow landscape’ of the characteristic open landscape and ribbon villages, with the risk of fragmentation and clutter.

The existing qualities are disappearing without harmonisation and management, but when viewed on a larger scale and in relation to one another, these plans can lead to an attractive area. We have brought all the aims together, which range from strengthening landscape values, the demand for housing and energy transition to climate and sustainability, in a single integral perspective. We have formulated five ambitions and recommendations as the guideline for a sustainable, qualitative and integral development of the project area.

1. A strong and green agrarian landscape. Structural spatial developments on the basis of the agrarian landscape. The characteristic ribbon landscape provides more than enough scope for this. Hold on firmly to the ribbons and use them as a structuring element. The openness of the landscape means that building must always be building the landscape. So use robust landscape elements to incorporate new developments properly.

2. Soft transition between city and surrounding lands with strong entrances. Make a clear, green, robust network of green-blue entrances and green lobes, so that the city dwellers can reach the countryside in a pleasant way and nature can do the same as it reaches the city. Ensure that it is given protection in the planning.

3. An attractive and future-resistant work and/or residential environment. Create an attractive environment to be in that is adaptive to future developments. First look at the locations you have, organise them more intensively and intelligently, to improve the ability of the work locations to stand up to the future. Give the terrains a stronger profile, and work together.

4. A climate-positive low peat belt. Link aims together and make the low peat belt climate-positive. Deploy objectives such as the waterway connection as a means to achieve other aims, such as a higher groundwater level, or more natural values.

5. A cohesive recreational network. Strengthen the recreational network and with it the connection between the city and the surrounding lands. Make the waterway connection between the Zuidlaardermeer and the Woldmeer part of a waterway network that at some points can only be navigated by canoe. In this way the opportunity can arise to bring the Hunze back into the landscape, so that you could travel by water from the city to Westerbroek. This is a way of taking advantage of several opportunities: the restoration of the Hunze, which is historically and ecologically valuable; and the waterway connection gives Westerbroek an appreciable water buffer that also increases the surface area of nature.

Our spatial perspective comprises a helping hand for work locations, an elaboration of a waterway network, and an inspirational map with 8 key points where the five ambitions come together.

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