Art in public Space

Art in the public domain not only embellishes the city, it maintains the city’s appeal and liveliness. Surveys have shown that cities with an abundance of art and culture positively stimulate the business climate: people want to live there and establish businesses there …

In Groningen, we have about 400 pieces of art in public space. We are proud of that fact. They are on streets, squares, hanging on facades and in car parks. Together with ‘Stadsbeheer’ (Urban Management) the CBK is responsible for managing and maintaining art in the public domain. To keep the collection appealing and current, the CBK also realises new works of art.

Working method

The reasons for an art commission can vary, for example for a newly built school or car park or exceptional urban planning development such as neighbourhood rejuvenation. The working method is usually the same….

As the commissioning party we consider it important the art works well with the surroundings. So, we give a lot of attention to the location and residents/users of that area. Before we start a commission, we have discussions with those involved (designers, residents, schools, participants, policy staff etc.), we visit the location and study the plans. We carry out this study into possible points of reference together with one of our advisers.


We then form an art committee. The art committee comprises representatives of the target group (neighbourhood residents, teachers at schools etc.), designers (architect, landscape architect, urban planner), an adviser from the CBK and a project leader from the CBK, who is the commissioning body on behalf of the municipality of Groningen. The art committee discusses the assignment and finalises it.


With the adviser, the CBK subsequently selects artists suitable for the assignment. From this selection, the art committee chooses one or more artists. In an extensive information meeting with the art committee, the residents inform the artists about the commission. After this meeting, there are discussions with the artist(s) or presentations. On this basis, the art committee chooses an artist to make the preliminary design.


The preliminary design is presented to the art committee who provide feedback. That should result in a final design that the artist will actually execute. Finally, it is time for the unveiling of the art work with all those involved.


All pieces of art in public space can be found on our website (in Dutch). The collection reflects the character of the city: it has a versatile nature, varies from age-old to contemporary, has local and international allure and was formed through a variety of ways.