Transforming Places Together: our goal is to create awareness and provide inspiration about the transformative change needed in the context of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change and our currently unsustainable way of living.

This is a challenge which invites us to take the lead, organize ourselves, and work together to support change.
This blog has been initiated by Prof. Lummina Horlings and Dr. Gwenda van der Vaart, both working at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The initiators are also editorial board members of the blog. More editors are welcomed and can be added on request.

Prof. Lummina Horlings is a Professor in socio-spatial planning at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She is interested in how people collectively shape sustainable places together, how and why. Ina Horlings has expertise in socio-spatial planning, leadership, sustainability, place-based development, leadership, food, and values, and has published on these issues.

She has participated in various European projects, see for example www.sustainableplaceshaping.net and www.recoms.eu.

Dr. Gwenda van der Vaart is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Spatial Planning and Environment at the University of Groningen. Her research interests include community development, arts & culture, sense of place and arts-based research methods.

She is involved in the cultural project ‘Gronings Vuur’, which was commissioned by the Province of Groningen in the Netherlands, to strengthen the cultural infrastructure throughout the province.

In this 1,5 year long project, local people are activated and connected to each other, and in a short period of time, work together towards an end presentation on their own community (see https://groningsvuur.nl/ – in Dutch).

“Our goal is to create awareness and provide inspiration”


We aim to communicate about the transformation of places and communities, and how people and governments can support this. We welcome contributions about projects, research, and other inspirational knowledge from various people and organisations. This blog:

a. Provides information on how people collectively can shape and transform their neighbourhood, city, village, region, in light of the societal and environmental challenges we face.

b. Provides a platform for knowledge exchange in the Netherlands and internationally. It also connects projects and programs such as the European projects on Sustainable Place-shaping (SUSPLACE) and Resourceful Communities (RECOMS).

c. Aims to support societal impact of research(ers) through the translation of scientific knowledge towards non-academics: professional experts, policy makers, consultants, NGOs, citizens groups and interested individuals, while also reflecting on non-academic sources from an academic perspective.


Blogs that fit within the scope of Transforming Places Together can be send to the editors via the contact-mail: info@transformingplaces.net under the following conditions:



The blog is financially supported by:


a program which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 674962. SUSPLACE supported the design of the blog.


RECOMS is a Marie Sklodowska Curie (MSCA) Innovative Training Network funded by the European Commission. It is comprised of a transdisciplinary consortium of scientists, practitioners and change agents from eleven public, private and non-profit organisations located in six European Union countries. RECOMS supported the technical development, hosting, and maintenance of the blog.