Zieuwent, Netherlands

2,110 inhabitants who mainly live in the village center. The numerous agricultural enterprises, however, are situated on the outskirts or outside of the center. There is a remarkably high number of handicraft and industrial businesses in the village, which provide a good and diverse local supply. These businesses do not only increase the quality of life of the population, but also support one another through the common development and marketing of regional products and services.

There are numerous associations in Zieuwent, that are attractive for all age groups and interests. They reflect the community spirit and the people’s readiness to take responsibility for the wellness of the village. All these activities are coordinated by Zieuwent’s Belang. This association is the link between associations and institutions, between citizens and the public management. It boosts the development of the village and works actively to maintain the village’s quality of life. This includes, among other things, the common financing and implementation of nonprofit projects within the village.

About ten years ago, the village plan Zieuwent 2005–2015 was created and served as starting point for the development of the village. Inhabitants were just as involved in this creation as the decision makers in the fields of economyand agriculture. A main focus was put on the development of the village center. Aside from concrete creational questions, such as the redesign of the village square or the installment of green areas, the revitalization of the center was a main aspect. Appropriate construction of living spaces was a concern as well as the economic and industrial needs. The revitalization of the center was realized through the active involvement of the population as well as committed support from local enterprises. Especially exemplary is the clear focus on inner development, as shown by the construction of centrally located apartments for sale and rent, mainly for elderly people as well as young adults.

Further successfully realized projects of the village development in Zieuwent are the construction of village community house as well as the building of a multifunctional center for kids and adolescents. Childcare as well as a broad variety of leisure activities are offered there. Another initiative is the sanitation and maintenance of the former church path network as a foot and bicycle path network, which connects all parts of the area as well as the surrounding culture landscape and the center.

Zieuwent’s major strength certainly is the outstanding social commitment of the population, coordinated and optimized by the organization Zieuwent’s Belang. The constant exchange of information between all decision makers and the dialogue that takes place between all the levels of village development allow the highest acceptance for planned and implemented projects.

Evaluiert: 2014