Witteveen, Netherlands

Witteveen, the Netherlands, is one of 35 villages in the municipality of Midden-Drenthe in one of the most sparsely populated parts of the Netherlands.

The imminent closure of the elementary school in 2011 caused an awakening, to truthfully grasp the problem of demographic change and to find its own solutions for the future: fusion of primary school and youth sports with the neighboring village while simultaneously creating a closer network of bike paths, installation of the working group Nieuw Grijs (new gray), the Naoberkracht project, which captures the desires and capabilities of the villagers in a digital file, connects private requests for help and matching offers with each other and initiates new projects, as well as voluntary engagement for a high-speed fiber-optic network.

The empty elementary school has become a fully functioning multi-generation center. Cohesion and commitment are lived today in Witteveen to an extraordinary extent and with a modern spirit.

Evaluated: 2018