Pakhuis de Zwijger focuses on the future of the region, our country and the world from an urban perspective through its programs and projects. Our approach to the large and complex social issues and challenges is value-driven and the programs and projects aim to contribute to better cities for everyone.

Future focused
We are an independent and progressive platform for everyone who has ideas and plans for the cities of tomorrow. Or better yet: for the whole world. We have a curious attitude and look critically at the past and present. In our programming we investigate new solutions for urgent social issues and tasks – such as affordable housing, equal opportunity or sustainable economies – whereby we constantly ask ourselves: in what kind of a world do we want to live in the future?

We look at global developments from the perspective of the city. After all, cities are the places where the major challenges of our time – such as racism, climate change and gentrification – manifest themselves in a pronounced way. Cities are also places of progress and innovation. Many different people live there, all with their own dreams, ambitions and wishes. When we bring these people together, creativity is spawned and unexpected solutions arise for the major challenges we face.

Politics, economy, ecology and social issues: they are all interconnected. In the city, the country and all over the world. That is why we believe in an integrated approach. Only when we see the whole picture can we develop sustainable solutions. That is why we connect people from different disciplines and bring together individuals with a variety of opinions. In this way we arrive at conversations that generate innovative ideas that make the world and the city a better place.

We build cities for all. Cities are becoming increasingly diverse. There is no majority of one population group: differences in age, cultural background, gender (identity), religion, sexual orientation, and physical, mental and economic capacities are an intrical part of the city. Cities where everyone feels at home. Where the human dimension is at the centre, where exclusion has no place, representation and power distribution are in balance and all people are given equal opportunities.


We focus on an economy in which the well-being, health and resilience of people and the planet are at the centre, here and all around the world. In doing so, we respect the limits of our earth and commit to circularity, climate, environment and biodiversity. We are on our way to a sustainable city and society.

It all starts in the street, the neighbourhood and the district. This is where the people are with whom we want to build a better city and metropolitan area, a more beautiful world: a bottom-up approach. Here, residents, entrepreneurs and social organisations have a seat at the table, alongside governments, the business community and knowledge institutions. Only through cooperation between all stakeholders within the city and region can we arrive at sustainable solutions for everyone.

We see all urban issues as design-related. By bringing together designers, artists and other creatives, we make room for imagination and different ways of looking at things. For example, we work on design principles with which we can shape a world that contributes to the happiness and well-being of all its residents.

We bring people together, find common denominators and are not afraid to start awkward conversations. In order to take the next step together, we use the value-oriented dialogue as a form of discussion. The dialogue focuses on listening, understanding and constructive cooperation with one another.

We offer space to all people who are committed to a city for all. We explicitly make room for marginalised groups, so that everyone (regardless of age, cultural background, capacities, faith and gender) is heard. We ensure that innovations and ideas that contribute to just and sustainable cities are given a stage. Access to our conversations is and will remain free.

We use storytelling to put current topics on the agenda and present innovative ideas. Stories inspire, give meaning and appeal to the imagination. We ensure that new talents and established names can meet one another. This creates new stories and exchanges between different points of view and mutual understanding.

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