SMART Leeuwarden

smart leeuwarden - window to europe


urban innovation by artistic interventions


The municipality of Leeuwarden has asked Eileen Blackmore to think about the refurbishment of the Blokhuispoort and its surroundings. The central question is: how can digitisation play a role in city dressing (decoration and expressions of a city) in Leeuwarden? Smart stands for being smart together, by working together with the mienskip (Frisian for community). The goal of Smart Leeuwarden is to develop urban innovation through artistic intervention.

Wide audience
The project connects the Oude and Nieuwe Oosterstraat, the Blokhuispoort and the city centre. We use the street as a low-threshold platform; it should be accessible to everyone. This way, new applications can be shown to a wide audience.


Some activities of Smart Leeuwarden in 2018:
• A water artwork controlled by sensors and kinetic energy.
• During 2018, various objects will be set up in the Oosterstraten to make contact with the visitor in the street.
• Via ‘Window to Europe’, we make a real-time connection with other cities in Fryslân or Europe. You can experience a test set-up in December 2017 in the Nieuwe Oosterstraat and the Blokhuispoort square.
• A bee ribbon with plants, herbs and shrubs with fruit above the shops provides green in the street. Not only is it a place for bees and other insects, but it also provides coolness during hot summer days.

This project creates a close cooperation between residents, entrepreneurs, the municipality, schools and the creative industry. It is a fine example of artistic intervention and design as a catalyst for innovation in public spaces.


Where: Leeuwarden, Friesland
When: September 2017 – Januari 2019
Financial support: municipality of Leeuwarden
entrepreneurs association Oosterstraten, Technea, Water Alliance, Djipper, van Kruyssen, Statuur, Amadea Technologies, Haring en Hummus, NHL, Stenden and the Kruidhof.


  • "It is a living lab in which technology and humans meet"
    Bernhard Bijma, gemeente Leeuwarden.