No green wall, but a Green Mind Award nonetheless

Yet another Green Mind Award-winning project has been shot down. There will be no green University Library (UB) wall, but the sustainability competition will continue all the same.

That is according to Dick Jager, a member of the jury for the Green Mind Award. ‘The urban planning design committee did not like the green wall, so the project will not be moving ahead.’ The municipality was initially very positive about the plants on the façade of the University Library (UB), says Jager, but a permit for the plan was not approved.

The municipality of Groningen adopted the same standpoint as was stated by the urban planning committee. The committee is afraid that the wall would be destroyed, Jager says. The committee also felt that it would not have looked good if any of the plants on the wall were to die. ‘They had more reasons, alas. It’s such a shame, because it was a great idea’, Jager says with a sigh. He finds the sudden change of mind by the municipality strange.


The organisation of the sustainability prize is not discouraged, though: the 2016 edition is moving forward. ‘The evaluations were very good, so we decided to go ahead with the Green Mind Award’, says Jager proudly.

The green wall is certainly not the first idea to be shot down. There were many other winning ideas that went up in smoke. The solar umbrellas blew away and the roof of the sport complex at Zernike was not strong enough to support the weight of showers which used water heated by the sun.

But Jager is still fighting for the sustainability prize. ‘We are always looking for good ideas and we have to use the knowledge we have available to us to make the RUG greener.’


The structure has been somewhat updated: this year, the organisation is in the hands of the Green Office, a student group within the university which strives to make the RUG more sustainable. If everything goes according to plan, the registration for green ideas will open in March, says Jager.

A second jury round has also been added to the judging. Where the jury would previously choose the winners after some deliberation, they will now select the potential prize winning projects in the first round. Those projects will be given three weeks to perfect their idea with the help of jury members. The final winners will be chosen after that.

The organisation hopes to choose a new Green Mind Award winner before the summer vacation.