GEMENE GROND/COMMON GROUND is an extensive programme of art in public space that will evolve over a period of ten years in the west of Utrecht. New neighbourhoods, parks, city squares and connections for movement are arising in the Beurskwartier, on Lombokplein and in the Merwede Canal Zone. Utrecht is preparing for the future, something that is evident in the changes taking place in this this centrally located region of the city.

Like other cities today, Utrecht is undergoing enormous change. The Gemene Grond art programme investigates how art in public space can contribute to new forms of shared space and urban living in the city of Utrecht. Starting out from today’s important themes of sociaal, ecological, spatial and technological concern, Gemene Grond is first and foremost about the places where we meet and discover one another.

In both form and content, the objective of Gemene Grond is to make what is important to our society visible and tangible, or in other words, that the art and the city in which it is exists belong to all of us. This begins by asking such questions as, What do we understand shared space to be?, For whom is there space, and for whom is there not, or not enough space? Where and how do we come together, meet one another? These are topical, even urgent questions all around the world. The answers depend on local circumstances, but they all contribute to the international discussion about how we want to live together.

Gemene Grond (common ground) is a new, long term arts programme in the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Gemene Grond departs from the idea of shared ownership and joint responsibility for our ‘public’ space and wants to rethink and innovate artistic work in the urban environment. Equity is at the heart of everything we do and our organisational structure as well as the actual content of the programme are shaped through commoning.

We are working on a growing overview of everyone who participates in Gemene Grond. We regard individuals, collectives, municipality, institutions, entrepreneurs, funds, sponsors, curators, artists, etc. as equal.

Gemene Grond is instigated by an advisory board of independent curators for art in public space (ABKV) for the municipality of Utrecht.