A disruptive project

Manifesto for Just Streets

To spark a justice conversation, we designed a manifesto with five core principles that would guide Just Streets.

a group of people walking on a crosswalk

To trigger new narratives, the Lab of Thought develops innovations and radical interventions in the field. To spark a justice conversation, we designed a manifest with five core principles that would guide Just Streets.  

By publishing this manifest and asking a wide array of parties to sign it (see and sign it here), the aim was to kickstart a conversation about how (un)just our current streets and our mobility are. The manifest was signed by many individual citizens and by a varied group of municipalities, consultants, companies and NGO’s. This already illustrated how current, efficiency-oriented streets are excluding several alternative societal goals and activities from our public spaces.


A first meeting with this newly created community resulted in first ideas to solidify this new narrative into norms and guidelines and templates for how to make you own street more just. With the new Public Space design guideline of the City of Groningen as inspiring illustration. Currently, we are setting up a support structure to let members of the community inspire and help each other with how to go about this. Also, we translated it into a Children’s Manifest that will now be distributed to elementary schools across the Netherlands. Let us know if you want to translate it or apply it elsewhere.


The five principles for just streets:

1. Public space. Cities and villages are places where we, people, live together. The street is the space between our houses. This is public space.


2.Variation. People from young to old can do all kinds of different things on the street. Children can grow up there, plants can grow there, animals can have a place there. You can play, meet, shop. You can look around, be part of the environment and the community and you can travel through it. The activities a street is set up for depends on the location.


3. Carefree. In our streets, all people can live a healthy life, both mentally and physically. You don't have to worry about how to avoid getting hit. Not even with the question of whether you can accidentally kill or injure someone else. We focus our attention on how we remove the danger.


4.Participation. Because various activities take place on the street, the layout is thought out and implemented by a diverse group of people from different disciplines. They give each other new perspectives on the question of what a street serves. Residents participate as citizens, not as passive users of a space designed by experts.


5. Social control. We have control over the driving speed on the street. Streets can then be designed based on principles other than the speed limit of our vehicles.


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Ready to reTHINK

There is an urgent need to rethink the way we look at our streets and cities. They are currently designed for one purpose (cars and efficiency) and no longer a just place that enables social interaction, play and inclusion. Because it's hard for policymakers, designers and people to see alternative futures. The Lab of Thought is the platform that explores and direct experiments to open our collective imagination to work towards more desirable streets and cities.