On Thursday, February 8, about 30 enthusiastic young people from Oosterheem talked to each other about different topics within their living environment. Not only about the now but also how they see their living environment in the future. In an informal setting with pizza, young people shared their ideas, dreams and concerns about what the city should look like in the future. No ties or conference tables, but candid conversations that brought out the creativity and fresh perspectives of youth.

Alderman Jan Iedema: "We want to create a city that is attractive and livable not only now, but especially in the future. Who better to help us do that than those who actually experience the future? The input of our young people is invaluable. Together with them we look at how best to design the city with a modern outlook."

The conversation revealed that "feeling safe and welcome" is very important to young people. This means that there should be places in the city where they can chill with their friends without causing a nuisance and being turned away. "Zoetermeer is growing. The mindset of the residents must also grow. We have to realize that we are no longer a village, but a city, with the problems that come with it. We don't want to cause a nuisance, but we want to be able to chill with our friends in the open air, that should be possible, right?" said one of the youths.

This meeting is the start of several activities to involve all residents in shaping the future living environment. For example, Pop-Up Expo 'ONS Zoetermeer' will soon open in the former Happy Italy building. The place to experience and discuss this development. More information about the 'ONS Zoetermeer' Expo can be found at www.zoetermeer.nl/RSZ.