Inaugural address Zef Hemel: Beautiful Countryside, an Odyssey.'

News - 14 July 2023 - Communication BK

In his Delft research on the revitalization of city and country, particularly Groningen and Friesland, Zef Hemel wants to take the northern landscape with its rich history of habitation as a starting point. In the coming climate change, we must prepare for sea level rise, salinization, flooding, heat and intense drought. 

The entire society must be thoroughly adapted and in the process our lives will change dramatically. Preparing for a temperature rise above 1.5 °C requires a long-term view far beyond economic growth. “It is an unknown future that we can get to grips with through deliberate delay, with footpaths as the dominant infrastructure.” In his inaugural address ‘Beautiful Countryside, an Odyssey.' on 15 September Zef Hemel will be referring to artists who have already explored such a future. 


As holder of the Bonnema Chair at TU Delft and the University of Groningen, planologist Zef Hemel studies the potential of regional cities and surrounding landscapes. For his research, Hemel goes hiking through these northern provinces. He walks with a wide range of people in order to hear and exchange stories about the role of the countryside. In this way, he explores how history can help with the challenges we face.

More information

  • On 15 September, Professor Spatial redevelopment and revitalization of rural and urban regions, especially in the provinces of Groningen and Friesland, Zef Hemel will give his inaugural address titled "Beautiful Countryside, an Odyssey.
  • Read the introductory interview with Zef Hemel on his appointment.
  • View Zef Hemel's professor's page.