Gouda on the map

How do we get Gouda enthusiastic to celebrate its 750th anniversary in 2022 in a big way with impact?

The challenge

Everyone knows Gouda for its cheese and syrup waffles. But Gouda has much more to offer—even more than the locals are aware of. With the city’s 750th anniversary celebrations coming up in 2022, it is time to change that. The municipality of Gouda asked us to reach out to its residents (known as Gouwenaars) and ask them how they would like to celebrate their city’s 750th jubilee. An occasion to celebrate Gouda’s unique identity, and make local people proud.


Our approach

We used our placebranding model to discover Gouda’s DNA, and to establish stakeholder’s mutual ambition for the grand festivities. We spoke with residents, businesses and organisations. What did their dream city jubilee look like? With them, we co-created an inspiring four-year plan that gives every ‘Gouwenaar’ plenty of opportunity to roll up their sleeves, and get involved.


The result

We created an Urban Canvas as a starting point for the plans. On it, we mapped Gouda’s ambition and values, as well as the steps the city wants to take in the years running up to the anniversary celebrations in 2022. The four-year plan is split up into three phases. Phase one is all about collecting Goudse Geheimen, inspiring stories from Gouwenaars about their city. These stories are compiled and shared on an online platform. The second phase is the Grote Goudse Estafette, which challenges all residents of Gouda to organise an event that shows off their community’s distinctive spirit. The third phase is the icing on the cake: the Grote Goudse Finale, a big festival held over several days, packed with events that appeal to both Gouwenaars and visitors to the city. With the intended end result: 75,000 advocates!