Revitalising Parkstad

A linear park with a circular approach

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‘Revitalising Parkstad’’ is an architectural strategy that demonstrates how Parkstad can make use of its environmental deficit of the past to shape its future. After closing the mines Parkstad is now suffering from shrinkage, unemployment and fragmentation. Besides that there is the problem of upcoming mine water that forms a problem regarding the ground water quality. In order to tackle these issues Parkstad is working as a corporation of eight municipalities to improve the liveability by stimulating tourism that will simultaneously boost the economy of Parkstad. Similar to the linear economy of the coal mining industry, the economic and social growth that will come with improving touristic attractions are strongly accompanied by an increasing amount of waste, causing unnecessary losses of materials and energy. In order to maintain the population and the increasing amount of visitors in Parkstad, there has to be a change in the relationship between people, energy and the environment. To ensure a sustainable future, an urgent increase is required in energy generated through local available and renewable sources, like geothermal energy from mine water, and circular waste streams. By generating an overview of the input and output on energy, water and materials of the urban metabolism of Parkstad Limburg, a strategy was proposed to improve the resource efficiency to become a circular economy. The most important component of this strategy is the central park situated at the former Oranje Nassau IV mine, where mine water is purified. Here tourists are able to experience how the flows of ENERGY, WATER and MATERIALS come together. The mine water treatment park has three functional levels: the technical buildings, connecting heat and water infrastructures and as a storage and distribution facility, to serve the local heat network, as a public meeting point with recreational and educational facilities to host public activities, and as a symbol for Parkstad as a region of energy and circular economy. They learn about circularity that is partly constructed in cooperation and participation with inhabitants.