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AT L A S C ENTR A L L IM B UR G PR O J EC T. Houthalen-Helchteren & the Coal Track


urban design workshop ENVISIONING COALITIONS ALONG THE COAL TRACK HOUTHALEN-HELCHTEREN OSA/KUL, Houthalen-Helchteren, T.OP Limburg, Z33 31/01/2016 - 6/02/2016

List of participants Marin Julie (OSA/KUL), Motti Matteo (DAStU/ Politecnico di Milano), De Meulder Bruno (OSA/ KUL), Buntinx Bertien (Houthalen-Helchteren). With Bortolotti Andrea, Claassen Bart, Clasadonte Manuel, Collart Wout, Daher Racha, Fu Wembo, Lens Dominiek, Lokman Kees, Mento Alice, Stas Michael, Timmers Charlotte, Van Brabant Benjamin, van der Leer Janneke, Van Gils Hanne, Zoroudi Maria. Guests and presentations: Vande Moere Andrew (KUL), Chua Alvin (KUL), Paesen Bart (RLLK), VanDaele Erik (KUL), Van Autgaerden Liesl (RV), Grommen Ciel (Z33), Muzi Martina (Space Caviar), Tielemans Yves & Van Doninck Ludo (Remo Machiels), Eerdekens Dirk (Limburgs Landschap vzw)

During a 7 days intensive design workshop, an international group of 15 young urban designers, architects and landscape architects, developed elements of a sustainable urban and landscape framework for Houthalen-Helchteren. The design workshop is part of an ongoing design investigation of Central Limburg by OSA/KULeuven that included urban design studios in the advanced masters of urbanism such as the Landscape Urbanism studio Campine 2015 and the Urbanism studio Upcycling Limburg. Samples of Transition along the coal track 2015 that followed urban design workshops from 2012 (Stiemerbeek), 2013 (Pond Urbanisms) and 2014 (Coal Track) and that were initiated by the doctoral research of Christian Nolf (2013, supervisors B. De Meulder & K. Shannon). As such, the workshop material presented in this document continues the series of investigations on the potential of Limburg’s landscape to anchor future spatial development. All these workshops have been realized in close collaboration with stakeholders and aim to open perspectives by reframing questions and elaborating strategies that incorporate local knowledge that is triggered by design capacity and an outsider’s view. This design workshop is specifically framed within the transition to the ‘next’ circular economy, a transition that gained momentum since the closure of Ford Genk in 2015. The coal track that used to connect former mining sites is identified as a potential linear infrastructure to support this transition. The coal track can indeed be much more than a recreational bike path. Two themes are explored: the coal track as slow track (identity) and as smart track (resource flows). T.OP Limburg envisions the coal track as a regional ‘connector’ and ‘collector’ of soft mobility, recreation, circular economies, but also as a ‘smart’ distributor of reclaimed resource flows such as heat, water and energy. Houthalen-Helchteren emerges then as an interesting case along the coal track. Here, the materials transition is led by ‘Greenville’, an incubator for clean tech startups that houses in former mining buildings. Remo, one of Flanders’ three huge remaining active landfills, is pioneer in a project of ‘enhanced landfill mining’, in which waste is ‘remined’ to be converted to raw materials such as building materials (plasmarock), water and hydrogen.

The workshop did build onto the until now mainly ‘technical’ approach to the materials transition in HH and aimed to develop strategies for a more integrated approach for an up-grading and up-cycling of the territory. Potential synergies and coalitions between local and other stakeholders are in that perspective of main importance. In short, the workshop developed strategies and development visions that integrate multiple challenges such as mobility, employment, water management while enhancing spatial quality and stimulating co-productions. Hence, attractive and synoptic visualizations became a main instrument of the workshop. The formula of an intensive seven day on-site workshop allows for a continuous and active interaction with stakeholders (mayor and aldermen, regional landscape agency, Remo Machiels Landfill, …), permitting a continuous feedback loop leading to identification of bottlenecks and formulation of ambitions, visions and ideas in a process of co-creation. This process resulted into two visions for HouthalenHelchteren. They unite HH’s ambitions as a clean tech pioneer with the development of an integrated landscape and urban development framework. The first vision, HH as a pioneer in sustainable mobility, proposes a phased mobility switch. The highly congested center of HH gets a breathing space. At the same time qualitative public spaces and soft mobility networks are generated. The second vision envisions HH as a leader in a regional landscape economy, benefiting from the landscape’s ‘wasted’ resources such as branches and cuttings from landscape maintenance. This vision connects to the planned development of a biomass hub for the collection and sorting of biomass and anchors this development on a local network of productive landscapes. The inclusion of HH’s landscapes in a local biomass economy creates a strong identity for HH as a culturally and territorially embedded clean tech municipality. At the same time the two visions include opportunities for job creation and create synergies between the clean tech center and other parts of the municipality, such as the neigborhood Meulenberg. In short, this design investigation contributes to the development of a region specific circular economy that is diversified and simultaneously generates alternative urban forms that enrich the landscape.


HOW TO READ THIS PUBLICATION? Part One of this Atlas surveys the resourcefulness of Central Limburg’s landscape. The landscape functions indeed as a receptacle of resources such as energy, water and other materials. Some resources are untapped, others are wasted, they are either renewable or nonrenewable. This Atlas of Central Limburg specifically maps water, waste, energy and also people and does this across scales and throughout time. Besides the complex current state of water, waste energy or people in Central Limburg, these mappings simultaneously reveal potentials in the territory. The maps indeed aim to identify relevant natural and man-made layers that compose today’s complex state of these systems as well as their physical footprints and traces from the past. The maps simultaneously form a basis to approach the transition of Central Limburg to a circular economy from the perspective of space and context. Part Two zooms in on Houthalen-Helchteren (HH) in Central Limburg. Transition scenarios for HouthalenHelchteren are envisioned: HH as a pioneer in sustainable mobility and HH kicking of a local resource economy. The scenarios incorporate ongoing efforts and innovations, while adding the opportunity for HH to attach its next identity, its local and regional (resource) landscapes, to this big transition effort.

Houthalen-Helchteren surface 48,49 km² 30.560 inhabitants

Limburg Province surface 242.231 ha 838.505 people 44 municipalities

Flanders surface 13.682,38 km² 6.471.996 people 308 municipalities


INDEX 1. Mapping 2. Visions


MAPPING


WATER Reconfiguring Central Limburg’s water metabolism? As everywhere in urbanized Flanders, each stage of the water cycle in Limburg has been locked into a system with a fixed capacity by piping, rerouting, burying and tapping off natural water streams (Nolf, 2013). Invasive paving combined with piped drainage systems create, in case of heavy rainfall, flood problems downstream from the Campine Plateau. During dry periods downstream pond systems face water shortages. Mining activity in Central Limburg added another layer of complexity to Central Limburg’s water story: the mining subsidence areas. These areas have sunk up to twelve meters as a result of collapsing underground coal extraction tunnels. Here, continuous pumping is required to avoid flooding by ground water. Could the reconfiguration of Central Limburg’s water metabolism become a component of the circular economy, while contributing to local ecologies?

WASTE Waste as a resource? Limburg accomodates many waste industries. In line with the numerous companies for recycling, repairing and converting in Limburg, current focus of the transition to circular economies in Limburg is on ‘waste as a resource’. But Limburg also contains many ‘recycled landscapes’. Former resource extraction (sand, gravel, …) pits are converted. The enormous Remo Landfill in HouthalenHelcheren originally was a sand extraction site. An extraction pit, dug to construct the E314 highway, is now a recreational lake (Kelchterhoef). The partially abandoned coal track is on the radar as an interesting linear connection between former mining municipalities that can be reused. What is the potential of a landscape recycling strategy in Central Limburg’s transition to the circular economy? The waste mappings locate existing catalysts for the materials and energy transition in Central Limburg and add infrastructural elements from the past with evident recycling potential. During the last century, large infrastructures such as roads, rails and canals, were constructed to support multiple forms of development in Central Limburg. First coal mining and subsequently industry however declined while these monumental infrastructures remain underused or oversized. Some, as the coal track, are even abandoned. Could these infrastructures play a role in the next – circular – economy? Past (coal) and present (sand) extractions generated quite some micro topographies in the landscape, amongst others mining tailings and extraction pits. Municipalities used to fill these pits afterwards with waste. Today, Central Limburg hides a series of landfills under green fields or forests. Could this constellation of micro topographies be recycled in the next economy?


ENERGY Belgium imports huge quantities of raw materials for energy production. It’s economy heavily depends on world markets. Cable networks transport and distribute electricity throughout the country. Technical shortcomings in Flanders’ aged and centralized energy infrastructure as well as undecided political debates on the where and how of energy production, culminated in energy outage plans since winter 2014. Decentralized energy systems seem to be an evident alternative, especially in dispersed territories like Flanders. What’s Central Limburg’s potential to pioneer as an autonomous renewable energy landscape? The energy mappings assemble potential heat and renewable energy sources in Central Limburg. Besides the obvious option of wind and solar energy in open areas, local biomass harvesting and geothermal energy are promising energy sources. Several studies pointed out Limburg as a strategic region for this alternative energy sources.

PEOPLE What place for people in the circular economy? In the people mapping Houthalen-Helchteren emerges as an interesting case study. An analysis of social media data (Instagram postings and tweets), reveals the area of the coal track in Houthalen as a blind spot on the map. This indicates there is little or no interest currently to stop along the coaltrack in Houthalen. How can Houthalen become a destination along the coal track, being part of a regional recreational network in Central Limburg? Meulenberg, the former mining estates faces many socio-economic challenges. Hence it becomes strategic to include it in the transition to the circular economy, by creating activities related to clean tech.


30% 2018 REMO H2 production

70%

10,6% 88,5% 2018 increase of 1 truck / h if the H2 is transported by road

35,2% 86% 21,6% Today 45.000 daily vehicles

80%

45% local vehicles

20,7% 15,3%

90,4% 27,6%

53,5%

73%


WATER RECONFIGURING CENTRAL LIMBURG’S WATER METABOLISM

Closed system in crisis Flood sensitive areas 2014 Recently flooded areas Current risk Asphalt Overflow sewage system

Water manipulations Sewerage Overflow sewage system WWTP (Threatment plant) Canal

4985958

354360 180925 146574 345632

571334 171315

117535 304999 43432

215505 1617715

335113

356448

715340

820078

133146 715340 270469

584006

1060060

Mining disturbances Subsidences Tunnels Water Pump amounts of water being pumped in m³/y Mining consessions

Natural Water bodies River Water Surface Wetlands


Could the restoration of Central Limburg’s water metabolism become a component of the circular economy, while contributing to local ecologies?

Because of mining and other industrial activities and by piping, burying and containing water , Central Limburg’s water metabolism has been locked into a system with a fixed capacity. The idea that water is fully controllable becomes less relevant as the capacity of the present system is challenged every day. The combination of invasive paving and piped drainage creates problems of flooding in case of heavy rainfall downstream from the Campine Plateau in Central-Limburg.

Management issues

Flows of water

Issues with Flanders’ current water management system being: invasive paving, piped drainage, constricted rivers, changing rainfall patterns, water supply. [source: PhD thesis ‘Sections of Flan-

Flow diagram of the manipulation of water flows in the Campine Region.

Impermeable land

The former mining company is still today pumping out water from mining subsidence areas to prevent them from flooding.

amount of water 10 499 102 m³/year

While in de 70’s these was only 4% impermeable soil, today we see this is 10%. As a result the water tabe drops.

[source diagrams: KUL urbanism studio 2015]

MINE pumped up

CANAL thrown away [source diagrams: KUL urbanism studio 2015]

Aquafin The average person uses 120l of water on daily basis. The household water runs through the communal sewage system to sewage treatment plant of aquafin.

[source: http://toerisme.houthalenhelchteren.be, waterzuiveringsstation aquafin]

The Abert Canal was created for the transportation of coal. It is also used for irrigation and drinking water production. Together with the Zuid Willemsvaart the canal is fed by the Meuse River. During dry summers, water

Central Limburg’s natural water structure reveals a historical organisational system in the Campine region territory. Water bodies run from the Campine plateau towards the Demer river. Since the 12th centuraly people have been domesticating this sandy land, by drawing in water. The Wijers are a good example. These artificial fishing ponds are still clearly legible in the landscape.

Pumping stations

ders’, 2013 C.Nolf ]

The combined system of rainwater and sewage water leads to under-capacity of the overall sewage system. The overall peoplecontrolled water system is very expensive and fragile.

Mining activity in Central-Limburg added another layer of complexity to CentralLimburg’s water story: the mining subsidence areas. These areas have sunk up to twelve meters as a result of collapsing underground coal extraction tunnels and need to be constantly pumped in order not to be flooded by ground water. As a result an abundance of water is being wasted. The most striking example can be found in Maasmechelen .

[source diagrams: KUL urbanism studio 2015]

Strategies for restoring the water metabolism Use underused groundwater as drinking water and recharge the water-table by decreasing impermeable soil. Store flood and rainwater during the wet periods for dry periods. [source diagrams: KUL urbanism studio 2015]

Kruinenpad This is a recreational path of 181m and 12m above groundlevel is located in the mining subsidence area of Maasmechelen. Along the path there can be found information to educate people about the risks and opportunities of the subsidence areas. [source: Frank Jaspers Architectuurdepot Maasmechelen]

17 BILLION L/ Year = 6800 x Olympic swimming-pools

Greven Meeswijk source area

Drinkable water

Eisden VS canal

Drinking water in the Campine region is produced in 2 ways. Central Limburg’s drinking water is extracted ground water from Eisden’s mining subsidence area. In Antwerp, water is tapped from the Albert Canal.

During the years Eisden sunk up to 12m below ground level. Today the Zuid Willemsvaart Canal is higher than the village. [source picture: KUL urbanism studio 2015]

[source diagrams: KUL urbanism studio 2015]

The Watergroup

Process scheme water production ‘Het Greven’

The Watergroup, Limburg’s water production company, uses the subsidence area in Maasmechelen for drinking water production. Due to the purifying sand-gravel layers the water has a good quality at the point of extraction.

This article shows the full process of drinking water production: from extraction at the source to production of drinkable water. The installation situated in the nature reserve ‘het Greven’ can be visited and is managed by the Watergroup.

[source: https://www.dewatergroep. be]

[source: unknown]

Section Het Greven Maasmechelen

The Wijers The system of cascading ponds along the rivers was a productive landscape of aquaculture. Every six to eight years every pond was emptied in order to collect fish and then cultivated a year or two to regenerate the soil. [source: PhD

This section shows the level of the canal in comparison to the urban area of Eisden that has sunken 12 m below ground level due to the mining activities. [source: KUL Landscape Urbanism studio2015]

thesis ‘Sections of Flanders’, 2013 C.Nolf and B. Paesen RLLK]

Droughts

Landscape structure

Today, many of these ponds remain part of (protected) landscapes, but in dry periods there is not enough water to fill them.A new vision can help restoring and reinforcing this territorial organizational system based on landscape logics.

This scheme shows clearly the natural water system. The rivers cut trough the edge of the Campine Plateau to connect to the Demer river downstream.

[source: PhD thesis ‘Sections of Flanders’, 2013 C.Nolf and B. Paesen RLLK]

[source: KUL Landscape Urbanism studio2015]


WAST E AS RESOURCE

Current waste practices Recycling Repairing Converting

regional sludge

Aquafin wastewater treatment plant

Remo Ekol Clean tech

bioterra

bongaerts recycling

strongbouw

Van Gansewinkel

jbc

Tip Top Belting

Groepmee

Alpagro

Essers Group Martens

Flagbag

citydepot

Tip Top Belting

depot Roel Vandebeek

Energyville fab lab

ikea

Melotte

banden De Conde Dentsply

Gijbels

Polyvision Aperam Stelimet

group Casters

A2O Architecten

Warsco

group machiels

Wos Genk provan

Ebema

De winning

Closing circles High source of biomass Low source of biomass

REMO H₂ production

GENK NOORD EUROPARK 19 % CENTRUM ZUID

H₂ pipeline along coal track

29 %

THOR 58 %

HERMES 17 %

30 % CORDA CAMPUS NOORD 3000 17 % 29 %

FORD GENK Aperam as potential 28 %

Residual Infrastructural spaces abandoned infrastructure under-used infrastructure oversized infrastructure

Microtopographies Terrils Platform Landfill Excavation


What is the potential of recycling Central Limburg’s landscapes and integrating its infrastructures as par t of the transition to the circular economy?

Existing potential

The closing of Ford Genk in 2014 radically impacted the region’socio economic dynamics, causing the loss of thousands of jobs. Supported by the government’s SALK program, Central Limburg aims to develop into a pioneering region for a circular economy:‘waste as a resource’. Central Limburg houses numerous companies for recycling, repairing and converting. But how can this transition be rooted in its context, its local landscape and culture?

At the start of the transition to a circular economy, several initiatives are already taking place in this spirit. Remo, one of the three remaining active landfills in Flanders is pioneering in Enhanced Landfill Mining. Several research and development institutes and incubators support innovation and unexpected local ‘wastes’ such as biomass from landscape waste are being identified as important resource streams in Central Limburg’s transition to the circular economy.

During the past centuries, large infrastructures such as roads, rail and canals, were constructed to colonize the land and its resources. As first coal mining activities and later industry declined in the region, these infrastructures are today left underused, oversized or even abandoned. What is their potential to be revitalized and recycled in Central Limburg’s next economy?

Past (coal) and present (sand) extractions have created a landscape of micro topographies. In the past, municipalities would fill these pits with waste. Today, Central Limburg hides a series of landfills under greenfields or forests. How can these micro topographies be recycled in the next economy?

Economic cycles in Limburg

This study maps the potential existing companies that could become part of a regional circular economy chain in which waste flows from one company become a resource for other companies. [Source: study BUUR ‘Fundamenten voor de circulaire economie Poort Genk – eindrapport 18.12.2015’: cover page + page 14]

Next economy

T.OP Limburg

Central Limburg’s four historical economical phases: agriculture (1850), industrial production in Lommel (1904), coal-mining period (1919), car industry Ford Genk (2013). What will be the next economy for Central Limburg after three failing economic eras ? [source:

The Flemish government launched a T.OP (territorial development program) to align the economical and spatial developments in the region.

[source: T.OP Limburg publication, 2015]

Regional waste flows. [source: KUL Landscape Urbanism studio 2015]

study Maat & Zus ‘Centraal Limburg’, 2014]

Cleantech campus Greenville

Enhanced landfill mining Closing the circle is a pioneering project in Enhanced Landfill Mining. In Machiels’ Remo landfill, waste wil be ‘re-mined’ and converted to raw materials, mainly plasma rock (30.000 ton/year in 2018) and hydrogen fuel.

Greenville is an incubator for clean tech start ups in Houthalen’s former mining administration building. It houses several companies that develop clean tech innovations such as smart food recycling bins, sophisticated clean tech refrigerators to grow herbs, etc. [source: www.

[source: presentations Machiels Jan 2015 and Feb 2016]

greenville.be]

Europark

REMO

In Europark, an industrial zone in Houthalen-Helchteren, a biomass hub will be developed. Here, biomass waste from the surrounding landscapes will be collected and sorted.

H₂

Ford Genk Aperam as potential

Incubathor Catalysts for the next economy [source: study BUUR ‘Fundamenten voor de circulaire economie Poort

Reusing infrastructure Archival plan mining site Houthalen 1962, indicating the operational link between the Laambroekvijvers and the mining extraction shafts. Today ideas exist to reactivate the coal track side branch as a bicycle path connecting the coal track to Houthalen-Helchteren. [source map: municipal archive Houthalen]

Coal Track as a smart track?

Plan Buurtspoorwegen A map that shows the previous fine-mazed local network of tracks transporting good but also people. Most of this network disappeared but infrastructural traces remain in the landscape.

The Plan d’Ensemble for the coal region provided a holistic, infrastructural approach for the entire region by bundling railway, canal and road. Today this abandoned track is on the radar to become a ‘smart track’, transporting resources such as geothermal heat

[source: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Buurtspoorwegen_van_de_provincie_ Limburg and picture KUL workshop envisioning coalitions around the coal

Artificial manipulations

The Remo landfill

In 1974, Houthalen, one of the region’s seven mining sites, flattened its shist slag heap in order to create an industrial platform, Centrum-Zuid. Shist that’s being dug out by companies has to stay on the plateau since ther is no official category for this type of soil.

The Remo landfill, one of the three remaining active landfills, is located on the former sand extraction site ‘Fredericksgroeve’ in Helchteren.

[source picture: KUL landscape urbanism studio 2015]

[source diagrams: KUL urbanism studio 2015]

Recreation De Plas, a recreational lake in domain Kelchterhoef in Houthalen, was a sand excavation site created when the highway E 314 was being constructed. It is now converted to a 9m deep swimming and diving lake with a sandy beach and a camping area. [source:

Wikipedia and http://www.sensimmogroup.com/sehir-detay.aspx?id=11]


E N E RGY AS RENEWABLE & AUTONOMOUS RESOURCE coal - China 80.000 tons household waste 35.000 tons bulky waste

Bionerga Houthalen waste to energy 4 MW hot steam to AquaďŹ n 5 MW electricity to national grid

Current situation: Energy dependency

shift built wind turbines

wood waste - Germany

Langerlo Genk-Zuid powerplant

greenhouse gas emissions decline with 1.770 000 ton/year goal Limburg = 30% reduction by 2020

high voltage lines high voltage lines underground natural gas pipe transmission station

Potential heat exchange T (°C) 150 - 170 125 - 150 100 - 125 75 -100 50 - 75 < 50 potential geothermal plant heat network industrial zones

Renewable energy sources potential wind turbines potential heat exchanges potential zones for solar panels

Biomass potential large zones with biomass potential small zones with biomass potential Biomass installations

3km


What’s Central Limburg’s potential to pioneer as an autonomous renewable energy landscape?

Around 52% of Belgium’s energy production is covered by nuclear power. Belgium imports a huge quantity of raw materials for energy production, making its economy dependent from the world market. Mainly nuclear power and coal provide Belgium’s energy supply. Energy pipelines carry electricity through the country, they connect different power centrals (nuclear, thermal, hydraulic, aeolic) to the centralized electricity grid.

Deep geothermia is a technique where warmth is extracted from more than 500 m below earth surface. This renewable energy source can play a major role in the futFlemish region’s energy transition. Because of its strategic location the coal track could become a future heat – highway and function as the main spine for a regional heat network where multiple heat-sources can be plugged in.

Local renewable energy production such as wind and solar energy can be further developed in Central Limburg. On a large scale, as Group Machiels is doing with windfarms, but also on the scale of a single building. Expanding the wide range of more local and smallscale energy initiatives that are mostly based on wind and sun, will contributo to the shift towards a more decentralized electricity network. Several studies have pointed out that Limburg with its abundant forests, agricultural land and national parks is a strategic region for local biomass harvesting of landscape management waste. By maintaining and managing the landscape it’s not only possible to improve the cultural landscape and enhance the biodiversity but also to ‘harvest energy’ and materials from biomass, that is local and sustainable. [source: inspiratieboek klimaatneutraal

Energy consumption

Nuclear dependency

The consumption of energy per sector is: 41% transport, 30% industry, 29% residential.

This pie chart shows the diffrent origins of energy in Belgium.

[source: http://www.iea.org/ sankey/#?c=Belgium&s=Balance]

Blackoutplan Technical shortcomings in Flanders’ aged energy infrastructure and political quarrels on the where and how of energy production, culminated in energy outage plans since winter 2014. There is an urgent need for decentralisation.

[source: http://www.iea.org/ sankey/#?c=Belgium&s=Balance]

Energy production in Belgium

[source: Marin, Motti, Chua ‘Upcycling dispersion’ July 2015 based on www. elia.be]

[source: KUL Landscape Urbanism studio 2015]

Prospective study circular economy

29%

41%

30%

The study looks at concrete business cases and formulates longterm vison and policy recommendations at various levels and in different policy sectors, such as energy. [Source : diagram p. 69-70 from study BUUR ‘Fundamenten voor de circulaire economie Poort Genk – eindrapport 18.12.2015]

Atelier diepe geothermie

Coal track as smart track

VITO (The Flemish Institute for Technological Research) together with architecture and urban design office 51N4E developed design and development scenario’s for the coal track to become a regional carrier of geothermal heat, in 2015.

In 2015, T.OP Limburg defined three ‘layered’ futures for the coal track. The coal track as smart track puts forward the potential of this former railway line to become a carrier of resources (energy, water, heat, ...) through Central-Limburg. [source: T.OP Limburg introductienummer, 2015]

Bionerga-Aquafin, Heat exchange

Atelier Track Design Atelier Track Design: Potential heat exchanges between existing companies in Genk-Zuid Study bureau 3E invertorised potential heat exchanges between existing companies in Genk-Zuid for POM Limburg [source: haalbaarheidsstudie

Bionerga, a waste incinerator that might leave Centrum-Zuid in 2020, sells 4MW of heat (steam) from burning waste directly to Aquafin across the street. Aquafin, the water treatment plant, uses the heat to dry sludge from all WWTP’s in Limburg.

Sludge Waste Limburg

warmtenet Genk-Zuid 2013]

Potential solar power 2020

Potential wind energy 2020

Private Solar central Machiels

This map shows the potential for solar enegry based on landuse and the efficiency of the solar panels.

This map shows the potential zones for wind turbines based on GIS analysis. This analysis takes different aspects in consideration such as: urban areas and habitat guidelines.

In cooperation with LRM ( Limburg investment company) several solar-energy parks in the region were create to support their own needs.

[ source : T.OP centraal Limburg, werkatlas Energysysteem, 2014)

[source: http://www.machiels.com, zonnepanelen]

[ source : T.OP centraal Limburg, werkatlas Energysysteem, 2014)

Wind turbines Win(d)t Limburg is the organization that is responsable for finding new potential locations for wind turbines. The organisation is a cooperation between Aspiravi and LRM ( Limburg investment company)

120,7 MW

[source :http://www.ode.be, bouw van 28 nieuwe windmolens in limburg ]

The biomas potential

Optimalisation

The future potential of woody biomass ( material + energy ) for the province of Limburg.

A model to optimise strategic and tactical decisions in biomass-based supply chains

[source: eindrapport ‘Houtige biomassa voor energie in Limburg’, p 65, 2012]

Dipla Tool Regionaal Landschap Lage Kempen developed an interactive tool, DIPLA, for mapping the available biomass from landscape managment waste for local energy production in the region, in order to be able to set up local and regional logistic chains for biomass. [source: twecom.eu growing local energy]

[source: A generic mathematical model to optimise strategic and tactical decisions in biomass-based supply chains (OPTIMASS) in European Journal of Operational Research, Annelies De Meyer, Dirk Cattrysse, Jos Van Orshoven]

Sustainable use For a sustainable use of biomass, it should first be used as a raw material in production processes and only at the bottom of the ladder of Lansink it should be converted (digestion or incineration) to energy. [source: Atelier Track Design: WIT/ OSA-KUL/LTF]


PEO PL E TRANSITION ADDING LOCAL VALUE Social media Instagram photos tweets contours HouthalenHelchteren The map gives an indication of the concentrations of social media activity. The highest concentrations can be seen along the Grote Baan and the social housing neighbourhood of Meulenberg.

# #

#

#

#

Mobility issues

45.000 daily vehicles 45% local vehicles

Unemployment % Unemployed 20,7% 30%

21,6%

10,6%

35,3%

< 14

15,3%

14<18 18<23

27,6%

23<27 >= 27 % Young unemployed

Eisden Beringen 70%

Berkenbos 88,5%

Meulenberg

Zwartberg & Waterschei 80%

Density

73%

Inhabitants/km 2 150<300

86%

300<450

Winterslag 90,4%

53,5%

450<600 >= 600

% Foreigners


How can Houthalen become a destination along the coal track, being par t of a regional recreational network in Central Limburg ?

An analysis of social media data (Instagram postings and tweets), reveals the area of the coal track in Houthalen as a blind spot on the map. This makes us think that there is little or no incentive to stop along the coal track in Houthalen-Helchteren. Concentrations of activity on social network sites are visible in Meulenberg and along the Grote Baan.

Tweets

195725466538221568,51.0126,5.3717,”E314 (A2) Lummen richting Heerlen (Nl) tussen Houthalen-Helchteren en Maasmechelen #flitsBE” 196270133440811008,51.0322,5.3773,”Zat vandaag tussen de zeugen,beren,koeien,biggen.En stront. :) maar het respect voor de boerenstiel stijgt tegelijk mateloos. #fotoreportage”

What becomes immediately visible when reading the tweets is the diversity in tweetedlanguages Dutch, Italian, Greek and mainly Turkish. The traffic jams on De Grote Baan are often the topic of the tweets.

197247780991934464,51.0336,5.3771,”A plus about belgium you get free air for ur tires at gas station yall dont know shit bout that” 197791484500639744,51.0247,5.3753,”@GiovanniPysson nee niet echt, mss een update? Hou ons op de hoogte. ^HS” 198641191103905792,51.0126,5.3717,”E314 (A2) Lummen richting Heerlen (Nl) tussen Houthalen-Helchteren en Maasmechelen #flitsBE” 199578046586552320,51.02969149,5.37219056,”Mensen veranderen niet op basis van inzichten Maar op basis van de kwaliteit van de ontmoeting @peetersflor #cleantechambassadeur”

[source: workshop KUL, 2016]

200518216727011328,51.03385817,5.42647362,”I’m at Paintball Arena (Houthalen-Helchteren, België) http://t.co/kxyOlKNe” 202023753520128000,51.03364657,5.37606711,”#mezunolsakdakurtulsak ama bi taraftada okulu sevioruz yaa :d @Cansuumat @TSerra_ @Melda_Topaloglu” 202026259197341696,51.03360525,5.37608203,”@Cansuumat @tserra_ @melda_topaloglu okdrda demedik cnm :d vur dedik oldurdur xp” 202156627409899520,51.01842269,5.40011873,”#offline xx doeii” 202319012317769728,51.01857977,5.40016769,”Gunaydinn twitter” 202326413792124928,51.01860131,5.40040204,”@Hasan69Sagir iyim hersey yolunda elhmd :-) sen nslsn sesin solugun cikmiyor ?” 202458110923771904,51.01852168,5.40018411,”Whattsap lilarr nerdesinzz :)))) ?” 202612347603394560,51.0126,5.3717,”E314 (A2) Lummen richting Heerlen (Nl) tussen Houthalen-Helchteren en Maasmechelen #flitsBE” 203233695073701888,51.03220552,5.37719863,”Kapat lan su dertli muzikleri :(“ 203573896081965056,51.03221,5.376805,”A light in the dark. #alightinthedark #instagram #weekendproject @ Houthalen http://t.co/mVxYJptH” 203574239721291776,51.03204412,5.37732214,”@snessoog @serge_vc tx voor de info. Nu kijk ik er nog meer naar uit. Maar wil écht gaan met ne straffe fotograaf die mij veel kan bijleren!” 203956096447156227,51.02312721,5.40437055,”@Cansuumat @typz_rockrrrr iste bnde onu demek istedim :d tam kelime anlamiyla oyleydi :d” 203960657660485632,51.02303225,5.40444975,”@Cansuumat @typz_rockrrrr hahahaha :d cansu hayiinrdir kendini eve kapatmaya mi karar verdin :p” 203974110034927617,51.01856342,5.4003515,”@Saadet_Colak @EsraAkkoc oooff kga slapee saadet :-) yusufu yeterince gordum bugun :p” 203994301204668416,51.01855977,5.40004187,”@gokalp61 geri unfollowliyacaksan bnde yaparim soylim simdiden ! Gecende yaptin oyle” 204271738899533824,51.03184223,5.37692326,”Mekanin spot isiklariyla kendimizi cizbiz edip bronzlasmak niyetindeyiz @dovecchio ile birlikte”

Coal Track

204339173623209985,51.01834113,5.39996241,”@TSinem61 Dm :)” 204492350280577024,51.01854184,5.4002127,”Gunaydiiinn :)” 204499275311353856,51.01844624,5.40016131,”@ht_61 gunaydiinnn :)” 204499978066993152,51.01854703,5.4001365,”@ht_61 iyim birazdan komsuma gececem altingunu var orda :) cesit cesit yemekler var kaciramam :p:)))”

In Houthalen Helchteren the coal track is still used for transporting good and people. Even though there a bicycle path borders the railway track, it forms a ‘blind spot’ on the social media map.

204501003968577537,51.0185736,5.40039903,”@ht_61 hahaha :)))) ayipsin sen benim yerime kofte yedin yapilan iyilikleri unutmamm :p tabiki senin icinde yerim :)” 204502483157000192,51.01855366,5.40054068,”@ht_61 yiyip icecem amaa yan gelip oturmicam is aramam lazim dua et bulayim:( sora grz gidiyorum smdi tmm hadi aeo :)” 204628870962495489,51.0309778,5.376977,”Why are doctors always too late!” 204650467987439616,51.02939882,5.37264368,”Critique lecture of @petertomjones about enhanced landfill mining consortium @cleantechpunt #inspiration #ecology #transition” 204785165975826432,51.0126,5.3717,”E314 (A2) Lummen richting Heerlen (Nl) tussen Houthalen-Helchteren en Maasmechelen #flitsBE” 204927509685485568,51.01830182,5.3999407,”@RamazanErdem61 abi ben bu viberdan bise anlamadim ariyorum 2 kere caliyor sora takiliyor :(“

[source picture: workshop KUL, 2016]

205185106619539456,51.01100445,5.37133637,”@smashingmag thanks for the lovely insight in yesterday’s speaking, job well done! #multimania #2M12Kortijk” 205312000421658624,51.01856736,5.40042744,”Evettt stage dan acaip iyi puanlar aldimm bugun cok iltifat ettiler kesin gectim :p” 205335002651688960,51.0188521,5.4007874,”@ozgurerden61 yok artk okadarda dgl haa :))ama hollywood yildizlarinin cogu icinde lil wayne kesinlikle icinde klibleri yeterince anlatiyo:)” 205344862097260546,51.0188452,5.4007335,”@ozgurerden61 hahaha valla hic ugrasamam simdi :))) halim yok hava pis sicak burda :(“

Today we see that the Grote Baan, that once was the main carrier for the urban development of Houthalen-Helchteren, acts like a barrier between east and west HH. Daily, the Grote Baan collects 45,000 vehicles, both local and regional traffic traveling in the north-south direction. Due to this large flux of traffic there is a lot of vacancy which isn’t stimulating for the urban and social dynamics.

Disconnected

North-south connection

From the seven mining municipalities in Central Limburg, the former mining cite Meulenberg in Houthalen is the only one that was physically disconnected from the mining extraction site. The only connection is the Koolmijnlaan. [source: From flux to

The federal Agency of Traffic and Roads (MOW) has planned a North-South highway to the west of Houthalen-Helchteren, in order to decongest the Grote Baan in HouthalenHelchteren from non-local traffic. But this ambitious project has already been on the table for decades

frame, Maarten Van Acker]

without concrete results. Spartacus

Old trade route

The Spartacusproject was initiated by De Lijn in order to improve the regional accessibility of Central Limburg by implementing an efficient public transport system consisting of 3 light-rail-lines. One on the lines ( Hasselt - Lommel) would cross HH. Currently the project is on hold. [Source : T.OP Limburg,

Since the Middle Ages, the Grote Baan has been an important trade connection between Hasselt and the north. [source: KUL Urbanism Studio 2015]

workshop NuVit, 2015 ]

The unemployment is specifically high in Meulenberg, a social housing area, located where the former mining cité used to be. The historical identity of the neighbourhood is closely linked with the mining activities. When the mines closed the neighbourhood lost its main focus. Today, Meulenberg houses people from many different nationalities and backgrounds. How to inscribe the social potential of Meulenberg in the circular economy? Meulenberg emerges as a strategic area to include in the transition to the circular economy, by creating local employment and activities related to clean tech.

Commuting The coal track was not only used for the transportation of coal but also as a means of transport between the garden cities and the mining sites. This picture from 1929 shows the commuting workers getting off at Winterslag. [source: rijksarchief Hasselt]

Village Meulenberg

Garden city

This research by design, initiated by the Flemish Bouwmeester, aims to enforce the existing ‘village feeling’ of Meulenberg as a way to find solutions to social-spatial problems that have been occurring.

Pictures of the orginal garden city (left) and an engineerhouse in Meulenberg. [source: mijn cite, Stebo, ]

[Source: study ‘Meulenberg dorp een wijk op zoek naar identiteit’, Dierendonckblancke L.u.s.t. , Haerynck Vanmeirhaeghe architecten, 2014]

Mining site HH [source: rijksarchief Hasselt]

Dynamo metal workshop

Facts Meulenberg

Dynamo is a community centre /metal-workshop, located in a social neighbourhood in Zurich, where young people can learn practical skills and get guidance when they want to start their own business.

3000 people are living in Meulenberg. 80%of the inhabitants have Moroccan or Turkish origins. 50% of the housing stock is rented out by the social housing company Kempisch Tehuis.

[source: http://www.rimo.be, Buurt- en opbouwwerk Meulenberg in Houtha-

[source: www.mimoa.eu]

Conflict Meulenberg often appears in the media due to fights or conflicts between inhabitants and police. [source: http://deredactie.be , Zwaargewonde agent Meulenberg ontwaakt uit coma, 2013] [source : http://www.hbvl.be, 2014]

RIMO Community Development This organisation wants to improve the social cohesion within the community of Meulenberg by organising neighbourhood scale activities and providing a platform for legal, social and educational advice.

[source: printscreen from http://www. rimo.be, Buurt- en opbouwwerk Meulenberg in Houthalen-Helchteren]

80%


VISIONS


METH O DOLOGY Does the territorial mapping of waste, water, energy and people uncover new possibilities for the urban metabolism of HouthalenHelchteren?

WATER

WASTE(D)

ENERGY

PEOPLE


How can Central Limburg’s resource landscape drive local development?

Regional landscape economy UNEMPLOYMENT WASTE MANAGEMENT - Composting ABANDONED INFRASTRUCTURES CLEAN TECHNOLOGY GEOTHERMAL HEAT BIOMASS RIVERS MINING SUBSIDENCES SEWERAGE

Sustainable mobility SOCIAL LIFE MOBILITY DENSITY

OVERSIZED INFRASTRUCTURES ABANDONED INFRASTRUCTURES REMO LANDFILL UNDERUSED INFRASTRUCTURES

SEWERAGE


V ISI ON 1 Observation of the existing

Remo Landfill

Pumping area

1

Throughout the former mining landscape, areas have sunk below the ground water level. The former mining company is still today pumping out water from these areas to prevent them from flooding.

One of the three remaining active landfills in Flanders is located in a former sand extraction area in Helchteren. An ambitious project of Enhanced Landfill Mining will soon (2018) convert waste from the landfill into hydrogen, plasmarock and water.

Clean Tech Campus

Oxidized water

3

A vacant plot between the new municipal building and clean tech incubator Greenville will be developed as a Clean Technology Campus, combining (co-)housing with a public park.

Meulenberg

4

As a result from the mining subsidences, water is standing still in the landscape. Because of the lack of movement of the water, the iron in the water is oxidizing and turning orange.

Laambroekvijvers

5

In this social housing area, located where the former mining cité used to be, (youth) unemployment is high. Kempisch Tehuis, the social housing agency, is planning to replace housing towers with semi-detached houses.

Buffer zone

2

6

These ponds used to provide process water to the mining complex of Houthalen. Because of its location in a swell zone, the water composition is one of its biggest ecological assets. The area attracts a number of water birds and insects because it is in a transition between open water and swamp to swampy forest.

7

The municipality is responsible for the maintenance of the ‘built free’ zones under high tension electricity lines. Trees that could grow higher than 3 meters can not be planted within 25 meters of both sides of the axis of the high tension lines; for safety reasons and in order to avoid later maintenance work.

Sludge Waste Limburg

Household Waste Limburg Europark

360,000 m³/year Het Wiek

4 MW

25 MW into Grid

Min ing Sub side nce zon

Aquafin Coal track Laambroekrijvers

Bionerga Centrum Zuid

Grote Baan

Breelaarheide

Meulenberg

Campine Plateau

e


remo Landfill

1

Grote Baan

2

Europark

4 Coal Track

7

Green Ville

3 5

Meulenberg

Centrum-Zuid

6

N 0

1 km

2 km


V ISI ON 1

Resources

WATER ECONOMY

Houthalen-Helchteren, a leader in a regional landscape economy

CLEANTECH ECONOMY

HYDROGEN

2030

k BIOMASS ECONOMY

h

cleantech startups

Genk Zuid

c te

support

i-cleantech Flanders

set up cle an

CLEANTECH CLEANTECH ECONOMY ECONOMY

Greenville

Jobs

Raw Biological Materials Bio-mass Fertilizer

Jobs

l

HH

facilities

Hydrogen Plasma Rock

d hy

Jobs Education Programs Innovation Implementation

hydrogen pipe lin strategy for on gc ro oal tra c k ge ? nd e ve lo p m e nt Machiels Remo Facility

hydrogen

municipality

Provincie Limburg

Expansion Possibilities Facilities

ea

c te

in

RY

T

ec nt

h

h

Attractive Landscapes Jobs

Hydrogen Production Plant

US

ote local pr om cle a p cle o l e v an de

Industrial Water Pellets

ECONOMY

regional hydrog en ne tw hydrogen pro or du cti on

COA L TRACK IND

Community Benefits

innovation implementation

sa te llit e

Kempisch Tehuis

HYDROGEN HYDROGEN ECONOMY ECONOMY

loc atio ns in HH

municipality

heat NMBS

new housing community of Houthalen-Helchteren

OVAM

Toerisme Limburg startup expansion possibilities

jobs for industry reuse and ter lan wa d

Centrum Zuid

strat eg yp

WATER ECONOMY

ter recovery d wa pe um

NMBS

along coal track reuse for

Watergroep

TIMELINE: private gardens

nutrients, oils and fat, proteins

Centrum Zuid a r f in struc tur e

farmers

heat

e ap sc

industrial water

fertilizer

n creatio biomass h ub

Agentschap Natuur en Bos Limburg ject biomass hu pro b Biomass Hub fertilizer

BIOMASS ECONOMY

€ location

VLM RLLK

municipality water

Europark €

pum

as are

municipality

ater from sub pw s

LRM

BY

biomass

biomass

Bionerga

Aquafin

cono my se as

attractive landscape De Wijers and along coaltrack

expansion bio m

Centrum Zuid

n ide ce

European Union

Four Landscapes mixed woodland

managed hedgerows

forested wetland

heath & heather

2016

2017

2020

2030


N 0

The first vision envisions HH as a leader in a regional landscape economy, benefiting from the landscape’s ‘wasted’ resources such as branches and cuttings from landscape maintenance. This vision connects to the already planned development of a biomass hub for collection and sorting of biomass and anchors this development in a local network of productive landscapes. The inclusion of HH’s landscapes in a local biomass economy creates a strong identity for HH as a culturally and territorially embedded clean tech municipality. One of the most qualitative and qualifying elements of the region, its stratified landscape functions again as a reference for the development of Houthalen-Helchteren. Job creation and synergies between clean tech and other parts of the municipality, such as the social housing area of Meulenberg are important elements of the agenda. Houthalen-Helchteren’s next diversified economy is based on clean tech, hydrogen, water and biomass.

1 km

2 km


V ISI ON 1 Houthalen-Helchteren, a leader in a regional landscape economy 2016 Clean tech economy COA L TRACK IND

US

RY

T

lop clea deve n c te h

in

strategy for

d hy

HH

ro

municipality

Provincie Limburg

facilities

nd

e ve

lo p m

HYDROGEN HYDROGEN ECONOMY ECONOMY

CLEANTECH CLEANTECH ECONOMY ECONOMY

Greenville support

e nt

municipality

cleantech startups

i-cleantech Flanders

Machiels Remo Facility

ge

OVAM

ject biomass hu pro b

Bionerga heat

WATER ECONOMY

Aquafin

location

RLLK

BIOMASS ECONOMY

Europark €

pum

as are

ater from sub pw s

LRM

municipality

European Union

n ide ce

Current investments in Cleantech in Houthalen are concentrated in the Clean tech campus on the former mining site. The incubator, Greenville managed to attractl companies that develop clean tech innovations such as smart food recycling bins, sophisticated clean tech refrigerators to grow herbs, etc. The research and innovation developed in Greenville could be brought outside of Greenville in Clean tech satellite loctions, in order to create clean tech related opportunities in the entire municipality. Why not experiment with food growing systems in the social housing estate of Meulenberg, where food culture and gardening is culturally considered important and till now, unemployment is high. Eventually (2018), clean tech becomes part of everyday life of every Houthalenaar.

Bio industries

Regional Landscape Waste Sludge Waste Limburg Europark | Biomassawerf 360,000 m³/year Het Wiek 4 MW Min

To De Wijers

ing Sub

Plasma rock: 30,000 t/y

H2 2018: 300 Kg/h 2020: 2.3 t/h

side nce zon

Water Drainage Aquafin Coal track Laambroekrijvers

Bio plant Centrum Zuid

Grote Baan

e

Biomass Pilot Project

Breelaarheide

Meulenberg

Campine Plateau


N 0

1 km

2 km

Revitalization of the abandoned tower building as a clean tech satellite location. The blank wall can be used as a billboard, a hub of activity in Meulenberg.

Temporal farming crates transform the parking lot in a multifunctional public space, while offering opportunities for interaction.

Billie Bin, a technology developed at Greenville is introduced as an example of local composting techniques. Local food market attracts people from outside the neigborhood to Meulenberg.

Collection system for garden waste for biomass hub at Europark.


V ISI ON 1 Houthalen-Helchteren, a leader in a regional landscape economy 2016 Biomass economy A biomass hub for collection and sorting of biomass from the area (20km radius) is being developed in HouthalenHelchteren and this offers the opportunity to Houthalen-Helchteren to position itself as a pioneer in biomass economy. Clean tech in Greenville and Centrum-Zuid could use the biomass from the hub as raw materials in the development of clean technology. For example grass can be converted into cellulose or paper, wood chips into construction boards, â&#x20AC;Ś The varied landscapes around Houthalen each require specifique maintenance techniques and machinery. Together with Regional Landscape Low Campine (RLLK), a possible development cycle of a local biomass economy, drawing from the regional landscape is developed.

Biomassawerf Europark construction material

bioplastics

chemicals

wood products

furniture

biofibers

feed production fuels diesel / gasoline replacement

feed

heath

hardwood

hedgerows

softwood

sorting + collection

biorefinery

Biomass collection Meulenberg densification by Kempisch Tehuis

cargobike biomass collection Greenville innovation BillieBin

education

BIO

gardening


N 0

Water runoff along the industrial platform is improved. Pipes direct the excess water during heavy rainfall to the natural bufferzone in a controlled way.

The sandy soil allows for a more diverse production wood forest.

1 km

2 km

The wet forest has remainders of ancient hedgerows. These can be restored as a first step of integration in a productive wood cycle.


V ISI ON 1 Houthalen-Helchteren, a leader in a regional landscape economy 2017 Water economy COA L TRACK IND

US

RY

hydrogen pipe lin strategy for on gc ro oal tra c k ge ? nd e ve lo p m e nt Machiels Remo Facility

T

lop clea deve n

HH

l

in

ea

c te h

d hy

municipality

Provincie Limburg

facilities

h

CLEANTECH CLEANTECH ECONOMY ECONOMY

Greenville support

cleantech startups

i-cleantech Flanders

set up cle an c te

innovation implementation

startup expansion possibilities

sa te llit e

Kempisch Tehuis

HYDROGEN HYDROGEN ECONOMY ECONOMY

loc atio ns in HH

NMBS

new housing community of Houthalen-Helchteren

OVAM

Centrum Zuid

jobs

n creatio biomass h ub

Agentschap Natuur en Bos Limburg ject biomass hu pro b Biomass Hub fertilizer biomass

Bionerga

strat eg yp

ter recovery d wa pe um

WATER ECONOMY

municipality

heat € Aquafin

location

RLLK

BIOMASS ECONOMY

Europark €

pum

as are

municipality

ater from sub pw s

LRM

n ide ce

TION

European Union

Regional system

Subsidences

Clean Tech

De Wijers

municipality


N 0

High water volumes are pumped daily from the mining subsidence areas. They represent a substantial economic and ecological potential that is now wasted. Together with LRM, that remains responsible for pumping the excess water in the subsidence areas, the municipality could recover this water. It could be reused for industrial purposes as well as for landscape recharging (such as the downstream ponds of the Wijers that deal with water shortages during summertime). The coal track can host the infrastructure for this additional water source. Industrial areas as well as natural reserves along the coal track can then share this recovered water.

1 km

2 km


V ISI ON 1 Houthalen-Helchteren, a leader in a regional landscape economy 2020

hydrogen pro du cti on

Water economy COA L TRACK IND RY

hydrogen pipe lin strategy for on gc ro oal tra c k ge ? nd e ve lo p m e nt Machiels Remo Facility

ea

c te

HH

l

in

h

T

ec nt

h

Hydrogen Production Plant

US

ote local pr om cle a p cle o l e v an de

d hy

municipality

Provincie Limburg

facilities

c te

set up cle an h

CLEANTECH CLEANTECH ECONOMY ECONOMY

Greenville support

cleantech startups

i-cleantech Flanders

innovation implementation

sa te llit e

Kempisch Tehuis

HYDROGEN HYDROGEN ECONOMY ECONOMY

loc atio ns in HH

municipality

heat NMBS

new housing community of Houthalen-Helchteren

OVAM

Toerisme Limburg startup expansion possibilities

expansion bio m

jobs

fertilizer

farmers

cono my se as

Centrum Zuid

heat private gardens

infrastruc

WATER ECONOMY

ter recovery d wa pe um

NMBS

along coal track reuse for

strat eg yp

n creatio biomass h ub

biomass

tur e

Watergroep

biomass

Agentschap Natuur en Bos Limburg ject biomass hu pro b Biomass Hub fertilizer

Bionerga

€ Aquafin

location

RLLK

municipality

BIOMASS ECONOMY

Europark €

pum

as are

ater from sub pw s

LRM

municipality

n ide ce

European Union

Sludge Waste Limburg Europark | Biomassawerf 360,000 m³/year Het Wiek 4 MW Min

To De Wijers

ing

100℃

Sub side

30℃

nce zon

Water Drainage Hot Spring Aquafin Bio plant Coal track Laambroekrijvers

Geothermal

Centrum Zuid

Grote Baan

e

Biomass Pilot Project

Breelaarheide

Meulenberg

Campine Plateau


N 0

bike path

geothermal pipe

geothermal pool

coal track

1 km

2 km


TION

V ISI ON 1 Houthalen-Helchteren, a leader in a regional landscape economy 2020

hydrogen pro du cti on

Clean tech economy COA L TRACK IND RY

hydrogen pipe lin strategy for on gc ro oal tra c k ge ? nd e ve lo p m e nt Machiels Remo Facility

ea

c te

HH

l

in

h

T

ec nt

h

Hydrogen Production Plant

US

ote local pr om cle a p cle o l e v an de

d hy

municipality

Provincie Limburg

facilities

c te

set up cle an h

CLEANTECH CLEANTECH ECONOMY ECONOMY

Greenville support

cleantech startups

i-cleantech Flanders

sa te llit e

Kempisch Tehuis

HYDROGEN HYDROGEN ECONOMY ECONOMY

loc atio ns in HH

heat NMBS

new housing

innovation implementation

municipality

community of Houthalen-Helchteren

OVAM

Toerisme Limburg startup expansion possibilities

expansion bio m

jobs

fertilizer

farmers

cono my se as

Centrum Zuid

heat private gardens

infrastruc

WATER ECONOMY

ter recovery d wa pe um

NMBS

along coal track reuse for

strat eg yp

n creatio biomass h ub

biomass

tur e

Watergroep

biomass

Agentschap Natuur en Bos Limburg ject biomass hu pro b Biomass Hub fertilizer

Bionerga

€ Aquafin

location

RLLK

municipality

BIOMASS ECONOMY

Europark €

pum

as are

ater from sub pw s

LRM

municipality

n ide ce

European Union

Besides the clean tech campus, the Remo landfill in Houthalen is pioneering in a project of Enhanced Landfill Mining. From 2018 onwards, waste from the landfill will be converted to raw materials, water and hydrogen. For the transportation of hydrogen, a pipeline along the coal track would be beneficial in order to connect the hydrogen to industries along the coal track (such as Essers, Ikea, De Lijn in Genk), all the way to Genk Zuid, where Aperam, one of the big H2 users, is operational.

Sludge Waste Limburg Europark | Biomassawerf 360,000 m³/year Het Wiek 4 MW Min

To De Wijers

ing

100℃

Sub side

30℃

nce zon

Water Drainage Hot Spring Aquafin Bio plant Coal track Laambroekrijvers

Geothermal

Centrum Zuid

Grote Baan

e

Biomass Pilot Project

Breelaarheide

Meulenberg

Campine Plateau


N 0

1 km

Fully refurbished building offers space for a vibrant mix of functions and people. This greenhouse allows a bigger diversification of crops by creating a microclimate.. The greenhouse is heated with heat from a local composting installation.

Cooking classes and workskhops take place in the community kitchen. Participants learn important skills for future employment.

Greenville clean technology being tested in Meulenberg.

Community farming transforms the parking lot into an attractive and multifunctional public space.

2 km


TION

V ISI ON 1 Houthalen-Helchteren, a leader in a regional landscape economy 2020

hydrogen pro du cti on

Biomass economy COA L TRACK IND RY

hydrogen pipe lin strategy for on gc ro oal tra c k ge ? nd e ve lo p m e nt Machiels Remo Facility

ea

c te

HH

l

in

h

T

ec nt

h

Hydrogen Production Plant

US

ote local pr om cle a p cle o l e v an de

d hy

municipality

Provincie Limburg

facilities

h

CLEANTECH CLEANTECH ECONOMY ECONOMY

Greenville support

cleantech startups

i-cleantech Flanders

c te

set up cle an

innovation implementation

sa te llit e

Kempisch Tehuis

HYDROGEN HYDROGEN ECONOMY ECONOMY

loc atio ns in HH

municipality

heat NMBS

new housing community of Houthalen-Helchteren

OVAM

Toerisme Limburg startup expansion possibilities

expansion bio m

jobs

fertilizer

farmers

cono my se as

Centrum Zuid

heat private gardens

infrastruc

WATER ECONOMY

ter recovery d wa pe um

NMBS

along coal track reuse for

strat eg yp

n creatio biomass h ub

biomass

tur e

Watergroep

biomass

Agentschap Natuur en Bos Limburg ject biomass hu pro b Biomass Hub fertilizer

Bionerga

BIOMASS ECONOMY

€ Aquafin

location

RLLK

municipality

Europark €

pum

as are

ater from sub pw s

LRM

municipality

n ide ce

European Union

buffer zone Centrum Zuid phase 1

phase 2

phase 3

proposed Clean-tech offices low quality forest sandy soil

water storage and riparian landscape

short rotation forestry

extended rotation forest densification along Grote Baan short rotation forestry

landscape diversification hedgerow remnants wet soil

hedgerow intensification hedgerow restoration

water storage


N 0

A platform connects the plateau of Centrum-Zuid with the bufferzone.

A selective cutting process allows reintroduction of middle wood.

Open plains are selectively created for water buffering and sunlight in order to improve biodiversity and spatial quality.

The management of the restored hedgerows provide biomass to the biomass hub in Europark.

1 km

2 km


V ISI ON 1 Houthalen-Helchteren, a leader in a regional landscape economy 2030

k

regional hydrog en ne tw hydrogen pro or du cti on

Biomass economy COA L TRACK IND RY

hydrogen pipe lin strategy for on gc ro oal tra c k ge ? nd e ve lo p m e nt Machiels Remo Facility

hydrogen

ea

c te

HH

l

in

h

T

ec nt

h

Hydrogen Production Plant

US

ote local pr om cle a p cle o l e v an de

d hy

municipality

Provincie Limburg

facilities

support

cleantech startups

i-cleantech Flanders

h

CLEANTECH CLEANTECH ECONOMY ECONOMY

Greenville

Genk Zuid

c te

set up cle an

innovation implementation

sa te llit e

Kempisch Tehuis

HYDROGEN HYDROGEN ECONOMY ECONOMY

loc atio ns in HH

municipality

heat NMBS

new housing community of Houthalen-Helchteren

OVAM

Toerisme Limburg startup expansion possibilities

jobs for industry reuse and ter lan wa d

Centrum Zuid

WATER ECONOMY

ter recovery d wa pe um

NMBS

along coal track reuse for

Watergroep

strat eg yp

private gardens nutrients, oils and fat, proteins

Centrum Zuid a r f in struc tur e

n creatio biomass h ub

biomass

Bionerga

€ Aquafin

location

BIOMASS ECONOMY

VLM RLLK water

Europark €

pum

municipality

ater from sub pw s

as are

biomass

Agentschap Natuur en Bos Limburg ject biomass hu pro b Biomass Hub fertilizer

municipality

LRM

farmers

heat

e ap sc

industrial water

fertilizer

cono my se as

attractive landscape De Wijers and along coaltrack

expansion bio m

Centrum Zuid

n ide ce

European Union

Sludge Waste Limburg Europark | Biomassawerf 360,000 m³/year Het Wiek

Min ing

100℃

Sub side

30℃

nce zon

Water Drainage Hot Spring Aquafin Bio plant Coal track Laambroekrijvers

Geothermal

Centrum Zuid

Grote Baan

e

Biomass Pilot Project

Breelaarheide

Meulenberg

Campine Plateau


N 0

The bufferzone is a fantastic spot for lunchbreak for the people working at CentrumZuid.

1 km

2 km

Bird watchers can enjoy the increased bird species in this rich restored ecosystem.

The ecological value of the bufferzone is explained to visitors and inhabitants.

Clean Technology developed in Greenville is being tested on site.

The restored hedgerows frame new developments in the bufferzone: a public space along the Grote Baan and new commercial buildings in sync with the ecological buffer zone.


V ISI ON 2 Observation of the existing

Abandoned viaduct

1

A local railway network from the mid 20th century (buurtspoorwegen) has disappeared. Nature has taken over and has transformed this viaduct into a ‘planted’ elevated forest.

Coal Track

The industrial area of Centrum Zuid is clearly designed for trucks and cars. Roads are oversized, while space for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as public spaces are limited and poorly designed.

2

Where the railway line 18 used to branch off the coal railway track, there is now a bicycle path. It passes under the overgrown viaduct from the local railway network.

3

Grote Baan

5

The Grote Baan is one of the first regional connections between Hasselt and the north. Today it is still practically the only NorthSouth connection. 45,000 vehicles pass through HouthalenHelchteren’s Grote Baan daily, causing a lot of nuisances such as noise, pollution and traffic congestion.

The intersection of the Coal Track and the Stationsstraat, is where the station used to be. Today it is a vacant area, bordered by the coal track bicycle path.

Centrum Zuid

Vanished Rail line

4


remo Landfill

Grote Baan

Europark

2 Coal Track

1

4

3

Green Ville

5

Meulenberg

Centrum-Zuid

N 0

1 km

2 km


V ISI ON 2

ECONOMIC OUTPUTS: Community Benefits GROTE BAAN RECONVERSION

Houthalen-Helchteren, a pioneer in sustainable mobility

MOBILITY SWITCH

HYDROGEN DISTRIBUTION

2030

Jobs Small Businesses New Investors Jobs Small Businesses New Investors Real Estate Developers Researchers Jobs Small Businesses New Investors Hydrogen Vehicles

TIMELINE: BY 2016 industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

Limburg Province

real estate companies

RLLK

ng

industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

TR Y

Centrum Zuid

s ng

fil ro

Baan re Gro te p o s r s c i safe

NMBS

Helchteren ca alenr-fre uth e? o H and regional bi a i r cyc e nsf l tra

ork etw en

MOBILIT Y IN ar streets lo w c DU ass harves S ti bio m

2017

in g

MOW/AWV €

biomass

inhabitants

mobility net soft wo rk

Toerisme Limburg

GROTE BAAN RECONVERSION

MOBILITY SWITCH

attractive waterscape municipality

NMBS

Watergroep

schools

seperate buslane

De Lijn municipality

hyd rog en

g

n tio sta as

Centrum Zuid

? hydr ack og ltr en a co pip e str ent li n e a l o n g ate m p gy f lo o r h y d ro g e n d e ve

hydrogen

municipality Machiels Remo Facility

HYDROGEN DISTRIBUTION

€ NMBS

European Union

OVAM

hydrogen

Ford Genk

2020

2030


N 0

HH as a pioneer in sustainable mobility, proposes a phased mobility switch, that gives the highly congested center of HH breathing space, while at the same time generating qualitative public spaces and soft mobility networks. A requalification of the Grote Baan lies at the heart of this vision. The Grote Baan has always been an important trade connection between Hasselt and the north. The Grote Baan acts today however also as a brutal barrier between east and west HH. Daily, the north south directed Grote Baan collects 45,000 vehicles, both local and regional traffic. The Agency of Traffic and Roads (MOW) has planned a North-South highway to the west of HouthalenHelchteren to canalize the regional traffic. This will decongest the Grote Baan. 25,000 of the vehicles using the Grote Baan today are nevertheless local movements. This vision proposes a gradual but not less radical modal shift to soft mobility forms, such as (e)bikes and improved public transport system.

1 km

2 km


V ISI ON 2 Houthalen-Helchteren, a pioneer in sustainable mobility 2016 Grote Baan Reconversion

real estate companies

MOBILIT Y IN DU S s ng

ross safe c i

TR Y

â&#x201A;Ź

mobility net soft wo rk

inhabitants

GROTE BAAN RECONVERSION

MOBILITY SWITCH

municipality

schools

municipality

str at

egy

fo r h y

d ro g e n d e

ve

ent m p lo

municipality Machiels Remo Facility

HYDROGEN DISTRIBUTION

â&#x201A;Ź OVAM

European Union

In a first phase, the crossroads between the (north south) Grote Baan and the east west connecting streets are made more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. The interventions can vary from painting a pink public square that crosses the Grote Baan, to installing lightweight pedestrian and bicycle bridges across the road. These interventions set the stage for a gradual mobility shift. They draw attention from both inhabitants and passersby and indicate that the Grote Baan is more than just a linear high speed connection. At the same time schools and parents are stimulated to support home-school trajectories by foot or bicycle. When the dangerous Grote Baan can be crossed without safety concerns, parents should be happy to not drop off their kids at school by car.


N 0

1 km

2 km


V ISI ON 2 Houthalen-Helchteren, a pioneer in sustainable mobility 2017

ON

Kolenspoor entry - soft mobility industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

nd regional b ria a icy sfe cl n a r t

industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

TR Y

Centrum Zuid

s ng

fil ro

Baan re Gro te p o s r s c i safe

NMBS

ork etw en

MOBILIT Y IN DU S

Limburg Province

in g €

mobility net soft wo rk

inhabitants Toerisme Limburg

GROTE BAAN RECONVERSION

MOBILITY SWITCH

attractive waterscape municipality

NMBS

Watergroep

schools

municipality

? hydr ack og ltr en a co pip e str ent li n e a l o n g ate m p gy f lo o r h y d ro g e n d e ve municipality Machiels Remo Facility

HYDROGEN DISTRIBUTION

€ NMBS

European Union

In a next step, the soft mobility network in HouthalenHelchteren is enhanced: safer and better bicycle paths, connecting interesting garden areas and weaving the different parts of Houthalen-Helchteren together. The many open green spaces become part of an attractive chain that guides movement.The regional coal track bicycle network opens a new branch entering Centrum-Zuid and the clean tech campus, announcing a new bicycle ‘gateway’ for HH from the east. Along the Koolmijnlaan, transferia organize the switch from cars to shared cars. Attractive new forms of public transportat are put in place. People and goods now enter the Grote Baan through non-motorized or collective transport. The Grote Baan no longer is a rupture. It can start to unite, link and connect.

OVAM

hydrogen

Ford Genk


N 0

1 km

2 km

A linear bioswale increases water buffering capacity, while ading a qualitative landscape feature along the new entry path.

The first trees are planted by the community, creating a sense of ownership. Concrete guard tubes provide space for the placement of electricity cables for lighting in a later stage of development.

Streetlights are placed along the entryway to Centrum-Zuid.

Native heath landscapes are restored. Because of the impermeable schist subsurface, water can be naturally stored on site.

The schist that is dug to create tree pits is kept on site, creating microtopographies.

A mobility transferium that combines different transportation alternatives.


V ISI ON 2 Houthalen-Helchteren, a pioneer in sustainable mobility 2017

ON

Grote Baan Reconversion industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

nd regional b ria a icy sfe cl n a r t

industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

TR Y

Centrum Zuid

s ng

fil ro

Baan re Gro te p o s r s c i safe

NMBS

ork etw en

MOBILIT Y IN DU S

Limburg Province

in g â&#x201A;Ź

mobility net soft wo rk

inhabitants Toerisme Limburg

GROTE BAAN RECONVERSION

MOBILITY SWITCH

attractive waterscape municipality

NMBS

Watergroep

schools

Ford Genk

municipality

? hydr ack og ltr en a co pip e str ent li n e a l o n g ate m p gy f lo o r h y d ro g e n d e ve

hydrogen

municipality Machiels Remo Facility

HYDROGEN DISTRIBUTION

â&#x201A;Ź NMBS

European Union

Downgrading the Grote Baan phase 1

phase 2

OVAM

At the same time, the Grote Baan can gradually be reprofiled. De-commissioned asphalt strips are transformed into water absorbing bioswales. Disconnecting storm water from the stressed sewage system releases pressure from the sewage system. Bioswales are an evident alternative solution that simultaneously adds to the ecological and spatial quality of the environment.. Schools, youth groups and community organizations are involved in the breaking up of the asphalt and the planting of trees along the Grote Baan. This way, the new Grote Baan becomes a common project of the HouthalenHelchteren community. They enforce the mobility shift in Houthalen-Helchteren. By 2018, the Remo Landfill in Helchteren will produce and export hydrogen through a hydrogen pipeline from Remo along the coal track till Centrum Zuid where an easy connection to the highway system is realized.

phase 3


N 0

The first trees along the Grote Baan are planted with the community.

1 km

2 km

Birches and poplars, fast growing pioneer trees, are planted to accelerate to image a of reprofiled Grote Baan.

Kicking off the transformation of the Grote Baan with a local event. The crossroad is painted in red to define a shared space for cars, cyclists and pedestrians.

Bioswales collect and buffer rain water, while creating a dynamic landscape along the Grote Baan.


V ISI ON 2 Houthalen-Helchteren, a pioneer in sustainable mobility 2020

ON

Kolenspoor entry - transferium industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

RLLK

ng

industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

TR Y

Centrum Zuid

s ng

fil ro

Baan re Gro te p o s r s c i safe

NMBS

Helchteren ca alenr-fre uth e? o H and regional bi a i r cyc e nsf l tra

ork etw en

MOBILIT Y IN DU ass harves S ti bio m

Limburg Province

in g

MOW/AWV €

biomass

inhabitants

mobility net soft wo rk

Toerisme Limburg

GROTE BAAN RECONVERSION

MOBILITY SWITCH

attractive waterscape municipality

NMBS

Watergroep

schools

municipality

hyd rog en

g

n tio sta as

Centrum Zuid

? hydr ack og ltr en a co pip e str ent li n e a l o n g ate m p gy f lo o r h y d ro g e n d e ve

hydrogen

municipality Machiels Remo Facility

HYDROGEN DISTRIBUTION

€ NMBS

European Union

Imagine that in 2020 the North South highway is finally constructed. The Koolmijnlaan then not only becomes the new entryway for trucks to the industry area CentrumZuid, but also to Houthalen. A fully developed transferium spine prevents truck traffic to take the Grote Baan. By then, the ‘soft entry’ to the Clean Tech Campus from the Coal Track is further developed with a bicycle sharing station. A variety of public spaces and programs are anchored on this new entry. At the crossing of the coal track and the Stationsstraat, a new hydrogen gas station is put in place, tapping off hydrogen from the H2 pipeline, feeding a local hub for hydrogen based transportation.

OVAM

hydrogen

Ford Genk


N 0

1 km

2 km

Temporary housing contributes to mixed uses in Centrum-Zuid. Flower fields create colourful dynamic landscapes. Local water management is integrated in the landscape design.

Patches of asphalt are preserved and turned into flexible open spaces.

Fitness equipment encourages a healthy lifestyle along the slow route through Centrum-Zuid.


V ISI ON 2 Houthalen-Helchteren, a pioneer in sustainable mobility 2020

ON

Grote Baan Reconversion industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

RLLK

ng

industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

TR Y

Centrum Zuid

s ng

fil ro

Baan re Gro te p o s r s c i safe

NMBS

Helchteren ca alenr-fre uth e? o H and regional bi a i r cyc e nsf l tra

ork etw en

MOBILIT Y IN DU ass harves S ti bio m

Limburg Province

in g

MOW/AWV €

biomass

inhabitants

mobility net soft wo rk

Toerisme Limburg

GROTE BAAN RECONVERSION

MOBILITY SWITCH

attractive waterscape municipality

NMBS

Watergroep

schools

municipality

hyd rog en

g

n tio sta as

Centrum Zuid

? hydr ack og ltr en a co pip e str ent li n e a l o n g ate m p gy f lo o r h y d ro g e n d e ve

hydrogen

municipality Machiels Remo Facility

HYDROGEN DISTRIBUTION

€ NMBS

European Union

By 2020 the trees along the Grote Baan are large enough to be harvested as biomass that can be collected and sorted in the new biomass hub at Europark. 2 of the 4 former traffic lanes are liberated from traffic and can hence accommodate new programs. One lane is given entirely to the new, up to date public transport system. The radical requalification of the road supports the gradual intensification and densification around the Grote Baan

OVAM

hydrogen

Ford Genk


N 0

A former car-lane is broken up to create more room water and vegetation.

The plantings of fast growing trees are alternating with slower maturing trees like birches and oaks.

Gradually, the space for cars on the Grote Baan is diminished. Curving lanes and planted ‘micro’-forests slow down the traffic.

The ‘red’ square is futher developed with water elements, benches, climbing racks, ...

The remaining asphalt serves as a bus lane for a more efficient public transportation service along the Grote Baan.

1 km

2 km

The fully grown trees have invaded the Grote Baan and its surroundings.


V ISI ON 2 Houthalen-Helchteren, a pioneer in sustainable mobility 2030

ON

Grote Baan Reconversion industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

Limburg Province

real estate companies

RLLK

ng

TR Y

Centrum Zuid

s ng

fil ro

Baan re Gro te p o s r s c i safe

industrial and commercial train line along the coaltrack

ork etw en

MOBILIT Y IN ar streets lo w c DU ass harves S ti bio m

NMBS

Helchteren ca alenr-fre uth e? o H and regional bi a i r cyc e nsf l tra

in g

MOW/AWV €

biomass

inhabitants

mobility net soft wo rk

Toerisme Limburg

GROTE BAAN RECONVERSION

MOBILITY SWITCH

attractive waterscape municipality

NMBS

Watergroep

schools

seperate buslane

De Lijn municipality

hyd rog en

g

n tio sta as

Centrum Zuid

? hydr ack og ltr en a co pip e str ent li n e a l o n g ate m p gy f lo o r h y d ro g e n d e ve

hydrogen

municipality Machiels Remo Facility

HYDROGEN DISTRIBUTION

€ NMBS

European Union

A complete re-profiling transformed the Grote Baan from a hard and dangerous traffic barrier into a pedestrian and bicycle friendly planted boulevard. The trees are included in a local productive biomass cycle. Besides generous public spaces, room for bicycles and pedestrians, space has been assigned to public transport. The accommodation of urban life both in terms of flows, soft mobility and housing along the recycled Grote Baan avoids further soil consumption for urbanization.

OVAM

hydrogen

Ford Genk


N 0

The bike paths are further integrated into the regional cycling network that crosses Limburgâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diverse landscapes.

The Grote Baan as a shared space for cyclists, pedestrians and cars. A new centrality for Houthalen-Helchteren.

Attractive public spaces in combination with great public transportation, boosts development along the Grote Baan.

Water and vegetation create a nice biotope for animals and humans, with a cooling effect in summer.

More asphalt is removed, leaving two single lanes for the bus and other users.

1 km

2 km

The pioneer trees are harvested as biomass. They make room for beeches and oaks that will define the new Grote Baanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s image.


Atelier 'Testing the Coal Track' Houthalen-Helchteren - The waste of te city, the city of waste  

De intensieve design workshop in Houthalen- Helchteren richt zich op stromen van water, afval, energie en mobiliteit en hoe de combinatie va...

Atelier 'Testing the Coal Track' Houthalen-Helchteren - The waste of te city, the city of waste  

De intensieve design workshop in Houthalen- Helchteren richt zich op stromen van water, afval, energie en mobiliteit en hoe de combinatie va...

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