2013 – 2020
IBA Parkstad

Parkstad in Motion

The first International Building Exhibition in the Netherlands has started in the Parkstad Limburg region. The Parkstad region is made up of eight municipalities with a shared history and identity based on their mining past. Since the mines closed in the 1970s, the area has suffered a high level of unemployment; young people are abandoning the region. Together with the province of Limburg and since 2016 the municipality of Schinnen, IBA Parkstad aims to build a sustainable and economical future for the region. The Parkstad urban region is the initiator of IBA Parkstad. 

Since 2013, the IBA has been focusing on transforming the former mining region: Due to the decline in population, the region has a surplus of residential buildings, commercial real estate, churches and other social institutions. The goal is to adapt the region to the negative trend. It will bolster urban renewal, tap new business sectors – e.g. in the healthcare industry, nursing and logistics – and promote the energy transition. IBA Parkstad aims to stimulate the economy, regional planning and society. By involving local citizens at an early stage, IBA also wants to change values and raise awareness. Supervisor of IBA Parkstad is Jo Coenen, and Kelly Regterschot is the managing director.

IBA Parkstad centres around several spectacular and innovative projects. Cross-border projects, in particular with the Aachen region, promote the development of a joint economic region without borders. This calls for flexibility, creativity, innovation. Strong alliances will have to be formed to revive the spirits of the region. In this change process, IBA Parkstad’s function is to help find a consensus and serve as a catalyst.

The final presentation of IBA Parkstad will take place in 2020.


In January 2017, IBA Parkstad presented a design concept for a viewpoint pavilion at the top of the former Wilhelminaberg coal slag heap, a local landmark and point of reference for the region. The new project should help foster a sense of local identity © IBA Parkstad / Designburo NEY+Partners
In the Parkstad region, a unique network of linked cycle paths and walking trails will be developed over the next few years. The route will link attractive natural greenery with the urban parks in the region © IBA Parkstad / Bosch Slabbers
The bicycle bridge in Onderbanken is to be one of the five key gateways to the Parkstad region © Marijke de Goey
The sand pits in Parkstad have been made accessible to the public for the first time, thanks to the work of the IBA, and are gradually becoming natural green areas. The IBA and its partners are devising sustainable new use concepts for these artificial landscapes © IBA Parkstad / Manon van der Linden
Three high-rise housing blocks in Kerkrade now stand vacant due in part to population decline in the region. Materials and building elements from the deconstruction and demolition of the blocks will be recycled and re-used for the design of new building prototypes © IBA Parkstad / Corné Netten
The Center Court will link the inner city of Kerkrade to Gravenrode landscape park. The neighbouring site of the former hospital will be converted and extended with new buildings to create a sustainable mix of sports, science, education, health care and care for the elderly © IBA Parkstad / KettingHuls
The centre of Heerlen will be partially demolished to make way for a new Central Park. The majority of the project, incorporating ideas by local residents, should be completed by 2019. The use of material from demolished buildings is an important part of the project © IBA Parkstad / Corné Netten
The IBA Scoop: An interactive 360 º visualisation to demonstrate to the public the challenges facing the Parkstad region and the approaches taken by IBA Parkstad © IBA Parkstad