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.