The City of Genk is a relatively small city in Flanders (Belgium) with a population of about 65.000 residents. Genk is an atypical city: at the same time, it is one of Flanders’s greenest and most industrial cities. The city is marked by its mining history. At the start of the 20th century, Genk was just a small village characterized by a landscape of heathland and small brook valleys. When coal was discovered in the ground, Genk transformed into a mining city centred around the 3 mining sites that were erected. Coal has had an enormous impact not only on Genk’s economy, but also on its:
Landscape: e.g. slagheaps, pine forests as resource for reinforcing the mining galleries
Spatial development: a polycentric growth leading to a network city
Population: different labour migrations waves resulting to population growth and a high degree of diversity; currently 54% of the population has a different background, and 85 nationalities are represented in the city.
The Stiemer valley is an important zone in this latter layer. The Stiemer is an 8km long brook flowing through the heart of Genk, from North-East to South-West. Its valley can be seen as connecting different districts, neighbourhoods and strategic hubs in the network city Genk. The redevelopment of the Stiemer valley is an urban development programme of the city of Genk with the aim of upgrading the urban valley area of the Stiemer to a multifunctional blue-green artery that increases resilience and quality of life in the city.
Connecting Nature Partner:
Genk’s multi-annual strategic plan for 2014-19 is a response to the closure of the Ford car manufacturing company. The main objective of the plan has been to use Genk’s natural...
Schansbroek lies near the source zone of the Stiemerbeek River and near the coal mine of Waterschei. Former mining activities severely affected natural water management...