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.

NBS Exemplar:
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:

 Stad Genk


Displaying 1 - 5 of 5
Case study

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...

Case study

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...

Artist impression of the completed Stiemervallei route
Case study

The Stiemervallei provides great potential to re-imagine the natural quality of a stream valley in an urban context and to balance the ecological, environmental, social and...


Displaying 1 - 7 of 7
This Infographic shows the environmental, social and economic impact of innovative nature-based solutions in Connecting Nature cities Genk, Glasgow, and Poznań.
This Deliverable reports on the implementation of the Connecting Nature Framework in the Front Runner Cities Genk, Glasgow, and Poznań. It showcases how the cities made use of the...
This document provides a detailed overview of knowledge transfer activities between the FRCs and FFCs. The report will also outline some key innovations and next steps – including...
When planning for nature-based solutions, it is important to map and analyse how they would fit within the wider strategy. Connecting Nature front runner cities Poznan, Glasgow...
Nature-based entrepreneurship is a core element of the Connecting Nature Framework and supports the planning, delivery, and stewardship of large-scale nature-based solutions in...
Connecting Nature aims to support cities in securing financing to support the large-scale implementation of nature-based solutions. Within a relatively short period of three years...
This Deliverable presents the Nature-based Solutions Framework developed in the Connecting Nature project to support the planning, delivery and legacy of nature-based solutions on...