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Integrated highway system bound up with the regional identity of South Limburg.
Integrated highway system bound up with the regional identity of South Limburg.

cross section
cross section

An architectural response to designing a Parkway. An integrated system bringing together highway, landscape and residential cores.
An architectural response to designing a Parkway. An integrated system bringing together highway, landscape and residential cores.

Van bufferzone naar waterpark: bestaande situatie
Van bufferzone naar waterpark: bestaande situatie

The qualities of Geleenbeek, a natural water purification system, integrated with the highway.
The qualities of Geleenbeek, a natural water purification system, integrated with the highway.




PROJECTINDEX
 
A NECKLACE FOR SOUTH LIMBURG
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
URBAN DESIGN

Can highways be a strategy for regional developments in South Limburg through landscape design?
The province of South Limburg (Zuid-Limburg) wishes to form a trans-border agglomeration with neighbouring Aachen in Germany and Liège and Hasselt in Belgium. In view of the differences in culture, language and nationality this complex urban system can only be achieved one step at a time. The main issue at stake is the weak visibility of South Limburg’s three major cities: Sittard-Geleen, Maastricht and Heerlen. Although well connected to each other by highways they still function as three distinct cores. This project develops a strategy to achieve a well-wrought road network in South Limburg by reassessing this network so as to provide a solid backbone between the cities. From those roads, one can experience the landscape and the urban areas where key functions have been placed along them.
At present the highways in South Limburg have autonomous identities, giving a fragmented pattern of ecological structures, business parks and residential areas. The landscape is now dominated by sound barriers, guard rails and road signs. With the arrival
of electric and automatic vehicles our perception of driving will change. This means new opportunities of reviving the old principles of Parkways first introduced by Frederick Law Olmsted. One of Olmsted’s greatest accomplishments was his design for the Emerald Necklace in Boston. Using the network of highways he presented a chain of elements that would lay bare the geographical qualities of that city. The road combines urban and rural in an integrated system of fast and slow traffic, residential areas, recreational facilities and associated functions.
In applying these principles of the Parkways to South Limburg, travelling between the three cores will be a more enjoyable experience. Businesses will be more inclined to invest in the area, making it a more desirable place to live and work. In addition it is an opportunity to repair both the fragmented landscape and the urban fabric, torn apart by today’s highways. The Emerald Necklace has helped structure Boston and turned it into a World Class City. The highways of South Limburg in turn can become a powerful magnet for the region, which as a result can nestle between Liège, Aachen and Hasselt as a key player.