• Jul 01, 2022

The Heerlen Rooftop Project officially opened

  • Jul 01, 2022
On Thursday evening, 30 June, The Heerlen Rooftop Project was opened to invitees. People were treated to a nature experience in the middle of the city, while enjoying a refreshing drink, a live jazz combo and some words of welcome.

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During the welcome speech by Kor Bonnema (Director SCHUNCK), and an introduction to the project by Andrea Croé (Curator Architecture SCHUNCK) it was a pleasure to be on the roof of Q-Park Putgraaf. The introduction by René Seijben (Manager Expojaar, IBA Parkstad Limburg) unfortunately got interrupted by the feared rain. Good for the plants, certainly, but the duration and intensity of the rain meant that visitors had to seek shelter elsewhere. However, taking shelter together under the Twee Gezusters tent was also very atmospheric. This is where Mayor Roel Wever gave the (opening) speech in a sheltered manner.

The enthusiasm was undiminished. The garden has actually become an oasis of flowers, herbs and happy bees. A stark contrast to the grey concrete parking deck it once was. The roof garden is now open every Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 8 pm, until mid-October. During the opening weekend, there were extra activities for the children, such as face painting and making flower bombs.

About the Heerlen Rooftop Project

The Heerlen Rooftop Project is not just a temporary stunt. It has evolved to make people more aware of the potential of roofspace: the unharnessed potential of the urban environment. The figures show that Heerlen is one of the three hottest cities in the Netherlands. The city therefore faces major challenges when it comes to improving biodiversity and quality of life, reducing carbon emissions and tapping  into new sources of energy.

Heat stress is primarily caused by the large amounts of concrete used for flat roofing in Heerlen. The problem opens up a perfect opportunity for change. The rooftop landscape offers space for experimental and innovative solutions, such as sustainable food production, climate adaptation and new forms of public space. An integrated approach to tackling the problem of Heerlen’s present-day drab skyline can help change the perspective of the city, making it healthier, more liveable and more future-proof.

The Heerlen Rooftop Project is part of IBA Parkstad’s expo year. IBA Parkstad is stimulating the transformation of the region by supporting interventions in the urban environment. The greening of roofs is a paradigm example of such an intervention in the urban environment with a multitude of effects.

More background information about the different phases of the project, the inspirational results of the international ideas competition and the summer programme can be found here.