30 juni 2020

The Regiopolitan Rumble 2020


Regiopolitan Rumble postponed

Due to the global COVID-19 developments, the Dutch authorities have decided to ban all major events taking place until 1 September 2020. After thoughtful considerations, the organisation of the Regiopolitan Rumble has decided to postpone the conference, which was scheduled to take place on 27-28 August 2020. The new date for the Regiopolitan Rumble conference will be in October 2021 (precise date soon to follow). The location of the conference will remain Heerlen, the Netherlands.

Keep an eye on our website, because the official ‘Regiopolitan Rumble’ website is almost ready to go online! Until then, you will find the most important information here.

The main scope of the conference, organized by IBA Parkstad, is the regiopolis. This type of region is a hybrid combination of rural and urban areas, where city and countryside meet.

Whereas metropoles are run by a central government and are focused on a strong city center, regiopolitan areas are characterized by a decentralized economic and administrative structure. These aspects complicate the physical, economic and ecological transformation of the regiopolis.

Because eighty percent of the population of the European Union live in a regiopolitan area, there is an increasing urgency to analyse and study the subject. Yet there is little attention for the regiopolis, both on the scientific side as well as on the side of European and national administrations. The Regiopolitan Conference aims at starting the methodical and scientific study of regiopolitan areas and opening up a lively discussion on the subject. A conceptual analysis, but also a focus on the regiopolis in the context of time and space. We will be paying attention to the pioneers in the field who have already developed sub-aspects of the regiopolis, for instance the German notion of the Zwischenstadt. Furthermore, we will compare different cases of regiopolitan areas throughout the EU to the Parkstad region in the Netherlands.


Day 0* Wednesday, August 26th
Location Heerlen, city centre
14.00 – 20.00 Information point IBA Parkstad open
14.00 – 20.00 Cultural evening programme (with festival Cultura Nova)

* Day 0 offers participants, who have to travel from far, a comfortable extra night in Heerlen. Without obligation, they can register on arrival and participate in the cultural program.

Day 1 Thursday, August 27th
Location Heerlen, Hoensbroek Castle
10.00 – 11.00 Registration
11.00 – 11.15 Opening ceremony (with festival Cultura Nova)
11.15 – 12.00 Keynote speaker
12.00 – 13.00 Lunch
13.00 – 14.30 Panel discussion by pioneers and provocateurs
14.30 – 17.30 Learning from others
17.30 – 21.00 Campfire & food trucks
Day 2 Friday, August 28th
Location Heerlen, Hoensbroek Castle + Parkstad region
09.00 – 10.00 Keynote IBA Parkstad
10.00 – 10.30 Get ready and instruction bikes
10.30 – 11.30 Regiol safaris
11.30 – 12.00 Arrival and picnic lunch
12.00 – 14.00 Miniconferences:

  • Climate change (venue: Maankwartier)
  • Landscape and biodiversity (venue: Kunradersteengroeve)
  • Circular building (venue: Superlocal)
  • Settlements (venue: De Droomgaard)
14.00 – 15.00 Transfer back to Hoensbroek Castle
15.00 – 15.30 Wrap up
15.30 – 16.00 Keynote speaker
16.00 – 19.00 Closing reception

Please, note that the programme is subject to change.


Parkstad Limburg is a region of the Netherlands that has seen a continuous transformation since the closure of the mines in the 1970s. And the change is ongoing. New themes such as demographic changes (contraction/ageing population), energy transition, sustainability, and the circular economy require changes to physical appearance and existing structures. Added to this is the real need for flexibility, creativity, innovation, and the forming of alliances to rejuvenate the region. IBA Parkstad aims to give the economy, physical space, and population of Parkstad a push in the right direction. At the heart of IBA Parkstad is a series of eye-catching projects aimed at transforming Parkstad. A closing exhibition will be organized during 2020 to showcase these projects. 

IBA Parkstad

IBA is a concept that has built up a great reputation in Germany. IBA (Internationale Bau Ausstellung – International Building Exhibition) began at the start of the 20th century as an exhibition for modern architecture, but has since grown into a powerful creative model that provides a significant economic, social, and cultural impetus within regions aiming at transition or transformation, such as Parkstad. IBA symbolizes the high-quality projects that make a significant contribution to this transformation and transition.

About the main venue

Hoensbroek Castle

Hoensbroek Castle, one of the largest and best-preserved medieval castles in the region, will function as the primary venue of the Regiopolitan Conference. This remarkable water castle is a landmark and was once known as the most important stronghold in the region between the rivers Rhine and Meuse. It is situated on trading roads between historically important cities like Cologne, Aachen and Maastricht. The castle bears the remnants of architectural and cultural influence from the 14th, 17th and 18th century. With its typical square towers and its picturesque inner courts, it is an important tourist attraction for the Euregion.

About the subvenues

The choice of venues for the Regiopolitan Conference corresponds with the different themes of the conference. Conservation of heritage, sustainable living, the reuse of materials and the revitalization of communities are all on the region’s agenda, as well as on the agenda of IBA Parkstad. In choosing these specific project locations, IBA Parkstad tries to bridge the gap between theory and practice and see real-world solutions for current challenges.

Maankwartier/ The Moon quarter

The Maankwartier symbolizes the renewed optimism of the city of Heerlen. With its Mediterranean architectural features and its dream-like atmosphere, this new train station functions as an attractive gateway to the city. The complex, designed by local artist Michel Huisman, is a vital addition to the city and houses shops, a hotel and apartments. It also connects the city center to the residential areas on the north side of Heerlen. The innovative heliostat, a semicircular sphere mounted on a slim but high tower, reflects sunlight all the way down to the basement. The Maankwartier is without a doubt one of the boldest, avant-garde pieces of contemporary architecture in Heerlen.


SUPERLOCAL is perhaps one of the most ambitious and daring projects on the IBA’s agenda. It aims to demolish four ten-story apartment buildings from the sixties and reuse their materials and qualities for new, sustainable and modern houses. This project generates 805,000 kilos less CO₂ emissions than the construction of a new high-rise apartment block. In the coming year, four test houses will be built from these materials, using different techniques of recycling and reuse. These dwellings will be tested on viability and replicability. Former residents of the apartment buildings will be involved in the process, giving it a strong social component. SUPERLOCAL is seen as a testing ground for European cities that are coping with a declining number of inhabitants, resulting in a housing surplus.

De Droomgaard / The Dream Orchard

The Dream Orchard is a community garden in working-class neighborhood Treebeek in the municipality of Brunssum. Local residents of all ages, genders and abilities team up to tend to this garden and the self-constructed outbuilding. Starting this summer, they will organize workshops and other activities on the subject of renewable energy, sustainability and self-sufficiency. Both content and location of the project are linked to the IBA Project Treebeek – Brunssum West that aims to revitalize the neighborhood as a whole.

Kunrader steengroeve / The Kunrader quarry

The Kunrader quarry is an above-ground limestone quarry in the nearby municipality of Voerendaal. The Limestone that is mined, is deeply connected to the history of the region. Ever since Roman times, people have been using it to build farms, bridges, castles and churches. This particular Quarry was in use between 1902 and 1970. In the sixties, the demand for limestone quickly decreased and the quarry was closed down. Nowadays it is used to restore historically significant buildings like churches and monasteries that were originally built with limestone. It also houses a workshop for marl processing.

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