Urban landscape research, Maasmechelen, 2016
IEA i.c.w. Circular Landscapes, Wageningen, SBB
Urban farming Maasmechelen is one of the Pilot Projects Productive Landscape initiated by Team Flemish Government Architect and ILVO.
These pilot projects are researching the changing position of the landscape in Vlanders. An existing cattle farm in Maasmechelen must be relocated from the center to the outskirts of the city. The municipality, through the new urban implementation plan, aims to allocate space here for a new sustainable agricultural area. Previously the area was part of the "housing area expansion perimeter".
The Master Plan was realised through a participatory design process. Three scenarios have been worked out: Koehof, Stadstuinderij and Wildernispark. These refer to broader agricultural and food trends, namely specialized livestock farming, local food production and food from nature / wilderness. They each have their own program, experience, target group, business case and organization. The most promising is the Kaienhof, because there is already an initiator and investor involved. The master plan is a combination of the three scenarios and shows how the area can be transformed into an urban 'agricultural park'. An area in which food, landscape and nature are interwoven. The existing Aquafin retention ponds are also integrated. The open center will be given an agricultural purpose. Around it there will be the livestock sheds, testing grounds and pavilion-like buildings for education, care and recreation. The forest and the noise barrier form an ecological structure. A network of wheelchair-friendly paths connects the whole.