Crossing Boundaries

Parkstad, the netherlands

24-25 March 2021



Final Programme is now published.

Final programme is now available and can be downloaded.



It is now possible to register for the Crossing Boundaries conference.
To register please click the button below.

Parkstad, the netherlands

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.

About the conference

One of the major themes in architecture and construction is the move towards a zero energy and circular built environment. In the case of zero energy, most countries have legislation in place to realize this ambition. In the case of circularity, there is a different situation. Many countries do have ambitions in this field, but legislation is not yet embedded in policies. Collaterally, most buildings are still designed, constructed, operated and demolished in a traditional linear process. Currently less than three percent of all residual material is reused after the demolition of a building, which means that vast amounts of resources are wasted in the process. The small amount of materials that is recycled, is often used in inefficient ways, with collateral environmental impacts, that go across national boundaries. Worldwide, there is numerous ongoing research and exemplary projects in the field of circularity in the built environment, so, crossing boundaries between different fields of disciplines and nations is necessary to meet the ambitions of full circularity. The conference ‘CROSSING BOUNDARIES, Towards a circular, sustainable and vital built environment’ aims to create a platform on which knowledge on the subject can be exchanged on a scientific level, to study the environmental and economic implications and to share experiences on the latest developments in the field of circular building.

The Parkstad region in the south of the Netherlands is coping with a steady decline in population and therefore has a large housing surplus, making it an interesting testing ground for the practice of circular building. The Parkstad region has the ambition to develop itself into the (inter)national centre of circularity in the built environment. This ambition meets, and is supported by the agenda of IBA Parkstad, the International Building Exhibition in the region that is presenting its results in 2020-2021 in which sustainable and circular building is also an important theme.

Fitting in these developments, the goal of this conference is make the next step in the framework for enabling circularity in the built environment. The aim is to have a scientific conference on circularity in the built environment. The conference will result in a publication of a selection of best papers, and aims at giving guidance towards a circular built environment.

The conference is a collaboration between Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, IBA Parkstad and the City Region of Parkstad organization.


Conference venue

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many restrictions in regards to travelling and the hosting of congresses by governments and health authorities around the world.
While this situation continues to develop and the advent of multiple vaccines is becoming more and more concrete, it remains unclear if it is possible to bring our community together for the Crossing Boundaries conference in March 2021. Therefore, the Local Organising Committee, has decided to make the conference digital!

We are currently working on the new digital program and adjusted and lower registration fees which will communicated soon.


Crossing boundaries partners

Zuyd Research
Parkstad zuid regio
UIA logo png
UN enverimont programme