Crossing Boundaries

Parkstad, the netherlands

24-25 March 2021




Session recordings


Abstract book

Final Programme is now published.

It is now possible to rewatch the sessions which has been recorded during the IBA Crossing Boundaries conference.

The final abstract book can be downloaded here.

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.


Digital venue

You will receive a link to the digital venue on Monday 22 March 2021.

Please note that you need to be registered.

Super Circular Estate

Online closing conference

SUPER CIRCULAR ESTATE: the first circular social housing estate for 100% material and social circularity

Join us and learn more about circular development. Learn more about developing a circular estate based on the best practises in the first circular housing estate. The Super Circular Estate project partners are looking forward to sharing their knowledge, experiences and lessons.

In 2017, the Super Circular Estate project in the city of Kerkrade was granted a subsidy by the Urban Innovative Actions initiative. The aim of the project was to experiment with new circular economy processes aimed at 100% reusing and recycling of materials acquired from the demolition of an outdated social housing high-rise estate.

After years of innovating, experimenting and finally implementing circularity in the construction of a new housing estate, we are now approaching the realization of the Super Circular Estate.

The Super Circular Estate program, which is part of the Crossing Boundaries 2021 program, consists of several components. In the plenary part you can hear everything about the entire Super Circular Estate project through an overall presentation about the circular area development.

In specific sub-sessions you can learn more about circular construction, social circularity and the policy recommendations.

Special session

Innovative district heating and cooling, and seasonal storage

District heating and cooling and seasonal storage can be seen as one of the enablers in the transition towards an energy neutral built environment, and the (Eur)regio is an exemplary region with projects like the Minewater. In this session we will zoom in on the state of the art of projects in this region, analysis of success factors, and how potential barriers can be breached towards successful district heating and cooling and seasonal storage. The session is a starting point of a strategic process to implement district heating and cooling and seasonal storage successfully by the application of a regional innovation eco-system.

Crossing boundaries partners

Zuyd Research
Parkstad zuid regio
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UN enverimont programme
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