De summer school Green4Grey produced attractive ideas for developing Curange-Les-Bains
The Vlaamse Landmaatschappij (VLM) and the Department Leefmilieu, Nature & Energie (LNE, Ecocampus) jointly organised the summer school 'Curange-les Bains'.
From 13 through 17 September 2016, 20 students and 20 experts from 10 different fields worked on the development of the area ‘Curange-Les-Bains’, a forgotten piece of green space in the Demervallei between Hasselt and Herkenrode. In the 1940-1960s this location was the ’place to be’ for the residents of Hasselt who wanted to relax in the countryside, and for young men who frequented this ‘Plage-Crapule’ in the hope of picking up girlfriends on the banks of the canal. Today it is the forgotten green space that is need of fresh ideas.
Students and experts representing different disciplines (social, exact and applied sciences, from different Belgian universities: PXL, EhB, UGent, KU Leuven and UHasselt), worked together intensively for a week. After a period of full immersion, ideas emerged concerning the multifunctional future of the zone. The goal is to give this area in the suburbs of Hasselt a sustainable future perspective. Furthermore they took into account of the challenges that we face today and what is playing in the area..
The results of the summer school were extremely inspiring, with sustainable ideas for a possible new land development plan for De Wijers.
According to the students, water will once again be the pivot for future development. A number of inspirational practices were suggested for this and they want to stimulate the local residents to come together and take action. Examples are the strengthening of biodiversity via breeding grounds and natural ponds, an active discovery route along the Demer and Kanaal with, among other things a playground forest, a natural wood for burials, water education with a water playground and a viewing platform. In addition, a functional cycle and walking route can link the inhabitants once again with water and the landscape.
On Saturday 17 September, the students shared their enthusiasm and proposals with local residents, policy makers, random walkers,... during the Buurtlab@Curange. In a creative manner they presented their proposals for achieving interaction with the neighbourhood. Also during the Dag van De Wijers (on Sunday 25 September), many interested people visited the exhibition in Tuiltermolen.
LNE and VLM are collaborating in an interactive and digital inspiration brochure describing the summer school.
From 7 to 10 November, Green4Grey organised a second design workshop, this time in the Vlaamse Rand.