pond urbanism

The Second Life of De Wijers

Theme: Urban design, landscape, urban vision
Date: September 2013
Mission: International workshop with the participation of 12 selected designers for the future vision of De Wijers
Location: Hasselt, Belgium
Size: area in the north of Hasselt (20,000 ha)
Guidance: Prof. Bruno DE MEULDER (KUL), Christian NOLF (KUL), Katrien HENDRICKX (Provincie Limburg), Huig DENEEF (VLM)
Team: Dao-Ming CHANG, Michele GIRELLI, Inge KERSTEN, Thomas LENAERTS
Organizer: OSA/RUA of University of Leuven (KUL), Flemish Land Agency (VLM)

The area north of Hasselt in Belgium is mainly known for its coal mining past and its recent, but also extremely dispersed (sub)urbanization. Yet at the heart of this urbanized territory hides a treasure: an impressive constellation of small cascading ponds. This unique water landscape developed incrementally from the 13th century onwards for fish farming. Abandoned and neglect for several decades , the water landscape however re-emerges today in the collective imagery thanks the ambitious regional project ‘De Wijers’. The aim of the workshop is to define strategic interventions for the development of a vast regional park project. A team of 4 designers concentrates on the core area of the ponds. By means of requalifying on the old water device – ditches and ponds, they will have an essential role on ecology and water management. A new way to appreciate the beautiful landscape is proposed.

Dao-Ming Chang was interviewed by the TV channel