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State Belgium
Regional (NUTS I) hierarchical level Flemish region
NUTS II (Province) East Flanders (Limburg)
Connection to traffic network City Centre

Main factors of successful redevelopment process

  • general localization (great localization close to the border with The
    Netherlands and Germany)
  • specific localization (inner city)
  • attractiveness of the site and objects (heart of the city, the buildings are
    classified as historic buildings)
  • social status of the locality (7000 miners lost their jobs, symbolic value of
  • local involvement and stakeholders´ collaboration (there are direct
    partnerships with the Media and Design Academy, cooperation with various
    universities and research institutes)
  • availability of financial incentives (project was co-financed under ERDF
    Limburg Objective 2 Programme and Flanders RCE Programme)

Brief description of site and current use

Genk is a small city in Limburg with 65000 people which had attracted miners from all over Europe to its three mines. But 25 years ago the mines started to close and 7000 miners lost their jobs. The former owner cleaned the area after closing. Winterslag C-Mine is the heart of the city. The buildings are classified as historic buildings. Many different organizations were involved in a wide partnership.

Finance came from ERDF Limburg and the city of Genk. The city is developing a cluster of related initiatives tapping into the knowledge of higher artistic education in Genk, Limburg with entrepreneurship and creative innovation at company level like: Design Innovation Lab, Centre for creative business innovation and entrepreneurship, Incubation centre for the creative economy in order to avoid the brain drain of skilled young graduates from the art colleges of Limburg.

There are direct partnerships with the Media and Design Academy. There is also a model of cooperation with various universities and research institutes, such as the University of Leuven and Hasselt, ‘Flanders in Shape’, ‘Design region’ and ‘Design Platform Limburg’. These institutions are working with the city to prepare for the development of the Design Innovation Lab.

Original use – basic description

Original use Industrial (mines)
Area 3,5 ha
Type of site Industrial site

Current state – basic description

Current use

Cultural and education centre (Media and design academy, business centre, creative centre)
% of built-up area Almost 42%
State of Environment Area was cleaned before project started
New use from 2010
Total costs € 8,917,442
Owner of site City of Genk

Contact to stakeholders

Owner of site City of Genk
Hans Rymenams
Department of Welfare, Public Health and Family.
Tel. +32 2 5533368 - Fax +32 2 5533140
Local public administration Mayor of Genk
Wim Dries
Contact to his party: http://www.cdenv.be/
Investors participating at redevelopment Flanders RCE programme
ERDF Limburg
City of Genk
NGOs Bogdan and Van Broeck Architectures