Manual for a utilitarian park
Heerlen is one of The Netherlands' most rapidly shrinking towns. It is estimated that by 2040 its population will have dropped by over 20% to 70,000. For the Gebrookerbos district this will involve a huge paradigm shift. Until the eighties the countryside was an important resource for mining and urban development. Now, however, the countryside consists of piecemeal areas of wilderness in between housing blocks and industrial estates. The "Gebruikerspark" handbook proposes new ways of using what has been left of the countryside. It sets out ten models of how it could be transformed into a productive park for the people who live in Gebrookerbos. The proposals include woodland gardens, models combining fish-farming and vegetable growing and a special navigation system to help people discover the reclaimed landscape. The handbook has been created in close collaboration with local protagonists: beekeepers, horse riders, farmers, community gardeners, restaurant owners, residents and quarry operators.