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Circular Beurskwartier




Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Province of Utrecht and the city of Utrecht




Marco Broekman, Chloé Charreton, Tea Hadzizulfic, Zuzanna Bręk, Ginevra Melazzi, Tessa Schouten


Research by design on the spatial opportunities of the Circular Economy in the Beurskwartier district in Utrecht





The team of BURA (formerly known as marco.broekman) and LINT landscape architecture has developed a vision on the Beurskwartier Utrecht, out of the perspective of the circular economy, entitled ‘Circulair Beurskwartier’. The vision has been made in the ‘Living Lab’ from the ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the ministry of Economical Affairs, the Province of Utrecht and the municipality of Utrecht.


Through different workshops with commissioning parties, visiting critics, designers and other stakeholders, a ‘second opinion’ was given on the developed structural vision for the Beurskwartier. In addition, the theme circular economy became an urgent topic on the agenda of the municipality of Utrecht, by giving it a concrete and imaginable picture. Circular Beurskwartier does not consist of one blueprint plan, but consists of four strategies that work on different scales and with different flows. They all aim to increase the visibility and relationship of the circular economy in the daily lives of visitors, residents and employees in the area. Visibility will contribute to the reciprocity of behavior. People are more likely to separate waste if they see what happens with it and if they can also derive their identity. The circular economy gives opportunities for a more divers employment, innovation in building, exchange of knowledge and new social structures.The four strategies are:


1  Test Site Beurskwartier

The Beurskwartier must be seen as a learning city, in which knowledge and data about the circular economy are maximized and displayed. A first step would be to develop products with the circular building flows from the area (for example the demolition parts of the Jaarbeurs) and outside the area.


2  Landscape as a Machine

The high urban density and the lack of space in the Beurskwartier requires a completely different perspective on landscape and nature. We use the metaphor of the ‘machine’ and consider the landscape in the Beurskwartier as a series of machines that smartly use the collection of streams in the area.


3  The hybrid building block

The circular economy demands space. Building blocks must be created for new types of infrastructure and waste separation facilities (compost, biodegradable waste, water purification, collective waste separation spaces). In addition, there is an opportunity to include circular program in the building block, where the remaining streams of the area are made productive and visible.


4  High Streets Utrecht

By linking the Beurskwartier to Utrecht’s ‘High Streets’, a new urban structure is created where production, recycling, repair, sales, education and shared stores get a place. The High Streets act as neighborhood identifiers, where targeted interventions in the urban fabric can stimulate the circular economy and create local employment 

Reciprocity diagram

Landscape machines as intensification of the landscape (© LINT landscape architecture)

Circular interventions in the Beurskwartier (© LINT landscape architecture)

Utrecht as 'mine': building materials

Utrecht as 'mine': sharing knowledge

Jaarbeurs as 'mine'

Typology of the hybrid building block

Study block size: the hybrid block requires space.

Making the Jaarbeurs more hybrid, accessible and productive

The Beurskwartier will be connected with the ''High Streets''




Typology of the ''High Streets''





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