Metropolis Park De Motten by Sweco Belgium — Panorama Structure Platform


Renovated metropolis park ‘De Motten’ with disclosure of the Jeker River in Tongeren.

The renovation of ‘De Motten’ as a leisure Metropolis Park with full disclosure of an historic department of the Jeker River is an effective instance of how water can provide the transition in direction of local weather adaptation and high quality of life a strong increase in metropolis facilities.

After greater than 60 years the Jeker flows once more via the middle of the oldest and a former Roman metropolis of Belgium known as Tongeren. The goal of the venture was to make use of the disclosure of an previous derelict and once-covered riverbed to revamp its environment as a valley space throughout the metropolis. A metropolis park with water expertise was created across the river. At the moment, the realm has develop into a revitalized assembly space with open areas for recreation and retreat.

The rule was the restoration of pure features mixed with experiences. The distinction between the previous metropolis and the pure surroundings was used as a design precept. The Jeker follows the previous metropolis partitions and thus types the hyperlink between the town and the valley. The river has a tough city and a delicate pure financial institution. Alongside its course, it opens up the door to the valley and brings the pure treasures and outside qualities of ‘De Kevie’ inside attain of the individuals of Tongeren and its guests.

A brand new starting for the Jeker River, with the varied types and meanings of transition embodied by the Roman god ‘Janus’ as a metaphor. Together with the disclosure of the Jeker over greater than 1 kilometre and the redesign of the park, the chance was taken to scale back the quantity of hard-covered surfaces within the park and its environment, linked to a brand new imaginative and prescient of mobility. Current roads all through the park and parking heaps had been eliminated, and options had been sought within the environment or partly moved to the sides. The result’s now a big cohesive complete that may absolutely play the function of a central Metropolis Park and a significant hyperlink within the valley.

Concentrate on transition by connecting with the previous and environment

Based mostly on the Sweco motto ‘Remodeling society collectively’, the underlying concept was to concentrate on transition. A brand new Metropolis Park is created to final a very long time, opening up a river much more so. A brand new starting is predicated on the thought of connecting with a forgotten previous and reestablishing previous key values. The reply was, after all, to start with, the reconstruction of the riverbed to breathe new life into a spot the place the town had turned its again on the river. The riverbed follows the previous Roman and Medieval ramparts. A set of latest bridges rebounds the town with the park and dwelling areas on the opposite facet of the valley. Current Group gardens weren’t worn out or hidden away however built-in into the park and metropolis life.

In the meantime, a brand new recent wind blew via the streets of the decrease metropolis with a brand new circulation plan in perform which emphasizes heritage, the residential character and secure faculty environments. Parking was shifted to the sting and built-in into a brand new distribution system for the complete metropolis centre. Coated surfaces with no additional use had been eliminated and reworked into water surfaces and inexperienced open areas with footpaths and bicycle lanes.

Water experiences for people and nature

The Jeker as a river is simply as atypical as the town of Tongeren. A former Roman metropolis primarily based on the banks of a river primarily watered by rainfall. Subsequently the water movement varies tremendously in keeping with the whims of the climate gods and the seasons, the extent of human water administration and the influence of local weather modifications. Move management on the completely different branches regulates the movement and price of the river to forestall flooding and absence of water. Fish ladders in the midst of the river make upstream fish migration doable once more.

In a bend of the river, comfortably nestled in opposition to the previous ramparts of ‘Kastanjewal’, a brand new ‘Water Sq.’ types the ‘coronary heart’ of the park and a brand new point of interest on the foot of the previous metropolis. The ‘Water Sq.’ makes the important function of water tangible and visual and hyperlinks it to expertise. A singular ‘three-pointed’ bridge completes the image was as soon as an previous Roman crossroad and gate engaged with the river.

The ‘Water Sq.’ follows the pure contours of the terrain and types an open assembly area with a lowered amphitheatre centred across the expertise of water. It types a secure and managed water surroundings for all ages that’s visually linked to the Jeker with out really being related to it. In summer time it’s getting used as a play fountain whereas in winter it may be reworked into an ice-skating pond. Finally, when the complete water system of the town centre is remediated, will probably be fed by clear rainwater flowing down from the hill, however within the meantime, it’s nonetheless being fed by faucet water.

The ‘BUUR contact’ in complicated initiatives

‘De Motten’ and disclosure of the Jeker is the results of a profitable collaboration between varied governmental establishments and administrations that took half in a powerful ‘design and process-driven’ venture. It’s an instance of the interdisciplinary method that we at Sweco and BUUR stand for. Inside a fancy project and constellation of actors involving many disciplines and companions, design was key. Not solely to hold the objectives and ambitions via all of the steps of evaluations and decision-making but in addition to obviously talk the core message all through the complete course of.

With visible energy, each stakeholders and most of the people had been concerned in an intensive journey with a compelling story that was possible and technically substantiated. From survey via masterplan and design to execution, the complete course of was accomplished within the brief lead-time of 5 years and with 90% of the masterplan already realized.


At the moment everybody can discover some type of leisure exercise or retreat within the park. Sports activities, heritage, nature and tradition play a central function in a Metropolis Park that’s the start line for a lot of biking and climbing routes. The result’s a big enchancment of the general public area and native mobility. A helpful public motion that helps a secure and nice dwelling surroundings and one which strengthens the vacationer and leisure potential of the previous metropolis centre. The social community of the neighbourhood was strengthened. As a brand new ‘crowd favourite’ the park and riverbanks obtain broad help which allow them to develop into a fantastic and significant assembly place.

Over greater than a hectare of lined surfaces had been depaved. We’ve seen a restoration of pure features alongside the course of the river, each within the valley and the city surroundings. Afterwards, the town council of Tongeren carried out the general imaginative and prescient and objectives in its local weather adaptation plan. Consequently the town not too long ago planted 200 further ‘local weather bushes’ throughout the park.

In 2021 the ‘Renovated metropolis park ‘De Motten’ with disclosure of the Jeker River in Tongeren’ received the Public Area Prize. Yearly, the Regional Information Heart for Public Area presents an award for the ‘greatest’ public area in Flanders. The Public Area Prize is a prestigious recognition for good commissioning and high-quality design and execution of a venture. Each professionals and most of the people can forged its vote for its favorite venture. We’re very proud for this recognition, and we’ll proceed to work on the design of sustainable public areas sooner or later.

Mission Information

Panorama Structure: Sweco Belgium and the Infrastructure division of Sweco

Consumer: Metropolis of Tongeren

Location: Tongeren

Date: 2015-2019

Picture: Bram Goots


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *