Super Circular Estate project - School kids with concrete
Short description
On 23 February 2018 the Municipality of Kerkrade organised a Launch event for the UIA project Super Circular Estate. Professionals discussed the success of a circular economy during a seminar with keynote speakers Elma Durmisevic, a renowned researcher in the field of transformable building structures, and Michiel Ritzen, senior researcher in sustainable built environment.
A small step
The Launching event consisted of a symposium and roundtable discussion to celebrate the awarding from the UIA Initiative. UIA co-finances the Super Circular Estate project with  4.7 mln €  because the project strongly contributes to a sustainable economy, which efficiently handles raw materials. Starting with the construction of 4 types of test houses, where several recycling methods are tested, using materials which are harvested from the demolished high rise buildings (flats) in the area. The symposium was attended by many professionals in the field of construction and circular economy. After the introduction by Alderman Wiermans, keynote speakers Elma Durmisevic and Michiel Ritzen introduced the visitors to the basics of a circular economy underpinned by scientific evidence. Speakers stated that the success of a circular economy depends on behavioural change in the construction chain and the local residents. This point-of-view was supported during the roundtable discussion where Marco Siecker (IBA Parkstad), Michiel Wauben (Heemwonen), Rene Plaggenburg (Dusseldorp Sloop en Infra), Peter Bertholet (Stadsregio Parkstad Limburg), Michiel Ritzen (Hogeschool Zuyd), Elma Durmisevic (4d Architecten), Jordi Schoffelen (Bouwbedrijven Jongen) and Alderman Huub Wiermans publicly discussed the circular economy and all its business facets. The Super Circular Estate project can be seen as a small first step, but it will be part of a giant leap in the field of circular economy.
The Launching event was preceded by a ‘Administrative Kick off’ session in which the twelve partners in the Super Circular Estate project were further introduced in the ERDF and UIA regulations.
Spreading the word
The message of the growing need for circular solutions in our society was also told to the wider public and especially to ‘the next generation’.  The day before the Launching event the so called Expo Building was officially opened in attendance of citizens of Kerkrade. School children, under the watchful eye of officials and local residents, placed a piece of concrete from flat D on an engraved column and released biodegradable balloons. Flat D is the flat from which the materials which are used to build the Expo Building were harvested.
The day after the Launching event, local residents were invited to give input about the current plans and pickup information leaflets about the project Super Circular Estate. During the lively information market citizens actively took part in the discussion and shared their ideas on the spatial organization of the area, such as parking, playing and exercise. Citizens actively participate throughout the project, thus making Super Circular Estate a true ‘co-design’project.
Author: Mado van Oppen, Communication Manager, Municipality of Kerkrade