SUPERLOCAL – Super Circular Estate

Kerkrade, The Netherlands Construction and Development, Environment and Resource efficiency, Local social sustainability, Relations to stakeholders


SUPERLOCAL is a circular area development project in which materials from two unoccupied high-rise flats are reused for the construction of new houses and the layout of the public area. The construction is in full swing, so it is the perfect moment to think about how the public spaces should be filled in. A nice interaction between the project team and future residents of the houses.


The Super Circular Estate contributes to a sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient economy by creating high-quality, desirable urban environment and affordable housing opportunities based on breakthrough innovative material and social circular solutions. Europe’s first circular estate is based in a sustainable shrinkage area in Stadsregio Parkstad Limburg in the South of the Netherlands. In the next 30 years, the Parkstad Limburg region’s population will shrink by 27% due to population ageing and young people moving to urban agglomeration cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam. This implies that less housing accommodation will be demanded in the following decades. High-rise apartment buildings, which were mainly built in the 1960s when housing shortage was a primary issue, no longer satisfy requirements and inhabitants’ needs. Three vacant high-rise apartment buildings in the project-area in the city of Kerkrade contain valuable materials, qualities and former social structures. Demolition of these buildings will irreversibly impair these values. The objective of the Super Circular Estate is to circularly reuse these values within the project area whilst boosting the local economy and creating a high-quality and desirable urban environment. The former social structures will be recovered by actively stimulating former inhabitants to take residence in the area again. The project serves as a best example for approximately 1250 similar housing accommodations in the Parkstad Limburg region.

Issues tackled

Super Circular Estate’s innovation aim is to revolutionize the management of social housing associations towards more sustainable, resource-efficient decision making, delivery models and processes. The Super Circular Estate aspires gathering important information for estate owners and social housing corporations in the EU with similar challenges in comparable shrinkage regions. The proposed innovative urban action is to experiment with new circular economy processes aimed at 100% reusing and recycling of materials acquired from the demolition of an outdated social housing high-rise flat.

Actors involved

  • HEEMwonen
  • Municipality of Kerkrade
  • IBA Parkstad
  • City Region of Parkstad Limburg
  • demolition firm Dusseldorp Infra
  • Sloop en Milieutechniek B.V
  • VolkerWessels Construction and Real Estate Development South
  • Waterboard Company Limburg (WBL)
  • Limburg Drinking Water Company (WML)
  • Zuyd University of Applied Sciences
  • Association of Demolition Contractors (VERAS)
  • Municipalities of Landgraaf and Brunssum


The new flat offers space for 114 dwellings. A communal area will also be realised here. At the foot of the flat, a space of approximately 300 m² will be built. Facilities for the residents will be located in this communal area. Which facilities will be provided, will be determined in consultation with future residents. The idea is to create a space for eating and exercising together, among other things. A place where people can meet each other. All to promote social cohesion.Not only in the building, but also in the public space around it, facilities will be realised in consultation with local residents and future residents, with the ultimate aim of establishing long-term connections between residents of the dwellings and those living in the surrounding area. This includes, for example, facilities in regards to activity and sports, but also residential facilities. The most important aspect of the facilities is that they have a multifunctional and flexible use.

Main expected results:

  • The circular demolition of a high-rise flat with 100 dwellings.
  • The establishment of four pilot housing units with different reuse techniques, made from the harvested materials of the demolished high-rise flat.
  • Approximately 125 former inhabitants of the area back in the new neighbourhood.
  • A closed water cycle to provide 35 households with high-quality drinking water.
  • A social services centre with six functions to strengthen social cohesion and stimulate community building aimed at waste reduction.
  • A mobility platform providing e-cars, (e-)bikes and mobility scooters for inhabitants’ use.



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