Heerlen Rooftop Project: From the rooftops!

From the end of June, as part of the Heerlen Rooftop Project, an erstwhile dull and drab parking deck at the Putgraaf in Heerlen will be transformed into a small-scale urban farm-cum-garden. 


Q-Park Putgraaf


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Plant pots full of herbs, vegetables, edible flowers and seating areas will together provide a green oasis in Heerlen’s roofscape. Lots will be happening in the rooftop garden up until mid-October. The architects collective Selvatico, one of the winners of Heerlen Rooftop Project’s ideas competition (2019), completed the design. With this inspirational design, which goes by the name of ‘The Countryside’, Selvatico and SCHUNCK are aiming to provide a concrete answer to one of the most complex and pressing issues for the future: our climate!

The garden has been installed in a phased manner by volunteers and local Heerlen residents. Necessary carpentry was carried out during the first phase, followed by planting in the following two phases. Slowly but surely, the garden has been taking shape. The rooftop garden will be opened to the public on 2 July, preceded by an opening ceremony on 30 June.

SCHUNCK Rooftop voorbereidingen

Photo: preparations for the rooftop garden, Putgraaf

About the Heerlen Rooftop Project

The Heerlen Rooftop Project is not just a temporary stunt. It has evolved to make people more aware of the potential of roofspace: the unharnessed potential of the urban environment. The figures show that Heerlen is one of the three hottest cities in the Netherlands. The city therefore faces major challenges when it comes to improving biodiversity and quality of life, reducing carbon emissions and tapping into new sources of energy.

Heat stress is primarily caused by the large amounts of concrete used for flat roofing in Heerlen. The problem opens up a perfect opportunity for change. The rooftop landscape offers space for experimental and innovative solutions, such as sustainable food production, climate adaptation and new forms of public space. An integrated approach to tackling the problem of Heerlen’s present-day drab skyline can help change the perspective of the city, making it healthier, more liveable and more future-proof.

The Heerlen Rooftop Project is part of IBA Parkstad’s expo year. IBA Parkstad is stimulating the transformation of the region by supporting interventions in the urban environment. The greening of roofs is a paradigm example of such an intervention in the urban environment with a multitude of effects.

More background information about the different phases of the project, the inspirational results of the international ideas competition and the summer programme can be found here.

Project partners & support

Initiator & organiser

Design of Putgraaf roof garden
Selvatico, Amsterdam

Project partners
IBA Parkstad Limburg

De Moestuinman
Stadstuin Heerlen
Heerlen residents
Stichting Relim