Accessibility of the Parkstad region’s green spaces is currently poor. Firstly, they are barely connected, forcing visitors to cycle through endless stretches of urbanised areas. Secondly, Parkstad region is also inadequately connected with and as such fairly isolated from its neighbouring regions. And because for Dutch standards, bicycle use in the area is very low, there is all the more reason to realise a new bike route in Parkstad: the Leisure Lane. An attractive, high quality route that adds value to the region, to the recreational palette of the region; a route that amazes and surprises. A route that takes you to places you did not expect. A route that showcases Parkstad’s unique landscape. A route you must see, must walk, or must bike!
Parkstad’s major quality is its diversity, both in landscapes and in cultural activities held in short succession throughout the seasons. To amplify this quality, the new route was given a perfect trajectory: along its route, it visits the different landscapes, green spaces, cultural-historical highlights, interesting objects and IBA projects. It joins existing routes and enables further exploration of the region with additional loops. The route’s smart attention to unity and diversity keeps it both attractive and recognisable.
The path itself maintains its strong look throughout. It is four metres wide and has been painted with an orange serpentine to accompany visitors along the entire length. Information and routing signs along the route have been designed in a recognisable uniform style.
Visitors journey through each of the ten different landscapes, signalled by changing atmospheres from one landscape to the next and different verges and rest stops (with a limited palette of materials). Travelling from Nuth, visitors will find a stream valley, an old mining track, lignite mines, heaths, silver sand mines, mining villages, Park Gravenrode (Wilhelminaberg), Country Estate Erenstein, slope forests and an agrarian landscape in another stream valley.
Essential in thinking about Leisure Lane in Parkstad is to experience it together. On this route, you know exactly where the landscape rises, and where its hotspots and its breath-taking views are. During a three-day cycling event, all stakeholders, including municipalities, the province, IBA Parkstad and leisure experts, visualised and thought through the entire route. In situ, the group talked to one another about possibilities and challenges of the Leisure Lane. This proved vital to its final strength.
Title: Leisure Lane bike route Parkstad
Location: Parkstad, Limburg, NL
Size: 21,5 km
Client: IBA Parkstad
Image credits: BoschSlabbers
Project code: bs-L 16-32