Utopia and Reality of Living spaces

Windows on the threshold of inside and outside – private and public

When the three coal mines where installed in Genk this particularly meant work and the initiation of migrant labor, with people immigrating from a lot of countries – amongst others from Italy, Ukraine and Poland.

This required the building of new living spaces and housing provided by the mining owners. Concepts of big housing complexes with large uniformity and in case of the Tuinwijken even the access to green spaces were considered. However, also the hierarchies within the mines were mirrored in the neighborhoods and buildings.

The Kolenslagcités and Tuinwijken raise questions on urban planning, the distribution of living space and the quality of life that comes along with it. The challenges of spatial justice become apparent.