Color Legend


Light blue



Dark blue

The three mines of Genk: Winterslag, Waterschei, Zwartberg

Mijncité or Tuinwijk

Church belonging to the Mijncité or Tuinwijk

Director's Villa

Tuinwijk with housing for mining engineers

Contextualizing information geographically


The installation of the three coal mines in Genk and the increase of migrant labor 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 Mijncités 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. 


The images show a digital 0,25m hillshade model (source: Databank Ondergrond Vlaanderen as WMS) layered with a map of Genk from 1950 to 1970 (Topografische kaarten Ministerie van Openbare Werken en Wederopbouw (source: Geopunt Belgium as WMS))

The differently colored shapefiles constitute a de- and reconstruction of the city development of Genk with its Mijncités and Tuinwijken (source: Agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed Vlaanderen via Geopunt Belgium as WFS)


I worked with QGIS – a geographical information system – that allowed me to combine information from different web-map-services in order to gain new geographical insights on the history of Genk. The program is open source and thus developed by a big number of contributors.