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From grey to green: transformation of City Park ‘De Motten’

In the heart of the historical center of Tongeren, a transformative vision has unfolded, turning the once-neglected Jeker River into a vibrant focal point of the community. The sports and recreation park ‘De Motten’ has become an example of the benefits of harnessing water to enhance climate resilience and the overall quality of life.

A River reborn

Tongeren’s city council, dedicated to environmental sustainability, incorporated the revival of the Jeker River into its climate adaptation plan. The result? A clever combination of nature with planning and design that has reshaped the urban landscape : after six decades, the Jeker River flows through the city center again, bringing life back into the once-dormant surroundings.

Recreational hub

But the transformation didn’t stop there. With ‘De Motten’ a sports and recreation park emerged along the revitalized river, crafted around a central water experience square. It’s not just a park; it’s a vibrant meeting space designed to accommodate a myriad of recreational facilities for everyone to enjoy.

Design philosophy

What makes this project stand out is its interdisciplinary approach. The project was entirely executed by Sweco from conceptualization to execution and involved the commitment of various disciplines within our organization –  with the design at the forefront, driving the entire process. 

A new flow

In essence, the award-winning ‘De Motten’ sports and recreation park is more than a picturesque destination—it’s a living example of how collaborative design can bring new life into urban spaces, fostering resilience and community spirit. As Tongeren embraces the flow of the Jeker River once more, the city serves as a source of inspiration for others seeking to transform their own urban landscapes into a balanced blend of nature and innovation.

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