The Gulbergen Estate should become a green oasis, a city park for the Eindhoven region. This has emerged from a study in which inhabitants of the region were asked for their opinions on what should be done with the area.
Land of former landfill
The Gulbergen Estate covers some 325 hectares and lies between Geldrop-Mierlo, Nuenen and Helmond. The land of the former landfill became public property again in 2020 after the municipalities bought off the long lease from former owner Attero.
Remain as a green landscape
But what should be done with the enormous area? In February of this year, the Metropolitan Region of Eindhoven already threw up a few ideas: holiday homes, windmills and solar panels, the creation of forest, housing, or a combination of two or three of these possibilities.
Participants in the study are clear: no meadows with solar panels, holiday homes or houses: Landgoed Gulbergen needs lots of green.
This is evident from the participation process surrounding the development of the estate. 200 people participated in an online meeting, which was viewed by 400 people after the event, 276 completed a questionnaire and 150 participated in discussions or residents’ evenings concerning the area development.
The discussions revealed that those involved particularly appreciate the ‘unique character’ of the hill, the green landscape and the peace and quiet in the area. The view from the hill and the opportunities for sports and exercise are also considered important.
Room for improvement
Points for improvement were also indicated. The unclear signposting is an eyesore for many, as is the general untidy and neglected appearance of the area. There is also a lack of facilities such as parking places, benches and toilets.
To be used by the people
All this reflects the wish of many people that Gulberg should be a green area accessible to all. The term ‘regional city park’ often came up in discussions with stakeholders. The Gulbergen should become an area where residents of Southeast Brabant can escape the hustle and bustle of the urban area and relax.
Sport and nature
Stakeholders envision the southern part of the park as a place for recreation and sports, where good use can be made of the hill. The more northern part would be a combination of forest, cultural history and nature-friendly agricultural activities such as a food forest or fruit orchard.
Fending for itself
It remains to be seen to what extent the wishes will be met. The MRE board wants to ensure that the estate finances its own maintenance. That is why things like generating energy or building holiday homes will still go ahead, because the area will have to fend for itself one way or another. In combination with accessibility for everyone, a revenue model will therefore have to be established.
Translated by: Anitha Sevugan