Eindhoven Internationale Knoop XL: Circular area development

Transforming the transit hub of Eindhoven into a sustainable neighborhood.

Metabolic devised a plan for development of the Internationale Knoop XL district in the Dutch city of Eindhoven to be sustainable from the outset.

  • Client: Eindhoven Municipality
  • Date: March 2019
The challenge

Over the next twenty years Eindhoven municipality is planning to expand the Internationale Knoop XL district north of the city’s Central Station from a population of 200 residents to over 15,000. Decisions made at the planning stage will determine most of the environmental and social impact of the area over its lifetime, so we were brought in early in the development process to provide a perspective on how to develop the project in a sustainable and circular way.  

The challenge
Our approach

We undertook an analysis of municipal policy and a zero measurement of the spatial characteristics and the material flows through the area. From there, we identified opportunities and hotspots for the project, examining the urban metabolism as it relates to climate resistance, water, biodiversity, materials, energy, and mobility. We approached key questions at an area-level, for instance with climate resilience: do we want to cope with peak rainfall with façade greenery and roof gardens? Or ensure there are enough vacant areas and urban green spaces between buildings?

Our approach
The outcome

We developed a plan for the area that would incorporate a range of sustainability measures. Proximity to good public transport connections – including the Central Station – allows for a car-free space with extensive walking and cycling trails. Modular construction enables easy disassembly and reuse of building materials. Rainwater is collected and directed towards flushing vacuum toilets, washing facilities, and irrigation of public green areas. Strict requirements apply for insulation of houses, passively-heated house standards and material use. Roofs are adapted for solar energy and green space, possibly including urban agriculture. Innovative designs offer more efficient waste processing logistics, and compost containers put food waste to use.

The outcome

Lead Urban Systems


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“Internationale Knoop XL will become a car-free area with lots of greenery. This gives a pleasant, park-like appearance, but is also important for water drainage. The station area is the lowest part of the city and is already suffering from heat stress. Sufficient planting is needed for climate control and water storage."