BE-24 :: Spatial planning

Flanders (and Brussels) is characterized by intensive soil sealing and fragmentation. Spatial policy in Flanders is facing a number of societal challenges. The population is expected to grow from 6 to 7 million, so the pressure on the space will not be reduced. It is necessary to think how a high-quality open space, good mobility and space for renewable energy production can be provided. How can we prevent floods, protect food production and offer investors and businesses the space that’s needed to keep the Flemish (and other) region competitive?
Research questions:
Demand and Natural capital
How to integrate the “dynamic” societal flows (e.g. temporary and/or multiple use of space or land, mobility, energy flows, waste flows, …) into the more “static” natural system of soil and land use?:
• How to collect dynamic data on multiple and flexible land use, temporary land use (e.g. pop up activities in cities, temporary nature)?
• How to collect dynamic and accurate data on “flows” and “logistic networks”: e.g. energy, transportation and mobility (people, goods), circular economy, resources, waste, …? How to develop a dynamic model that visualizes and monitors changes? Based on this model policymakers can make better decisions.
These dynamic data are necessary to develop and follow up a good policy about spatial planning and land use.
Land management
Can we translate the fundamental knowledge about land use and land use planning into practical knowledge that can be easily and readily applied? What kind of tools can be used by stakeholders on different levels (e.g. policymakers, cities, … )?
How to develop decision supporting tools to optimize land use and spatial planning, taking into account different societal needs at system level (e.g. mobility, water management, agriculture, residential areas, industry, nature, recreation, …)?
Impacts of land management
How to coach and support policymakers on different levels to be able to calculate/see the impact of their policy decisions on spatial planning? The research demands of those who need the support and coaching should be central.