Flemish Government Architect 'scans' towns for sustainability

Flanders faces the challenge of simultaneously transforming its cities, villages and open spaces into sustainable environments that can function in harmony. The Flemish Government Architect’s 'scans' serve as a tool for designing this transition. They identify design and policy opportunities, challenges and potential solutions for improving sustainability and the use of space. On behalf of the Flemish government architect, our multidisciplinary team has examined six Flemish municipalities: Lier, Sint-Maarten-Latem, Halle, Bocholt, Lede and Kortemark. We are now looking at four more.

Flanders’ spatial model is characterised by scattered low-density housing, a high number of detached dwellings, a heavy use of space, and an inefficient mobility system. This model has a negative impact on the climate and energy consumption. The scans are designed to support communities in making the transition to a more pleasant, healthier, better equipped and more inclusive environment, coupled with a more thoughtful and sustainable approach to the ecosystem and natural resources. We have studied these various aspects for each municipality, working with 2DVW Architecten and the experts at Generation.Energy (climate and energy), VE-R (landscape), Deltares (water and subsurface).

In a series of articles we will report on our findings for each municipality, starting with Lier. Although the communities share a similar context, given that they are all located in Flanders, the scans reveal a number of new challenges and opportunities specific to each place. Hence, each municipality yields different lessons. At the end of the project, we will link our observations and reflect on the scans by asking questions like these: What are the most surprising insights and promising potential solutions? And what can the Netherlands and Flanders learn from each other with regard to using space sustainably?  

To Lier scan

To Halle scan