The IABR–Atelier East Flanders Core Region examines and tests how the demographic growth of the region can be seen as an opportunity and used to shape the necessary transitions in the field of open space, accessibility, economy and energy.
The East Flanders Region is a single, coherent system. The Atelier focuses on three substantive pillars that will ultimately give direction to the housing policy: Productive Landscape, Circular Economy and Connected Figure.

Space for Production

picture: Sis Pillen

A Productive Landscape as a Structuring and Resilient Open Space
Not only agriculture, but also the fertile soil of the East Flanders Region, its rivers, canals and polders, its strong economy in city centers and ports and the various opportunities for generating renewable energy are core ingredients of the productive landscape. Individually, they are the driving forces behind development and they provide society with important ecosystem services. Identifying the core ingredients of a productive landscape within the East Flanders Region and using them as starting points for the division of different areas will allow smart connections between different spatial functions and qualities.

Productive Landscape

picture: Sis Pillen

Room for a Circular Economy and for Mixed-Use Neighborhoods in a Productive Metropolis
The circular economy is high on the global agenda, but what does this actually amount to and, more in particular, how can it be achieved? Today many economic activities take place in isolated business parks. Relocating such productive activities to our cities and municipalities will create a lot of opportunities. This way we can look to intelligently integrate different driving forces such as the economy, energy and water into the housing fabric.

A Connected Figure, Framework for a More Shared Mobility
In addition to mobility, water, energy, economy and caring living environments can also contribute to a the creation of a ‘connected figure’: by thinking about more than traffic alone it becomes possible to focus on shared mobility in an innovative way. Crossovers between slow road networks and energy supply can result in interesting e-bike charging points, which in turn can guide residential development. An intelligent approach will allow the East Flanders Region to internationally present itself as an innovative Metropolitan Region.