Towards a sustainable re-assembling in suburban Flanders
Wouter Bervoets
24 November 2015, 16:00-18:00
De Molen Room 02.16

After the Second World War, Belgium was confronted with massive suburbanization and the owner-occupied detached dwelling became the dominant building type located in residential subdivisions, ribbon developments or as piecemeal developments scattered through the landscape. Today, in the light of the ageing baby boom generation, decreasing family sizes, economic changes and a growing ecological consciousness, there are rising concerns about the failure (or potential failure) of single-use and car-dominated residential areas. The lecture will discuss the historical development and the current challenges of the suburban residential landscape in Belgium. The search and public support for different spatial transformation strategies - ranging from incremental infill to the subdivision of existing houses and lots, and from the insertion of new collective housing projects and public facilities to the (partial) demolition of neighborhoods for landscape recovery, will also be discussed.

Wouter Bervoets is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Archi­tecture, KU Leuven. He studied Architecture at Sint-Lucas School of Architecture, Urban Planning at Erasmus University College Brussels, and received his PhD from the KU Leuven. Since 2010, he has worked as a researcher on diverse topics such as slum redevelopment, social mix, spatial planning and housing policies. His current research focuses on the transformation of the postwar suburban housing stock in the light of the economic, demographic and ecological changes and challenges.