Belgian Design Laboratories of Post-sprawl Urbanisation

  • Michiel DehaeneEmail author


What makes urban projects urban and what does it take to urbanise deliberately? This is a highly pertinent question in the Flemish context, where the regional design agenda is driven by the collective challenge to move away from the notoriously anti-urban legacy of sprawl that has shaped the Flemish Region. The argument of this chapter seeks to answer the question: what does it mean to design for the urban at the regional scale? In order to answer this question, this chapter attempts to gather clues from design research laboratories and collective efforts to deal with regional design in Flanders and Brussels. This analysis produces an inverse way of looking at the relationship between design and governance rescaling within the regional context. Designing for the urban involves articulating the various scales at which urbanisation processes play out, in order to define concrete settings within which variously scaled dynamics can be made the object of concrete and locally supported actions. It also means identifying local actions that enable communities to convert the collective burden of urbanisation into collectively shared opportunities.


Urbanisation Design research Post-suburban development Flemish urban renewal programme Horizontal metropolis 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture & Urban PlanningUniversity of GentGhentBelgium

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