Architecture Workroom

Antwerp— Study to map the livability of neighbourhoods

The City of Antwerp is striving for a renewal process for the city. Three thematic pillars will be used to review the strategic Spatial Structure Plan for Antwerp (s-RSA): Flowing city, Cooperative city, and Livable city. The Livable city component consists of a study of the prerequisites and levers for mapping ‘livability’ in neighbourhoods. For this project Architecture Workroom is working with the anthropologist and pedagogue Ruth Soenen of Simply Community and social geographer Christian Kesteloot from the geography department at KULeuven.

Typically, cities are places where lots of people live close together, where there are large concentrations of amenities and a lot of capital is involved. The surplus value created is distinctive to the urban context. One of the major challenges in terms of urban development is how we want to cope with this surplus in the future. Today, we see the emergence of extractive forces, in which this surplus is extracted from the city, without being replaced by anything or any mutual commitment. While thanks to this surplus, there is scope to create collectivity in the city that transcends the individual. Therefore a livable neighbourhood is a neighbourhood where the value generated by users (individually or collectively), also flows back into the neighbourhood or city one way or another.

For this study related to mapping livability in neighbourhoods we place the user and an everyday perspective of the space central. In its most minimal sense, the user has access to the space. He or she has access to a home, to urban amenities and to employment. But we need more than this to be able to speak of a livable neighbourhood. What this 'more' actually involves; how, where, when and by whom this 'more' is created and how this 'more' could be steered, is the subject of this study.

By viewing the neighbourhood from the user's perspective, we opt for a radical reversal of the conventional approach. Instead of designing a district or a city tailored for pre-established target groups with the help of a specialist range of elements, we go in search of a socio-spatial approach that comes much closer to the existing, more complex and real context of what is already available. We view this as an opportunity to expose, identify and map the multiple identities and multilayered meanings that are concealed in the urban space, and the way in which they generate value that contributes to the vibrancy of neighbourhoods, so that the authorities can assume a more active role in the future.

This study is part of the s-RSA review. We see this study as an opportunity to develop a creative and practical socio-spatial approach, which is complementary and can be applied alongside existing and planned (mainly quantitative) tools for urban monitoring, and which can provide input for urban development processes.

This study kicked off with a public urban debate on 1 December 2016. During this event, city services, experts, organisations and residents were invited to engage in dialogue about livability. To follow this up we will further research how livability can be mapped and how these insights can subsequently be applied, for city services as well as practitioners, using neighbourhood sessions, cartography, observations and discussions with diverse parties.


Atelier Brussels— Expo A Good City Has Industry
Spoor Oost— Urban Renewal Project
City of Bruges— Week of the City
Zeebrugge Revitalisation— Urban Renewal Project
Torhout— experiential and identity study
Launch OASE 96 Social Poetics— The Architecture of Use and Appropriation
From cure to care— transitions in the healthy city of Utrecht
Atelier Brussels— Urban Meeting IABR
Urban Meeting Bozar— The Productive Metropolis
Imagine Europe— Bozar
Atelier Brussels— The Productive Metropolis
Call for design teams— Atelier Brussels The Productive Metropolis
Development strategy— Ostend Eastern Shore
Review of spatial structure plan— Bruges City
The City as Factory— Buda Workroom
Colloquium — Architecture in Belgium and Turkey: Changing practices
Architecture Culture Platform
Ghent Muide-Meulestede
IABR 2016 — Atelier Utrecht: The Healthy City
Publication—Reweaving the Urban Carpet
Eurodelta 2030 - 2100
Eurometropolitan Blue Space
Atelier— Productive BXL
Atelier de Stad— Brussels
Lecture — Mark Brearley
Festival Kanal Play Ground
Metropolitan Coast Landscape 2100
IABR 2014 Urban by Nature— Atelier Brabantstad
Exploration of the Future of Flemish Land Company (VLM)
Productive Space By Design— conference
Strategic vision— Kern Rechteroever in Aalst
Strategic exploration— pilot projects productive landscape
Atelier— In Between
Atelier à Habiter— Exhibition
Preparatory workshop— development plan for Sidaplax in Ghent
Atelier De Stad Brussels— Kanal Play Ground
International Atelier— Eurometropolis
Expert advice— 'Nieuw Gent'
Preparatory workshop— housing development plan in Kapellen
Publication—The Ambition of the Territory
Symposium—Naar een gedeelde ontwerpagenda voor Vlaanderen
Vlaanderen als Ontwerp— Atelier
The Ambition of the Territory— deSingel International Arts Campus
Lecture—Carolyn Steel - The Hungry City
Changing Cultures of Planning— Rotterdam, Zürich, Nantes, Randstad, Bordeaux
Towards a Visionary Housing Production in Flanders
Guide plan—Brussels canal
The Ambition of the Territory—Belgian Pavilion Venice 2012
Making City—5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Project definition—new prison in Haren
Building for Brussels— Architecture and urban transformation in Europe
Making City—Atelier Istanbul
G A R D E N— Parckdesign 2012
Open House Brussels—debates and artistic parcours
Exhibition—Making City
Exploring the metropolitan condition
The Next Economy— Belgium at The International Architecture Biennale 2016
Master Class—120% Brussels
City Trajectory—Brussels Canal
Program—Building For Brussels
Exhibition—Building for Brussels
Exhibition—Architecture for Justice
Concept studios—Spatial Policy Plan of Flanders
Article A+ 282 village— Cultivate the food landscape
Vacancy - Operational Director (w/m/x)
Delta Atelier document
Vacancy— Research collaborators
Vacancy— Communication manager
Transition— Learning, living, working in 2050
Publication— Architectuurcultuur in Vlaanderen (only in NL)
Workshop II— Delta Atelier Urban Management
Air For Schools workshop— Keizer Karellaan and Leopold II-tunnel
Netwerkbijeenkomst— Ontwerp met Beleid
Bap! Biennale of architecture and landscape of Île-de-France— 1st edition
Socio-spatial study— Baudelo Building Ghent
Water+Land+Scape approved
Urbanising in Place— Rosario Workshop
Social-spatial research— Ghent Sint-Pieters
Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters
You Are Here - Brussels
Announcement — IABR-THE MISSING LINK Rotterdam and Brussels
Urbanising in Place— Building the Food-Water-Energy nexus
IABR–2018+2020–The Missing Link— Delta Atelier
Antwerp— Mapping the shift of metropolitan phenomena in Berchem extra muros
Publication— Designing the Future
CS Genk— Campus Bret 21st century learning landscape
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— and test site M4H
IABR–Atelier East Flemish Regio— Has left the starting blocks
Regional Call IABR-Atelier OVK— Help shape the future of the East Flanders Core region
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Energy transition as an urban project
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Call to Architects
Open Space Platform— Call Water-Land-Schap
Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia
Open Space Platform— Publication Operation Open Space
THE MISSING LINK— Curator Statement, Research Agenda and Call for Practices
Atelier Zennevallei
Urban Intervention — BRIDGE
Workshop Series — Urban Economy in the Brussels Metropolitan Area
Lecture and Debate — Fitting More Industry In
Rotterdam Biennale appoints three curators for diptych 2018+2020
A Whole World to Win— Floris Alkemade in conversation with Els Vervloesem and Joachim Declerck
Masterclass— Caring Neighborhoods
Atelier Kortrijk 2025— Innovative urban development strategy
Designing The Future— series of debates
Atelier Brussels— Masterclasses
Atelier Brussels— Lectures Structure and Stimulus
Atelier Brussels— Urban Walks
Antwerp— Study to map the livability of neighbourhoods
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.