Atelier— In Between
Atelier In Between is a policy-preparing project, commissioned by the Flemish Authorities’ Nature and Woodland Agency, that establishes a dialogue between the various actors that have an impact on open spaces in the metropolitan area in and around the Brussels Capital Region. Architecture Workroom is facilitating a process of knowledge-sharing and development on the future of open space between the parties involved, plus experts and designers, by means of cartographic research and a series of workshops.
While Flanders is continuing to become more urbanised, ideas are gradually maturing on the subject of the significance and importance of green open space. Open space and greenery are still considered by many to exist at the cost of society – a weak sector that offers no economic return – but the value of the functions they fulfil for the city has been thoroughly documented in recent years. The landscape provides a number of services essential to life: room for recreation, social contact, silence and peace, the production of food, generation and storage of energy, and it increases the resilience of the urbanised landscape when faced with the effects of climate change.
However, it remains a major challenge to translate these insights into the policy of the various actors. The choices made in each sector and at every level of authority (region, province and borough) by necessity come together in the same space. A common vision will enable us to move with greater vigour, transparency and effectiveness towards the future we desire for open and green space in the urbanised metropolitan area around Brussels.
Atelier In Between involves a series of workshops that bring together the parties involved from the various sectors. The participants include experts from the academic world and civil society (environmental protection groups etc.), designers, representatives of the Flemish and Brussels administrative bodies and agencies (Spatial Planning and Housing Policy, Brussels Environment, Nature and Woodland Agency, Flemish land Company) and local organisations. After the launch of a green safari, a literal exploration of the green open space in Brussels and the outlying Flemish boroughs, three thematic workshops were held, centred on the approaches of residential landscape, productive landscape and resilient landscape.
Eight concepts that arose in the workshops were visualised by the LIST urban planning firm, and in April 2014 were the subject of a verification workshop that focused specifically on dialogue between different administrative bodies. One of these concepts will be developed further in the course of 2014 to formulate a project definition for a specific area with an eye to cooperation between sectors.