Exploration of the Future of Flemish Land Company (VLM)
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Vlaamse Landmaatschappij (VLM) (Flemish Land Company), Architecture Workroom is cooperating with Bovenbouw Architectuur on a prospective study on ways the role and position of the VLM may evolve with regard to future challenges to open space in Flanders.
Since 1988 the VLM has been engaged in looking after open space. Previously, under a different name, the organisation had done a great deal of work on ‘rural development’. From the improvement of housing and labour conditions in the countryside after the crisis of the thirties, to getting agricultural production going again after WWII, to organising areas of land with an eye to spatial planning, biodiversity, landscape, recreation, heritage, tourism, etc.
Nowadays open space in Flanders is coming under increasing pressure from advancing urbanisation. In many places in Flanders there is no longer any sign of a clear division between town and country. Rural areas are invariably put on the defensive. It is becoming increasingly clear that the various sectors that have an impact on scarce Flemish space will have to cooperate better and look for synergies between them.
The question that arises is how this open space, as a place for food production, energy generation, recreation, nature and culture can contribute more to the urbanised system as a productive landscape. In this context, the position of the VLM and the methodology of its operations will have to evolve too.
The first stage examines the challenges and ambitions for open space with regard to the work of and instruments used by the VLM. In the second stage, an integrated vision of open space and urbanisation will be presented in a number of scenarios. The final stage looks for broader support for the operational agenda of the VLM through a number of workshops with various actors.
The presentation of the scenarios can be found here (NL)