Architecture Workroom

IABR–Atelier East Flemish Regio— Has left the starting blocks

In 2050, the Ghent region will have 100,000 more inhabitants than it does today. How could we seize this demographic growth as an opportunity for creating a sustainable, climate-proof and healthy living environment? The IABR–Atelier East Flemish Regio (OVK) was launched at the beginning of this year with this ambitious question in mind. The Atelier is a collaboration between the Province of East Flanders and the IABR. The IABR–Atelier OVK looks far ahead into the future, to examine how we could take action today. The future scenarios will be displayed at the IABR in Rotterdam as of 31 May.

(c) Silke Lemant

The East Flemish Regio is a network of cities and municipalities around Ghent. It is expected that the population in this area will grow by between 15 and 25 percent by 2050. This means an additional 100,000 to 160,000 people, which is the equivalent of a medium-sized city such as Bruges or Alkmaar. Thousands of additional homes, workplaces and amenities will be required to cope with this growth, which places considerable pressure on the already densely built-up space. Nevertheless, we could seize this demographic growth as an opportunity to prepare the region for radical transitions related to climate, energy, water, healthcare, food and mobility.

The Province of East Flanders and the IABR are researching and testing how we could create a sustainable, climate-proof and healthy living environment in the region around Ghent by 2050. Studio 018 and the EPFL’s Laboratory of Urbanism in Lausanne led by Paola Viganò, and in association with Michiel Dehaene (Ghent University), are elaborating this 'dot on the horizon' using future scenarios. How could the area look in 2050 if the car was no longer a dominant mode of transport, or if we switched entirely to renewable energy?

Even more important than visualising the future, is the question of how we can actually make these visions a reality. On 20 February, IABR–Atelier OVK organised the first urban meeting in association with Veneco. In the discussion with local officials, administrations and actors the Atelier identified regional needs and examined the work models and tools required in order to move on to implementation.

In a subsequent phase IABR–Atelier OVK will test opportunities and challenges on the ground using design research in three demonstration projects. They could serve as a model for similar projects in the region and as a lever for accelerating the desired developments. To this end IABR–Atelier OVK went in search of initiatives, partnerships, ideas and ongoing projects that could jointly shape the region's future. The demonstration projects that are selected will be announced at the beginning of April.

Recently the IABR–Atelier OVK acquired its own premises for work and exchanges in the centre of Ghent, in the Provincial Archives, 2nd floor, Pelikaanstraat 38, 9000 Ghent.

If you have any questions feel free to drop in, or send an e-mail to


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IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Energy transition as an urban project
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Call to Architects
Open Space Platform— Call Water-Land-Schap
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Workshop Series — Urban Economy in the Brussels Metropolitan Area
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Atelier Brussels— Masterclasses
Atelier Brussels— Lectures Structure and Stimulus
Atelier Brussels— Urban Walks
Antwerp— Study to map the livability of neighbourhoods
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
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Atelier Brussels— Urban Meeting IABR
Urban Meeting Bozar— The Productive Metropolis
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Atelier Brussels— The Productive Metropolis
Call for design teams— Atelier Brussels The Productive Metropolis
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Colloquium — Architecture in Belgium and Turkey: Changing practices
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Productive Space By Design— conference
Strategic vision— Kern Rechteroever in Aalst
Strategic exploration— pilot projects productive landscape
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Atelier à Habiter— Exhibition
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International Atelier— Eurometropolis
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Publication—The Ambition of the Territory
Symposium—Naar een gedeelde ontwerpagenda voor Vlaanderen
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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
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G A R D E N— Parckdesign 2012
Open House Brussels—debates and artistic parcours
Exhibition—Making City
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Master Class—120% Brussels
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Social-spatial research— Ghent Sint-Pieters
Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters
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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
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.