Ongoing projects

Complex planning processes: productive, healthy and sustainable neighbourhood development. 27/09/2022 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

This assignment guides the city of Sint-Niklaas in exploring the development potential and associated litigation of the SVK site. The assignment starts by mapping the agendas of the various actors regarding the programming of the site. With the expansion of Stad Sint-Niklaas with the SVK Stadslob, the mobility network for accessing the site will also be reviewed. In this process, we will also make an inventory of international exemplary practices of spatial and cultural appropriation. Finally, we take the step towards implementation and advise on the available planning instruments, as well as the urban development process.

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  • Research Project

Operational CFD Model for impact analysis on spatial interventions to improve urban ventilation. 01/09/2022 - 31/08/2023

Abstract

Within the contemporary debate on liveability in cities, the topic of natural ventilation as mitigating measure is gaining more and more interest. Especially in the field of air quality, natural ventilation has gained a lot of interest as an additional measure to local emission reduction strategies (e.g. transition to electric vehicle fleet and introduction of (ultra) low emission zones) to comply with the stricter air quality guidelines (European standards and World Health Organization (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs)). The public awareness and the actions of citizens' initiatives are putting additional pressure on spatial planners and urban policy makers to tackle the problems of air quality and heat. It is generally known that street canyons (streets flanked by facades on both sides) are, due to their morphology, the bottleneck zones for natural ventilation and thus are greatly challenged by increased pollution levels and problems related to urban heat. However, spatial planners and urban policy makers have few useful and reliable tools and knowledge to analyze these street canyons and to develop solutions. This demand from the market was discussed during meetings with Cabinet Advisers (City of Antwerp), spatial policy makers (city of Antwerp, Climate and Environment department), the Flemish Environment Agency (VMM) and design firms (Maat-Ontwerpers, OMGEVING).This project proposal fully addresses this gap in the market by providing validated tools (CFD simulations) for analysis of existing situations and impact-analysis of spatial interventions to support the implementation of spatial measures for the optimization of ventilation in urban environments and to offer this as a product-service to companies and governments. Hereby the recently developed knowledge on this matter (unique within the Flemish field of knowledge) within the multidisciplinary collaboration between the research group Sustainable Energy, Air and Water technology (DuEL) (Faculty of Sciences, UA) and the research group for Urban Development (Faculty of Design Sciences , UA) is used. In addition to this knowledge, a tool was developed (CFD model) for carrying out detailed analyzes of urban areas (focus on street canyons) and calculating spatial interventions that focus on the optimization of local natural ventilation and/or pollutant dispersion. The CFD model differs from current standard models since it has been thoroughly validated (by means of an extensive measurement campaign) and has the possibility to calculate the impact of adjustments to building configurations (in contrast to the usual models for Flemish governments such as AtmoStreet, IMPACT and CAR that only can calculate the impact of adjustments to emissions/traffic flows). For this project proposal, an IOF-POC Develop is requested to further develop the CFD model in co-creation with the City of Antwerp and/or VMM and thus make it ready for market-introduction on a technical level. Furthermore, commercial steps are being taken (further market and competition screening, detailed valuation of the service and analysis of real costs, such as personnel, but also technical matters such as measurement equipment and computing power) to substantiate the development of the Service Platform (substantiation of follow-up application IOF Service Platform in 2023) with potential to grow into a spin-off company. Finally, a number of alternative valorisation routes were identified, such as registration for European framework programs (Interreg, Life, Horizone Europe), cooperation agreements with public companies for large-scale projects (e.g. Lantis) and cooperation agreements regarding the setting up of the screening tool by the Flemish Environment Agency (VMM).

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  • Research Project

Capturing the unearned increment: urban planning, land value capture and financialization 01/11/2021 - 31/10/2023

Abstract

Infrastructural regeneration is key in today's cities, but taking action is often hampered by the scarcity of public resources on which it typically depends. Recently, policy and scholarship have put faith in land value capture (LVC) instruments to overcome this 'infrastructure gap'. Through such instruments, funds are acquired by recouping the increases in land values resulting from public actions. Though expected to bear fruit, LVC carries the risk of deepening the broadly studied adversities stemming from the 'financialization' of the city. In this research, I intend to bridge the gap between financialization and LVC literature by scrutinizing and comparing how LVC instruments affect planning processes and spatial outcomes in four international cases. Based on an institutionalist approach, I employ the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework to understand for each case how the governance networks surrounding LVC instruments operate, and how financialization plays a part. In-depth interviews and document analysis will provide the data for the analysis. Afterwards, I compare the findings through qualitative comparative analysis. This research will result in a) a categorisation of key benefits and pitfalls following LVC practices and b) insights into how financialization occurs in LVC practice.

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  • Research Project

Implementation of innovative finance for nature based solutions in Flemish cities (INNOFINS) 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2025

Abstract

Flemish cities are expected to take a leading role in climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. At the core of these strategies are nature based solutions (NBS) by green, blue and hybrid urban infrastructures. NBS address multiple problems related to climate change in an integrated, sustainable way. Although investments in NBS infrastructures are considered a cost effective way to achieve future societal and environmental benefits, current public budgets in Flanders are insufficient. As a result, the gap between investments in and societal need for NBS is growing. In contrast to limited public budgets, there is an abundance of private capital seeking for investments. Yet, the potential to invest private capital in NBS is not fully exploited. NBS projects typically have sizeable upfront costs and diffuse and long-term societal benefits that are not easily captured in steady cash flows, making privately financed schemes often inappropriate. In order to attract private investments to NBS, new business models and alternative financing mechanisms are needed. In this project, we study the utilisation potential of innovative financing models in the Flemish context by developing real life business cases of NBS, using new instruments such as impact financing, value capturing and ICO-crowd funding. In order to develop a realistic and holistic interdisciplinary approach, this strategic research will study how new financial instruments impact planning and design, governance arrangements, valuation methods, legal institutions and instruments as well as social justice. The urban living lab approach will ensure continuous integrated assessment of the spatial, juridical, institutional, economic feasibility and social impact of the new financing business models, optimising the utilisation potential for the societal users.

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  • Research Project

Accelerating and upscaling transformational adaptation in Europe: demonstration of water-related innovation packages (TransformAr). 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2025

Abstract

Climate change impacts are here and now. The impacts on people, prosperity and planet are already pervasive but unevenly distributed, as stated in the new EU Blueprint strategy (European Commission-EC, 2019). To reduce climate-related risks, the EC and the IPCC agree that transformational adaptation is essential. The TranformAr project aims to develop and demonstrate products and services to launch and accelerate large-scale and disruptive adaptive process for transformational adaptation in vulnerable regions and communities across Europe. The 6 TransformAr lighthouse demonstrators face a common challenge: water-related risks and impacts of climate change. Based on existing successful initiatives, the project will develop, test and demonstrate solutions and pathways, integrated in Innovation Packages, in 6 territories.Transformational pathways, including an integrated risk assessment approach are co-developed by means of 9 Transformational Adaptive Blocks. A set of 22 tested actionable adaptive solutions are tested and demonstrated, ranging from nature-based solutions, innovative technologies, financing, insurance and governance models, awareness and behavioral change solutions. The project team, led by the University of Antwerp, gathers 22 partners from 11 countries and a well-balanced mix of sectoral and adaptation experts (5 RTOs and 1 SME), paired with 6 territories (4 local authorities and 2 charities), 8 additional solutions providers and 1 EU water-related NPO specialized that will support to structure a European Community of practice. Massive resilience increase and acceleration of transformation adaptation will be fostered by clustering various investors, testing bankable solutions, and defining viable (non-)commercial exploitation strategy for the TransformAr solutions, products and services.

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  • Research Project

InnoFiNS. Implementing innovative financing for nature-based solutions in Flemish cities. 01/12/2020 - 30/11/2024

Abstract

Flemish cities are expected to take a leading role in climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. At the core of these strategies are nature based solutions (NBS) by green, blue and hybrid urban infrastructures. NBS address multiple problems related to climate change in an integrated, sustainable way. Although investments in NBS infrastructures are considered a cost effective way to achieve future societal and environmental benefits, current public budgets in Flanders are insufficient. As a result, the gap between investments in and societal need for NBS is growing. In contrast to limited public budgets, there is an abundance of private capital seeking for investments. Yet, the potential to invest private capital in NBS is not fully exploited. NBS projects typically have sizeable upfront costs and diffuse and long-term societal benefits that are not easily captured in steady cash flows, making privately financed schemes often inappropriate. In order to attract private investments to NBS, new business models and alternative financing mechanisms are needed. In this project, we study the utilization potential of innovative financing models in the Flemish context by developing real life business cases of NBS, using new instruments such as impact financing, value capturing and ICO-crowd funding. In order to develop a realistic and holistic interdisciplinary approach, this strategic research will study how new financial instruments impact planning and design of NBS infrastructure. The urban living lab approach will ensure continuous integrated assessment of the spatial, juridical, institutional, economic feasibility and social impact of the new financing business models, optimising the utilisation potential for the societal users. This research project will be integrated in the SBO-FWO project Innofins if granted. The SEP grant will be used to finance the planning and design research track of the proposal and will finance a part time post doc to coordinate the living labs and to develop a new proposal for similar funding opportunities.

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  • Research Project

Real options for real urban projects. 01/11/2019 - 31/10/2023

Abstract

This interdisciplinary project aims to develop an innovative, approach for planning, design and decision making in complex spatial projects – e.g. transport infrastructure, urban development – and (urban) planning based on the real options theory from economics and finance. Contrary to the static rational model and "predict and control" approach, the real options approach offers a flexible way for coping with uncertainties through flexibility options that allow for project adjustments, making projects more adaptive to a dynamic and ever changing environment. However, a current theory-practice gap between real options theory and planning and design practice limits its practical value, accessibility, and applicability due to quantitative complexity and a lack of interference with real-life decision-making. Through the involvement of stakeholders and the use of pilot projects for the application of real options in Flanders, I will research the appropriate methods to tailor the real options theory to the needs of decision makers, planners, project managers, designers, etc. Throughout this project, (I) the research results will address several knowledge gaps in the existing literature on adaptive planning and design, real options theory and complex spatial projects; and (II) an accessible real options based framework (theories, tools, methods, models) will be developed to be used as a more flexible and adaptive approach in planning, design and decision-making.

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  • Research Project

Past projects

Expert reflection 3D - spatial efficiency/public space. 31/03/2022 - 30/06/2022

Abstract

The policy study '3D environmental planning' aims to map the impact of these 3D environmental challenges on the environment and thus realise a shift in environmental planning towards a 3D planning that takes into account all flows, layers, volumes and relationships at all possible levels that comprise the physical living environment, thereby gaining a better understanding of the complex dynamics of our living environment. During the first phase of the policy exploration, a conceptual framework is worked out, for which the support of experts is requested in the form of an expert reflection. The expert is responsible for a concise reflection on the possible future impact of one or more 3D challenges on the living environment. In a second step, this reflection is used in a workshop as a basis for a SWOT analysis in order to estimate its possible significance for the living environment and environmental planning.

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  • Research Project

Analysis of existing and future socio-spatial qualities of Flemish community centers in Brussels 01/05/2020 - 31/01/2021

Abstract

This study assignment fits in with the policy objectives of the FCC for the built patrimony, and in particular the 22 community centres, to actively pursue multifunctional use. The translation of this policy into practice requires: - A well-founded and multi-layered analysis of the community centres in spatial, social and financial terms; - The development of a process and participation structure with the various parties involved; - A supported vision of the future for both the built-up infrastructure and the operation of the community centres. community centres. Therefore, the aim of this study is to arrive at: - Recommendations, which will be taken into account when drawing up an investment plan 2021-2025; - A new methodology that allows for a participatory process with the various parties involved to achieve follow-up actions, with regard to the infrastructure, the management and the operation.

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  • Research Project

a healthy and sustainable food environment 01/02/2020 - 31/07/2020

Abstract

On the basis of a literature review, a conceptual model will be developed which explains how policies at the regional and local level might have an impact on the healthy and sustainable character of the food environment of citizens.

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  • Research Project

expert advice: Quality of Place and Livable Streets 01/01/2020 - 29/02/2020

Abstract

The Environmental Department of the Flemish government is developing a vision on Quality of Place. The UAntwerp drew up a text which makes use of the concept of 'livable streets' to discuss the draft vision of the Department.

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  • Research Project

Metrics for urban planning and design 16/12/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This research will conduct a literature study on metrics in urban planning and design. The metrics include figures and norms on urban densities and housing densities, urban green, parking norms and urban amenities.

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  • Research Project

Real options for real urban projects. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

This interdisciplinary project aims to develop an innovative approach for design and decision-making in complex spatial projects (CSPs) and (urban) planning based on the real options theory (ROT) from economics and finance. The real options approach offers a flexible way for coping with dynamic uncertainties and to make projects more adaptive to a dynamic and ever changing environment. CSPs are large-scale projects (e.g. transport and urban infrastructure) that require a high investment cost, take many years to develop and involve multiple public/private stakeholders. Decision makers have to face a great deal of uncertainties and risks in CSPs. Predicting future private and social costs and benefits is difficult, since they can be impacted by multiple interacting uncertainties. Managing uncertainties is therefore an important task in project management. However, dominant practices that support decision-making in CSPs are deficient and inflexible. Cost benefit analysis (CBA) and environmental impact assessments (EIA) do not properly take into account how uncertainties impact predictions that result in different future scenarios. Traditional risk management therefore tries to push out risks and uncertainties as much as possible through risk avoidance, risk reduction or shifting risks to other parties. In nine out of ten projects, costs are underestimated and/or benefits are overestimated. In the past two decades, ROT has increasingly been advocated as an alternative and flexible approach in fields such as energy planning and (transport) infrastructure. The ROT integrates the concepts of irreversible decision-making, uncertainty and flexibility in the decision analysis. ROT considers flexibility options ("real options") as valuable to deal with multiple uncertainties. Instead of making every decision based on possibly inaccurate forecasts early in a project, keeping flexibility options alive can help a project better to adapt to possible future changes. This requires identifying and monitoring uncertainties and risks, rather than pushing them out, along with identifying flexibility options as responses to these uncertainties. ROT is a quantitative approach using methods and models that allow to quantify flexibility options' value, as well as determining the optimal timing (future scenario) for exercising options. It not only helps to better protect projects against possible downside losses, but also allow projects to capture the upside value of strategic and better balanced decisions References of real options applications in planning and design remain however limited. Furthermore, its proven (theoretical) potential and increasing popularity are in contrast to its lacking practical value, leading to a gap between real option theory and planning and design. We identified three sources for this gap in our review paper on real options applications in transport infrastructure and megaprojects: (I) simplification of case-studies leads to a simplification of the complex reality in which projects are planned, neglecting multiple interacting uncertainties and embedded flexibility options; (II) quantitative real options methods require (advanced) mathematical knowledge which decision makers often lack; and (III) real options applications lack interaction with practitioners from the field. How to bridge the real options planning/design gap? How to turn real options' theoretical methods and models into practical relevant methods and tools for CSPs and planning processes? Our main goal is to develop a ROT based framework – in cooperation with experts and practitioners from CSPs in Flanders – for adaptive planning that allows to better identify, assess, manage and monitor uncertainties and flexibility options in CSPs. This will help improve decision making and planning practices in Flanders, by making CSPs more adaptive and robust in a dynamic and complex environment.

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  • Research Project

A plan for healthy urban development in the Merode region (HEALTHY CORE) 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

More and more the importance of a healthy living environment is coming to the fore. With this project we want to contribute to the knowledge about healthy strengthening of residential areas in peri-urban regions. By involving local care providers in the planning process, we are looking for a way to make better use of the area through the care sector, on the one hand, and to increase the natural capital in the centers in relation to their health. The project results in guidelines for designers and planners for healthy urban design. In addition, the project is considered to be a learning process towards interdisciplinary cooperation between spatial planning and the care and health sector at the level of policy, research and practice.

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  • Research Project

Predicting Pedestrian Traffic at Street Level. 01/07/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

Pedestrian traffic is often treated as a taken for granted way of travelling by both researchers and policy makers. However, recent studies have highlighted that walking deserves more attention since it is a healthy, sustainable mode of transport that contributes to the liveability of streets and neighbourhoods. This project contributes to the literature on walking by means of a quantitative analysis of pedestrian traffic at the street level.

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  • Research Project

Citizen Science Project 'Straatvinken' 23/04/2019 - 01/05/2020

Abstract

Straatvinken is a citizen science project centered around citizen-generated traffic counts. The subsidy supports the May 2019 counting event. Supported activities include a survey on traffic livability, and the processing and communication of the data.

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  • Research Project

AirTech'byDesign: Injecting Technology into Urban Design in the battle against Street Canyon Pollution. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

The poor air quality in our cities is currently at the centre of public debates on health living conditions and at the pinnacle of innovative urban planning and mobility policies. Especially, so-called 'street canyons' represent the most problematic arteries of our cities: these are narrow inner-city roads that are flanked on both sides by a continuous row of (high) buildings. In these street canyons, the air quality is often below the European standards and those of the World Health Organization. Both urban design and technological solutions, such as photocatalyst, have proven to be a powerful tools for improving the air quality and overall health. However, this research is often restricted to a single domain, sector or discipline (either bioengineering or urban design) and is often limited to the analysis of the impact of a single parameter on air quality. Secondly, the most well-known measures focus on the reduction of emissions of pollutants and are situated on a larger scale planning and policy level. At the local scale level of traffic intensive locations and the so-called street canyons, systematic research on the possible contribution of urban design and technological interventions to improve the air quality is lacking. Moreover, a group of pollutants under less public scrutiny, volatile organic carbon (VOC), are less susceptible to traffic regulations. The treatment of paving, walls and facades with a photocatalyst have proven to contribute to improve the air quality. However, in street canyons the airflow rates are often low for an optimal performance of these photocatalysts. Alterations of the urban design (that improve the air circulation and the integration of UV lightning) can seek VOC abatement in urban street canyons with minimized environmental burden. In conclusion, in terms of air quality on the level of street canyons, there exists a fundamental disciplinary schism between environmental and urban design sciences. Dealing with the spatial distribution of air pollution and high threshold to bridge technological innovation with urban planning, this research project aims to combine environmental and design sciences. Therefore, the Research group for Urban Development (Design Sciences), DuEL and BioGEM (Engineering Sciences) decided to team up to tackle together this pregnant challenge. The scientific challenge grasped in this project is threefold: (1) Understand the spatial and molecular distribution of VOC in urban environment, with focus on street canyons, (2) Maximize the effect of urban design changes to improve the health effects of street canyons by incorporating photocatalytic abatement technologies; (3) Formulate design guidelines for improvement of air quality in street canyons based on LCA metrics, and extrapolate the methodology to future technological improvements. Together these challenges constitute an opportunity to significantly lower the threshold for future developments to improve the health conditions in street canyons. Divided over four Work Packages and four years, this multidisciplinary approach of this challenge calls for a combination of methodologies, ranging from literature review, to research by design, over modelling and case study research. The Turnhoutsebaan in Antwerp is selected as case study, being representative for typical Flemish street canyons in terms of structural characteristics (length, height over width ratio), traffic density, demonstrated high air pollution levels and the availability (or lack) of green infrastructure.

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  • Research Project

Architect 2.0 – Re-evaluation of the Belgian legal framework for architects. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

The professional reality of architects is changing quite radically due to different developments. Contemporary construction projects are more and more often interdisciplinary collaborations. The projects are expected to provide sustainable urban solutions for so-called "wicked problems", such as climate change, mobility, health and the aging society. Addressing wicked problems in construction projects requires expertise from different disciplines. An example of such an interdisciplinary project that relies on close collaboration between various experts is the Dutch 2nd Skin project. This project aims to increase the energy-efficiency of existing structures through the use of modular façade elements that form a second "skin" around the building. The technology is the result of a collaboration between engineers, architects, housing corporations, real estate developers and climatologists. In Belgium the relationship between the architect, the owner and the constructor is typically represented by a "construction triangle", in which the architect takes the lead. However, as complex construction projects are increasingly based on partnerships with a variety of expertise and interests, the dynamics within this traditional construction triangle have shifted over time. This could ultimately lead to a move from the "construction triangle" towards a kind of "expertise network". Although architects continue to play an important role in those interdisciplinary projects, this "new reality" has a significant impact on the way architects are operating. Nonetheless, key components of the Belgian legal framework for architects have not been adapted to this new reality. Moreover, the literature does not systematically address this issue despite the fact that an academic debate has been launched in Belgium to think about the "Architect in the 21st Century". As this legal framework is currently under revision, this is an excellent moment to take into account the new professional reality of architects and to re-evaluate the legal framework. Therefore, the main objective of the current project is to systematically rethink the role of the architect (Architect 2.0) and to re-evaluate the relevant Belgian legal framework in a more fundamental way. In terms of methodology, we employ a comparative legal analysis (i.e. Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK) combined with qualitative empirical research. At the end of the project, an examination will be made whether it is necessary and appropriate to recommend changes to the Belgian legal framework and/or best practices facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration in design and construction processes.

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  • Research Project

A transportation justice perspective on accessibility poverty in the urban periphery. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

This project aims at a better understanding of accessibility poverty in the urban periphery in order to refine and redirect justice-inspired theories of transportation planning. In line with the literature on transportation and social exclusion, transportation justice theory sees transportation poverty and a lack of accessibility as the main problems to be addressed by transportation policy since people need a sufficient level of accessibility to participate in society. In this project, three urban peripheral cases will be analyzed to complement the literature with an internationally diverse view on insufficient accessibility and related concepts. Or in other words, these cases will improve the knowledge to deal with what can be considered the central question in justice-inspired transportation planning: how much accessibility do we owe each other? After an assessment of the main theory of transportation justice, three issues were identified that deserve further attention: paternalism, production and individual rights, and the research project is organized on the basis of these three issues and three selected cases.

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Real options for real complex urban projects. 01/07/2018 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This interdisciplinary project aims to develop a conceptual frame and a tool for dealing with risks in complex urban projects, based on real options theory from economics Urban designers and decision makers in urban projects face a great deal of uncertainty in the design and management of complex urban projects. As the time lap between design and implementation can take more than one or two decades, their designs have to be adaptable and flexible to cope with future uncertainties. In the practice of design and management of complex project the common approach however is still to ignore, contain or minimize risks. The Nobel prize wining idea on real options provide a novel and formal approach to risk and uncertainty. Instead of focusing on risk as a loss, this theory puts focus on the value of flexibility as a way to deal with multiple types of uncertainty. It provides formal tools to assess the value of future options. Based on the theory of real options, we develop a novel conceptual frame and relevant approach for complex urban projects. The conceptual frame will be applied to the case study of the covering of the ring road in Antwerpen

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  • Research Project

Casco -1. Re-use of underground urban parking spaces 16/03/2018 - 28/02/2019

Abstract

Mobility and real estate experts are predicting a sharply reduced parking demand in our inner cities for the coming decades. Cities are committed to a more sustainable modal shift: more space for public transport, cyclists and pedestrians. An increase of shared mobility (including the self-driving car in the long term) would also significantly reduce parking needs in our cities. A revision of the oversized car infrastructure in city centers is also advocated from climate adaptation and health considerations, and is being used as a priority policy objective in an increasing number of cities. The international paradigm of cities on a human scale seems to go hand in hand with the revision of the location of the car in the city. Raf Ilsbroekx and Maarten Van Acker explored the possibilities of redeveloping underground city parks, using international case studies and design research. The exhibition CASCO -1 shows the results of the study that was awarded a BWMSTR label in 2018. The label inspired the start-up of new doctoral studies on the re-use of infrastructure and the (re) design of underground spaces.

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Research on Operationalisation and application of an integrated approach to supralocal spatial programs 01/03/2018 - 01/11/2018

Abstract

Supralocal cooperation is becoming increasingly crucial for good spatial planning. Especially with the development of the network society, many spatial developments take place across different administrative boundaries and apparently even footloose (Castells 1996-1998, Teisman 2000, Boelens 2001, 2005, Modder 2012). The local and sometimes even regional and national level of government are therefore not always sufficient to address certain spatial issues. Because a large number of spatial challenges have a supralocal dimension, the Department of the Environment wants to promote supra-local cooperation in a region, based on a good and sustainable vision and an effective spatial development program. The approach proposed by the research team around AMRP at Ghent University and Marleen Goethals UAntwerpen starts from an actor-relational approach. This approach is based on extensive international comparisons with regional formation and practical tests (Boelens 2009) and is a way in which regionalization can be achieved with due regard for the dynamics, contextual and situational conditions and the broad perspective in which, in addition to governments, the business community and citizens / civil movements are involved.

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Expert commission Flemish Architect 01/02/2018 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

The Flemish Architect is developing a new instrument for a quick scan of the spatial policy of municipalities in order to create a shift to a more sustainable spatial development. The university of Antwerp will evaluate this instrument and make proposals for improvements

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Analysis of (international) examples of infrastructure projects related to urban development. 01/01/2018 - 30/03/2018

Abstract

In the context of the exploration of the complex project Noordzuidverbinding Limburg, 'comparable' best practices of infrastructure design are being studied with similar problems and scope (eg. new road infrastructure in a more or less urbanized environment), which was fully or at least partially realized.

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Green-blue networks in Flanders 19/10/2017 - 18/10/2019

Abstract

The aim of the assignment is firstly to define, on the basis of sound scientific argumentation from literature, a definition of the concept of green-blue networks supported by all partners, based on the objectives of biodiversity, climate and quality of life. Based on this definition, the existing green-blue network and the potential for expansion and qualitative reinforcement will be mapped and visualised. The final part of the assignment consists of research by design, in which the elaboration of concrete cases, aims to put the theory into practice.

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Consultancy in management of similar architecture and urban planning. 10/10/2017 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

The curating of the design competition was part of the regional program Envies the Loire, initiated by the Urban Planning Agency of the City of Tours. The competition was launched with the aim of obtaining development scenarios and proposals that will place the Loire back at the heart of Metropolitan life. This research developed insights, which revealed the possibilities of a synthesis between the desires of the local inhabitants with the UNESCO's criteria for inscribing the Val de Loire on the World Heritage List. The research found ways of re-appropriating this territory, found new uses for the land, created qualified public spaces that take account of contemporary issues (climate change, sustainable mobility, digital transition, tourism, resilience and so on).

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CITYLAB CAR: Engaging students in sustainable Caribbean Cities. 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2020

Abstract

The CITYLAB project aims to stimulate innovation in teaching in higher education through problem-based learning in the Caribbean, to make higher education institutes and students better prepared to deal with contemporary urban problems and challenges. Problem-based learning is a proven innovative approach for introducing real-world problems in the education program with huge possibilities to transform the quality of learning and teaching. It is a kind of active, integrated and constructive learning method that works from a student centered approach and emphasizes on learning to learn and learning by doing, and breaks with traditional teaching methods, which are still the dominant educational methods used in the Caribbean higher education institutes.

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  • Research Project
  • Education Project

What do we owe each other in terms of accessibility? 01/07/2017 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

The concept of accessibility links urban planning with transport policy, and a common premise in accessibility studies is that access to activities and facilities is essential to participate fully in society. Access barriers can be financial or organisational, but our focus is on the transport dimension. Qualitative research will be carried out to better understand what transport poverty means, and to explore the question, 'What do we owe each other as citizens in terms of accessibility?'.

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THE ARCHITECT 2.0: challenges related to the architect's copyright within the context of Open Metropolitan Design 01/07/2017 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

According to recent research, the Belgian legislation no longer matches the architects new professional reality (Uytterhoeven 2016). However, the legal literature on this topic does not take into consideration the way future metropoles are evolving. The literature on urban theory describes the need for cities that respond to complex challenges, so-called 'wicked problems', e.g. mobility, sustainability, housing and safeguarding cultural heritage. The literature and practice show that such problems can only be tackled by way of interdisciplinary collaboration between different experts and participation of all relevant stakeholders - e.g. architects, engineers, urban planners, project developers, scientists, policymakers and citizens (Aravena, 2015; Ratti and Claudel 2015). In our research we use the notion 'Open Metropolitan Design' (OMD) in order to refer to this type of collaboration. The application of OMD in urban development also has some implications for the architect's copyright, in particular for the moral rights. For instance, can architects invoke their moral rights to object to alterations to buildings that they have designed even if that would have negative effects on certain societal interests? This could occur for example when a building would be adapted in order to comply with sustainability requirements. Until now no literature exists on this type of issues. The research team 'Metropolitan Legal Lab' (MLL) - an informal interdisciplinary collaboration established by the promoter and co-promoter of this research application - aims at filling this gap in the literature. A comparative legal research method will be used focusing on the implications of the new professional reality of the architect with respect to his moral rights within the context of OMD. The objective of this research application is to carry out preparatory research on the basis of a systematic literature review, a number of interviews and a comparative legal analysis in view of drafting a research application for external funding. During a recent Research Workshop, organized by MLL and funded by STIMPRO2015, the relevance of these developments and of this new legal line of research concerning urban development was unanimously confirmed.

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  • Research Project

Is legal certainty outmoded? 'Adaptive law' as a 'resilient' legal technique to cope with the complex societal problems of future metropoles. 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2018

Abstract

In 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey hard. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Hurricane Sandy Rebuild Task Force (US Departement of Housing and Urban Development) issued a design competition named 'Rebuild by Design' (RBD). The objective of RBD is to develop resilient cities prepared for future challenges through collaborative processes between a variety of stakeholders - architects, urban planners, scientists, engineers, biologists, policy makers and citizens. In order to address this design challenge and to create resilient, innovative and sustainable cities for the future, knowledge sharing and collaboration between all those different stakeholders is required in order to succeed. Unfortunately the legal system may act as a barrier to this type of processes. Inflexible, complex, front end, descriptive legislation hinders smart and resilient urban development. The legal concept 'Adaptive Law' meaning a resilient legal technique, developed in the US, is relevant here. The American problems concerning urban development and societal challenges are analogue to the 'wicked problems' that Belgian and European cities of the future are dealing with, i.e. mobility, climate change, housing, innovation and digitalization ('smart cities'). Experts also observe that our legal system does not facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in the urban development process. There is a lack of legal research concerning the opportunities of introducing Adaptive Law in continental legal systems to support the development of resilient and smart future cities. Therefore, this topic is proposed as a new line of research in the context of the collaboration called 'Metropolitan Legal Lab' (Faculty of Design Sciences and Faculty of Law) that will contribute to both fundamental legal research and applied research concerning urban design. The city of Antwerp, as a future proof metropole, can take the lead in this topic.

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  • Research Project

Urban Design Commission 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

As team of experts in urban development supports the city of Ostend fortnightly to assess and coach large scale construction projects. This way the city of Ostend can develop in a consistent yet innovative way. The City Atelier not only play a role in 'housing projects, but also develops by 2017 a Global Strategic Development plan on how the city should look like in the long term.

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  • Research Project

Analysis of Building Permits in the region of Flanders (Belgium) 01/10/2016 - 05/12/2017

Abstract

The research encompasses a quantitative analysis of the Flemish building permits database. A variety of statistical techniques will be employed to explain evolutions caused by changing legislation and societal trends and transformations.

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  • Research Project

Francqui Chair 2016-2017 Prof. Andy van den Dobbelsteen. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

Proposed by the University, the Francqui Foundation each year awards two Francqui Chairs at the UAntwerp. These are intended to enable the invitation of a professor from another Belgian University or from abroad for a series of ten lessons. The Francqui Foundation pays the fee for these ten lessons directly to the holder of a Francqui Chair.

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  • Research Project

Bicycle Oriented Development (BOD) A spatial tool for improving the bikeability of urban corridors. 01/07/2016 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

This research aims to provide insight into the factors that determine the 'bikeability' of our cities and indicate how we can improve the cycling conditions and the physical environment of the cyclist. In a first phase, the research aims to outline a fundamental method to define the spatial factors that determine the routes of cyclists (safety, comfort, obstacles, amenities,...). The existing literature is questioned and supplemented by a case study research along three bicylce corridors in the city of Antwerp. Supported by the Institute of Transport of the TUDelft (prof. Kees Maat), the routes of cyclists are identified and queried via GIS software and bike riders equiped with data applications. The results are combined with spatial cartographic research and supplemented by interviews with key stakeholders (cyclists, selection of local residents, city of Antwerp, Antwerp province, AWV). In the second phase of the investigation, formulated on the basis of parameters defining bikeability, research by design visualizes spatial interventions that can improve the bikeability along these corridors. With stakeholders, a co-creation process is started, in which the draft design proposals are discussed and improved during joint design sessions. The findings of this iterative design research on three different case studies (Turnhoutsebaan, Mechelsesteenweg and Singel cycle track) are distilled into design guidelines that can fundamentally improve the bikeability of cities.

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  • Research Project

Making an ATLAS for the Campine region. 01/04/2016 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

The Campine is a region in constant transition. Throughout history all kinds of large-scale ambitions and dreams were projected on the sandy heathland. Often tabula rasa, with all its consequences. Today ambitious projections are again unleashed on the region. To avoid the mistake of historical tabula rasa, AR-TUR starts together with the University of Antwerp a project that maps the identity of Kempen. The project aims to provide a basic resource - in the form of an atlas - that the maps qualities of the area clear so that future projects can anchor and are inspired by this document. Maarten Van Acker is the editor of the atlas. The cartographic expertise is contracted to the Dutch architecture firm MUST. The photography is provided by Filip Dujardin. The Atlas is published in Public Space.

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  • Research Project

Consultancy and elaboration of the General Strategic Development Plan of the City of Ostend 01/03/2016 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Development strategy for a network of liveable villages. 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

Villages currently face challenges such as aging, decreasing services and amenities, poor quality housing, limited public transport, erosion of social cohesion .... Due to these developments, the quality of life in villages is highly pressurized. However, a good living environment remains important for coexistence and the "well being" of its residents. This research provides a practical framework for village development, in order to improve the quality of life, illustrating different solutions and their consequences. A practical framework will be developed for different policy areas (housing, care, services, labor, agriculture) with a correlating set of indicators and a development tool box.

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  • Research Project

Small infrastructures, big impact. Research on international best practices passages. Register 2. 01/01/2016 - 30/11/2016

Abstract

As cities continue to grow, their inhabitants now have to travel long distances, for different reasons and to a variety of destinations, using an ever wider range of transport methods, involving a range of speeds, modes and resources. Moreover, while mobilities are becoming more complex, existing transport networks have often been designed in isolation from each other.This research focusses on the passage as a shortcut, a transitional space, a special route, as a crucial urban tool in facilitating access to the city's different amenities and mobilities.

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  • Research Project

CITYLABS: Engaging Students with Sustainable Cities in Latin-America 15/10/2015 - 14/10/2018

Abstract

The CITYLAB project aims to enhance the quality of higher education institutions in Latin America through Problem Based Learning (PBL) which is a proven innovative approach for introducing real-world problems in the education program and entails huge possibilities to transform the quality of learning and teaching. It is a kind of active, integrated and constructive learning method that works from a student centered approach and emphasizes on learning to learn and learning by doing, and breaks with traditional teaching methods such as ex-cathedra lectures. In order to introduce and spread PBL, it is required to work on specific problems through multidisciplinary approaches.

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  • Research Project
  • Education Project

Consultancy regarding urban development and the elaboration of a spatial vision on general urban revitalisation for the City of Ostend 01/09/2015 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

Research on the implementation of the general urban and architectural development framework, including the development and implementation of a vision for urban renewal in all its aspects for the city of Ostend; preparing the content of the Global Strategic Development Plan (GSO) and a detailed schedule and the associated costs make up for the implementation of the GSO. Also give guidance to project-specific implementation plans and quality supervision is part of this project, in parallel with the drafting of the vision document; as well as the new infill projects starting from the WoonplanBis; additional architectural and town-planning advice to the strategic projects of the city.

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  • Research Project

The Land and Housing Survey in a Global sample of Cities. 17/08/2015 - 17/12/2015

Abstract

The UAntwerpen contributes to the land and Housing survey, organized by UN Habitat. The goal is to assess planning systems in cities and housing conditions in a sample of cities throughout the world. Antwerpen has been selected in the sample

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  • Research Project

Governance of land use. 01/08/2015 - 15/09/2015

Abstract

This research aims to compare planning systems in different countries, regadering their use and impact. UAntwerpen acts as respondent for the survey on the Flemish planning system as a subcontractant for the OECD

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  • Research Project

Storm in the City. What can architecture, urban planning, and more specifically the Flemish cities learn from New York's approach? 01/07/2015 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

Maarten Van Acker was given the chance in 2011-2012 to teach and perform research at Parsons-The New School for Design in New York, thanks to a grant from the Belgian American Educational Foundation. Commissioned by the journal RUIMTE, Maarten wrote a series of essays on the interface between life and urban design in New York. Within this project, Maarten aims to elaborate the articles into an international publication with GPRC label.

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  • Research Project

Open Metropolitan Design & IP Law (OMD-IP): New Legal Issues in the Context of Open Creative Design of Future Metropolitan Settings 01/07/2015 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

This project aims the development of a new line of research entitled "Open Metropolitan Design and Intellectual Property Law (IP Law)". Open innovation and "the global city" are key themes for future (international) metropolitan cities. The modalities clash, however, with the fundamental principles of IP law. The literature does noet deal with these challenges. The current proposal aims to provide innovative legal solutions for these challenges.

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  • Research Project

The representation of the Presidency of the Spilliaert Commission. 01/01/2015 - 30/09/2018

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Mainstreaming Energy Efficiency and Climate Change in Build Environment Training and Research in the Caribbean (CarEnTrain). 01/06/2014 - 31/03/2017

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the University of West Indies. UA provides the University of West Indies research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

IVM International programme "Passages, transitional spaces for the 21st-century city". 01/12/2013 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Governance of municipalities and provinces: towards a new form of inter-relationships around spatial policy. 07/11/2013 - 06/08/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Flanders in Action - Towards a sustainable and creative city. 15/10/2013 - 31/03/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Pilot Project 'Active Citizen Participation' site Normaalschool-De Kluis. 01/10/2013 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand city of Lier. UA provides city of Lier research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Responding to demographic challenges: capacity issues, amenities, sensible management (of claims) on scarce space in the context of a growing city. 01/10/2013 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand KVS. UA provides KVS research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Operation and effectiveness of GECORO in Flanders. 01/06/2012 - 01/12/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand VRP. UA provides VRP research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Policy Research Centre Sustainable Space Flanders (2012-2015). 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project