The "Bouwmeester scan" is an instrument of the team of the Flemish Government Architect developed for local authorities interested in quickly reviewing and improving its spatial policy (more info on the BWMSTRscan here). Assessing the results of the municipal scans, the question arose if certain target values could be defined and substantiated by scientific research, as a reference for future spatial transformation in Flanders. 

This study therefore investigates which metrics and possible guideline values for aspects related to the built and unbuilt environment are put forward in scientific and professional literature; how these indicators impact other aspects of the broader environment and if tresholds or target values can be derived from these effects; how the context of Flanders relates to the values found in the literature; and what values of several parameters are shown in (inter)national best practices in urban design. 

Based on a first scan of the literature and in consultation with an expert group, we defined 5 key dimensions for sustainable land use and urban design: density, form, network, functional mix, and open & green space. For each dimension, various parameters, target values and standards are inventoried. Based on existing research the effects of these parameters on aspects such as mobility, biodiversity, social cohesion, public costs, energy consumption, health, etc. are discussed. Additionally, we describe the way these spatial dimensions are mapped in Flanders and provide some values of typical Flemish contexts. A selection of (inter)national best practices is investigated alongside these dimensions and the value of certain parameters is determined through available data or additional measurements in Google Earth.

Researchers: Nina De Jonghe, Tom Coppens
Commissioned by: Team of the Flemish Architect 
Period: December 2019 - December 2020