45 research outputs found

    The Preservation of Productive Activities in Brussels: the Interplay between Zoning and Industrial Gentrification

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    Urban activities such as housing, productive space, green space, offices, etc., compete for scarce urban land, especially in cities with population growth, such as London and Brussels. Thereby, low-value uses such as production have a more vulnerable position in a private property market governed by real estate dynamics in comparison to high-value uses such as offices and housing. While local authorities of post-industrial cities grow more susceptible to revitalizing their relationship with productive activities, they risk losing the space to do so due to industrial gentrification. Based on the disappearance of production space in the case of the Brussels Capital Region (BCR), this article aims at evaluating how the BCR supports urban production, with a clear focus on zoning and the provision of production space. Although the BCR is a post-industrial city, it continues to lose production space at a rapid pace. Employing an analytical framework of urban settlement patterns of production, we analyse the production-related zone typologies in inner-city areas as well as in more peripheral mono-functional and mixed areas of the BCR. Our analysis of the production-related zone typologies of the BCR land-use plan demonstrates that industrial gentrification plays an important role in current deindustrialization processes. This article presents zoning strategies to regulate the private property market as well as public land strategies to preserve urban production space

    Evaluating spatial and social inequality by using GIS to analyze the catchment area and capacity of preschools in Ghent, Belgium

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    The growing popularity of the city as a qualitative living environment has an explicit and distinct impact on all regional cities in Flanders (Belgium). As a result of the pressure exerted by the increase in population, different kinds of spatial and social inequality can be perceived for multiple urban functions, for example for the educational system. Pupils of primary schools (in Flanders children between the age of 2.5 and 12 years) living in densely populated areas characterised by a capacity shortage in education are forced to attend schools at greater distances, because the capacity of nearby schools is exceeded. As a consequence, parents setting up camp in front of the school gates during enrolment periods are an annually recurring phenomenon. Methods pinpointing areas where problems concerning capacity are to be expected are missing. The research at hand used two different methods (short-term and long-term) to analyse the pressure exerted on preschools as a result of the growing urban population. The first analysis researched the change in capacity needs of preschools taking into account the rise of the number of children between the ages of 2 and 5 years to be expected over the next two years. The second analysis predicted the impact of urban growth on the accessibility to preschools. Instead of prognoses in overall population growth, the supply of new housing units from 2013 till 2025 was used to predict the rise in the number of children between the ages of 2.5 and 5.5 years for the next decade. Both analyses were validated for pre-schools in the city of Ghent, Flemish Region, Belgium and proved to be valuable tools to support local policy in education. The results indicated areas with considerable capacity and accessibility problems, on the short term as well as on the long term

    Variable Arrangements Between Residential and Productive Activities: Conceiving Mixed-Use for Urban Development in Brussels

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    Mixing productive economic activities with housing is a hot topic in academic and policy discourses on the redevelopment of large cities today. Mixed-use is proposed to reduce adverse effects of modernist planning such as single-use zoning, traffic congestion, and loss of quality in public space. Moreover, productive city discourses plead for the re-integration of industry and manufacturing in the urban tissue. Often, historical examples of successful mixed-use in urban areas serve as a guiding image, with vertical symbiosis appearing as the holy grail of the live-work mix-discourse. This article examines three recent live-work mix projects developed by a public real estate agency in Brussels. We investigate how different spatial layouts shape the links between productive, residential, and other land uses and how potential conflicts between residents and economic actors are mediated. We develop a theoretical framework based on earlier conceptualisations of mixed-use development to analyse the spatial and functional relationships within the projects. We situate them within the housing and productive city policies in Brussels. From this analysis, we conclude that mixed-use should be understood by considering spatial and functional relationships at various scales and by studying the actual spatial layout of shared spaces, logistics and nuisance mitigation. Mixed-use is highly contextual, depending on the characteristics of the area as well as policy goals. The vertical symbiosis between different land uses is but one example of valid mixed-use strategies along with good neighbourship, overlap, and tolerance. As such, future commercial and industrial areas will occur in various degrees of mixity in our cities

    The Acceleration and Storage of Radioactive Ions for a Beta-Beam Facility

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    The term beta-beam has been coined for the production of a pure beam of electron neutrinos or their antiparticles through the decay of radioactive ions circulating in a storage ring. This concept requires radioactive ions to be accelerated to as high Lorentz gamma as 150. The neutrino source itself consists of a storage ring for this energy range, with long straight sections in line with the experiment(s). Such a decay ring does not exist at CERN today, nor does a high-intensity proton source for the production of the radioactive ions. Nevertheless, the existing CERN accelerator infrastructure could be used as this would still represent an important saving for a beta-beam facility.Comment: beta-beam working group website at http://cern.ch/beta-bea

    The ANTENATAL multicentre study to predict postnatal renal outcome in fetuses with posterior urethral valves: objectives and design

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    Abstract Background Posterior urethral valves (PUV) account for 17% of paediatric end-stage renal disease. A major issue in the management of PUV is prenatal prediction of postnatal renal function. Fetal ultrasound and fetal urine biochemistry are currently employed for this prediction, but clearly lack precision. We previously developed a fetal urine peptide signature that predicted in utero with high precision postnatal renal function in fetuses with PUV. We describe here the objectives and design of the prospective international multicentre ANTENATAL (multicentre validation of a fetal urine peptidome-based classifier to predict postnatal renal function in posterior urethral valves) study, set up to validate this fetal urine peptide signature. Methods Participants will be PUV pregnancies enrolled from 2017 to 2021 and followed up until 2023 in >30 European centres endorsed and supported by European reference networks for rare urological disorders (ERN eUROGEN) and rare kidney diseases (ERN ERKNet). The endpoint will be renal/patient survival at 2 years postnatally. Assuming α = 0.05, 1–β = 0.8 and a mean prevalence of severe renal outcome in PUV individuals of 0.35, 400 patients need to be enrolled to validate the previously reported sensitivity and specificity of the peptide signature. Results In this largest multicentre study of antenatally detected PUV, we anticipate bringing a novel tool to the clinic. Based on urinary peptides and potentially amended in the future with additional omics traits, this tool will be able to precisely quantify postnatal renal survival in PUV pregnancies. The main limitation of the employed approach is the need for specialized equipment. Conclusions Accurate risk assessment in the prenatal period should strongly improve the management of fetuses with PUV

    Renovating houses, neighbourhood change and ‘mixité’. A case study in Ghent, Belgium

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    Upgrading housing quality increasingly implies transforming existing housing and neighbourhoods. But neighbourhood change can lead to gentrification, pushing out low-income groups and replacing them by urban elites. This paper explores this problem on the basis of a case study in one urban neighbourhood in Ghent, Belgium. A 2005 housing survey showed that physical housing quality in Flanders (the northern region of Belgium) has improved in recent years. Some inner city neighbourhoods characterized by urban blight in the 1990s, have become more attractive, leading to a process of gentrification. Based on a neighbourhood survey, interviews with inhabitants as well as an architectural analysis of their dwellings, this paper investigates the impact of this house-by-house process of neighbourhood change, comparing it to larger-scale transformation projects that also occurred in the area. It concludes that the step-by-step renovation process results in a ‘mild’ gentrification. Large projects have a more disrupting impact in terms of ‘mixité’, creating closed off sub-communities within the neighbourhood.status: publishe

    Building the highway system. Planning & mass motorization in Belgium since 1945

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    The article discusses the history of the construction of the highway network in Belgium.status: publishe