25 years of the 'Land development' instrument: What can we learn from the past for future development?

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    VLM (Flemish Land Agency) has asked ILVO to make a final inventory and a cricital evaluation of its 'land development'  instrument as it was applied in the Westhoek region. Since the foundation of VLM in 1988, land development, a cluster of studies and projects for approving environmental quality has been one of the main tasks. The objectives of these projects are 1) to document and access all knowledge concerning land development in the Westhoek region and 2) detect challenges and local opportunities and constraints, based on the inventory and critical evaluation. This will give input for a new agenda for (open space) in the region. Flanders has invested for 25 years in land development in the Westhoek region thus we can now draw conclusions from that period.

    Research approach
    We thoroughly study the VLM archives and select relevant projects and studies on the region in the context of 'land development'. We build on the methodology that was developed during the master thesis of Els Belmans (2015) and supplement this with new insights on environmental quality (IDEA Consult et al., 2015). We reconstruct clear project sheets and time-frames. Together with staff from VLM, the province of West Flanders and other ILVO researchers, we organize  an interactive workshop to discuss the impact of 25 years of land development. We make a critical evaluation. In the second phase we oraganize a focus group with policy makers, experts and key persons from the region. During these focus group sessions we interactively look for possible solutions for future challenges for open space in the Westhoek region.

    We expect to present the results of the previous steps at a final regional event organized for policymakers and key actors in the region. For the interactive sessions we will also invite external presenters who can reflect on the Westhoek situation based on their experiences or who will elaborate on a certain theme. We hope to make this project be the starting point for future development of open space and that it will identify the most relevant local opportunities.
    Effective start/end date1/06/1631/05/17