Water as a backbone for settlements. Urban densification versus water management in the southern fringe of Brussels.

Vanempten, E. (Promotor)

    Activiteit: OverigeAndere soorten (prijzen, externe en andere activiteiten) - (Co)promotor masterthesis


    Mankind is responsible for the disturbance of the natural functioning of water systems. An increase in built environment, evolutions in agriculture, and
    climate change have reduced the overall natural water retention of river basins and consequently increased the amount of rainwater flowing directly
    into the watercourses. At the same time, men have always been attracted to water systems and have historically settled within the lowlands. Constraining
    water management systems were hereby developed in order to protect their activities from floodings. The applied technical means resulted in a reduction
    of the natural water storage capacity of the formerly naturally expanding river bed. The combination of an ever increasing disturbance of water systems
    by mankind, inadequate regulations on water management, and a further human occupation in flood plains, have raisen awareness that not all issues can be solved in a merely technical way.

    In response, contemporary spatial planning policies aim at returning space to the river bed in order to restore their naturally fluctuating characteristics. At
    the same time, other spatial planning policies are commited to urban densification of existing central locations in order to counter further suburban
    sprawl. Since these central locations are located within the lowlands, both tendencies conflict.

    This research, fitting in the MSc Urbanism and Spatial Planning (SteR) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), will put both strategies together, take a critical look at their mutual conflicts, and propose some adjustments in order to achieve the objectives of both.

    Masterproefbegeleiding van VUB-STeR* student Benoit Denayer
    Gehouden opVUB - Master Stedenbouw en Ruimtelijke Planning, België