Flemish Waste Management Agency Flemish Environment Agency Labo Ruimte
Philippe Vandenbroeck

More systemic approaches to spatial development


Spatial planning and urbanism offer important keys to the required transition to a regenerative economy. These disciplines are seeking to embrace a more holistic perspective on spatial challenges by meshing design and transsectorial, conceptual approaches. But there is still a way to go to move away from standard environmental assessments to genuine 'net positive development'. 


We position ourselves as partners to architects, urbanists, planners, local governments and policy makers who seek to include a systemic perspective in their approach. 

Assignments included a systems analysis in the framework the Foresight UK Land Use Futures project, a systems analysis of the Flemish food production and consumption system (in collaboration with VITO and KULeuven) and the development of a framework to assess mid-sized cities’ readiness to develop a more sustainable mobility system (with BUUR).

We produced a concept paper ‘Space as a System’ for the Flemish Environment Agency. We also contributed to the 'Spatial' work package in their Environmental Outlook 2018 (again in partnership with BUUR).

We are also involved in a number of 'design by research' projects where urbanists and landscape architects are levering the concept of 'urban metabolism'. 


Our ambition is to develop a wider repertoire of systemic approaches that dovetail with strategies adopted by designers, developers, engineers and local governments.