The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece
Chapter 6: Affordable Housing, Housing Strategies and Growth Management in Flanders (Belgium): Facts, Policy and Discourses
6. Aﬀordable housing, housing strategies and growth management in Flanders (Belgium): Facts, policy and discourses Jef E.J. Van den Broeck and Han Verschure INTRODUCTION Aﬀordable housing and growth management are both key issues in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium. Owing to Belgium’s federal structure, each of the federal regions (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels) have full political and legal competence in matters such as housing and spatial planning, including growth management, urbanisation, mobility and the environment. The size of the region is about 13 522 sq km. It has approximately 5.94 million inhabitants (2000) and a density of 439 inhabitants/sq km. The Belgian Central Area (about 4000 sq km) is a dense ‘galaxy’ (1100 inhabitants/sq km) with three main cities Brussels (the European Capital), Antwerp and Ghent and about 4 million inhabitants. We can call it an ‘urban region’ comparable with other polycentric regions such as the ‘Ruhr area’ and Rhine–Mainz in Germany, the ‘Randstad Holland’ and Lille– Roubaix–Kortrijk, a cross-border region in France and Belgium. See Figure 6.1. In this chapter, we will ascertain our current position with regard to housing and spatial planning, and in particular the relationship between these issues. This connection is often neglected by professionals and decision makers, which is strange because housing, like economic development, nature and infrastructure, is inﬂuencing the structure of space fundamentally. The policies on the two issues are often not directly related to each other and are not integrated, partly due to the sector-based institutional organization...
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