A Horizontal Metropolis

author: Architecture Workroom Brussels
date: November 30th, 2019

The Brussels territory, a highly fragmented urban area crossed by a complex river system, has been described as a ‘horizontal metropolis’. In this chapter, we reveal how the specific territory is arousing counter-productive land policies that are actually denying the reality of the spatial context today. From there, we want to explore how, through the lens of the ‘horizontal metropolis’, we can shift from the problems of scattered urbanisation to the agroecological opportunities of proximity of open space.

Brussels: Good food, no land

The Good Food Strategy is a governmental five year programme set-up in 2016 by the ministry of environment of the Brussels Capital Region with a budget of 2 million per year (which is quite low compared to other government strategic programmes). The aim of the strategy is to support the transition to sustainable food production and the implementation falls under a collaboration between the Brussels’ Environment and Brussels’ Economy administrations. As such, the Good Food strategy has supported both existing actors as newcomers through an online platform and financial support for research programmes and projects on urban agriculture [Roels, 2017, p. 84]. The strategy also formulates clear ambitions such as reducing food waste by 30% in 2020 and reaching 30% self-sufficiency in vegetable and fruit production by 2035.

There is a lot to be said about the non-distinctiveness of the strategy, promoting also non soil-based urban agriculture or the lack of thinking from the producer’s perspective; or the dominance of  the economical point of view in the technical advice for producers in the form of the ‘Urban Agriculture Facilitator’; or the lack of agency of agroecological actors, that are asked to participate but have no binding influence in decision making processes; or the lack of follow-up and enforcement to maintain the subsistence and quality of started projects, for example for allotments in primary schools; or the climate of competition generated by the limited financial possibilities between established actors and new actors [Cahn et.al., 2018, p33]. Still, emerging agroecological smallholders and researchers are also benefiting from the dynamics that the strategy is generating, especially on the awareness front, and are thus happy to see the strategy critically evaluated and extended.

The inconvenient truth is that the Brussels Capital Region simply has no land available for food production. Initially, the strategy aimed to realise 35% self-sufficiency within the perimeter of the Brussels Capital Region widened by 10km. It soon became clear, both by external critical voices and within their own studies, that there is nowhere near enough available space in the area. The strategy has adapted the self-sufficiency perimeter to the Capital Region and the provinces of Flemish and Walloon Brabant, approximately an area of 319.700 hectares. Of course, the communitarian sensitivities mentioned earlier form a huge obstacle. When looking at what little land has been mobilised for food production, it is mainly leftover land, vacant plots within building blocks and in residential areas, near infrastructures, on land that is only temporary available, waiting to be developed, or reclaimed/saved land by citizen initiatives. In short, a lot of goodwill in Brussels, enough to provoke the envy of Flemish agroecological farmers, but almost no land available. Only 4% of the territory is enlisted as agricultural land, where the agricultural activity is partially limited by zones of protection of the patrimonium [Lefebvre et.al., 2018, p. 11]. Land access organisation Terre-en-Vue calculated a potential of 277 ha of land for urban agriculture within the Brussels Capital Region [Terre-en-Vue, 2017] [1]. Today, longerly existing conventional farmers, of which the majority has a head office registered in Flanders, are exploiting 250 ha, while the emerging younger urban agriculture practices are together occupying 11.15 ha [2] of the Brussels Capital Region [Boutsen et.al., 2018]. Brussels is not the only Belgian city developing an Urban Food Strategy. Along with Ostend, Ghent and Liège, Brussels signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. Next to that, also smaller cities are working out of food strategy such as Leuven (101.000 inhabitants), Hasselt (78.000 inh.), Mechelen (86.600 inh.), Sint-Niklaas (77.000 inh.) and even smaller Overijse (24.160 inh.)

[1] M.Roels, presentation Korte Ketenfestival, 2018 

[2] According to the authors, 11.15 ha is an underestimation, since it only accounts for 26 of the 32 projects studied in ‘Evaluation de la production agricole primaire professionnelle en Région de Bruxelles Capitale’. Furthermore, this study dates from June 2018, since when access to land was made possible for new practices Radiskale and Smala Farming through the BoerenBruxselPaysans project. 

Beyond Brussels: Good land, what policy

A territory we cannot afford

For the whole Flanders-Brussels Region, as developed in Chapter 2, the post-war welfare state predominantly strengthened the ideal of further suburbanisation. The original rich ecosystem of Flanders was overlaid with liberal a-selective urbanisation or, stated more bluntly: virtually whatever, wherever [AWB, 2012, pp. 13-15 & Dehaene, 2018, p. 275]. As we have seen before, this was made possible historically mainly by a strong communal organization but, certainly since the 20th century, also increasingly by an almost parasitic [3] attitude towards the collective infrastructure of the city, which was within easy reach by public transport and the smeared-out highway network. Every village got its station, but certainly also its own highway exit. For two generations since the Second World War, urbanisation has continued to be extremely widespread. The building instinct of the Flemish made us the embarrassing leaders in land sealing: up till today Brussels and Flanders together hold the EU-lead in most hardened surface and lowest amount of connected open space (after Malta). The current generation, however, is confronted with a crisis. The limited infrastructure based on a decentralized organization meets its limits, is due for repair and maintenance, or cannot accommodate the increasing demand. The typical Flemish ribbon development or postwar villas could, for example, originally suffice with the natural drainage structure in place. As development became more intense, however, ‘these structures were converted into sewage systems. Add to this the excessive soil sealing and you can picture the trouble the primitive city is in’ [Dehaene, 2018, p. 276]. In these dispersed territories, more adequate infrastructures, adapted housing types, re-thought agriculture, mobility, social services and energy production will have to be imagined.

A selective nation state 

According to the most recent figures, Flanders is one of the leaders in paved surface in Europe. If we would add the 32% of Flanders to the 40% of Brussels, this region will take away the dubious prize.

Flanders, most paved surface of Europe, map, 320cm×180cm, textile

On the one hand, too much development is ‘leaning on an under-infrastructured territory but, on the other hand, this infrastructure in place is also losing its original agricultural function: A country road with some houses is unaffordable if that road also serves no other purpose’ [Dehaene, 2019]. If there is no higher societal purpose related to this road, such as food production, what is then the difference between this road, which only connects a limited amount of houses, and the elevator of an apartment building? Who, then, should pay for the maintenance and use of the road? This evolution is not at all visible or part of the public debate, for the simple reason that the average Flemish is not aware of it. Agricultural land, more often than not, is primarily seen as a reserve for future urbanization, especially so by the broad society that grew up with the idée-fixe ideal of owning a private home. It is commonly said that the Flemish are born with a baksteen in de maag (a brick in their stomach), referring to the DIY-mentality of the Flemish and the common conviction they are entitled to the right of building their own home (themselves). Even today, the reserved residential expansion areas lie on the fault line between agriculture and urbanization [Dehaene et. al., 2014].

The urban territory we are inhabiting today can, thus, not be regarded as urban [4], and the motivations behind it, as we have seen, were often explicitly anti-urban. But by ‘reaffirming these politics of dispersal time and again, this form of development has come to define a process of accumulation in its own right’. Generations of Flemish have found a place to live within this rural urban territory but are currently being subjected to a ‘delayed process of becoming urban’ [Dehaene, 2018, p. 276]. A process of urbanisation of which these inhabitants are not accustomed to deal with. Because the main problem of the legacy of dispersal ‘might not be the lack of critical mass, the lack of density, the relative inefficiency of infrastructures and services. Most of all, the policy of dispersal has literally led to the systematic depoliticization of the urban question. Urban politics are typically articulated around place-based solidarities brokered around the problems people face simply by sharing the same place and being implicated in each other’s lives. The problems caused by dispersed urbanization, however, tend to present themselves with two generations of delay and often in other places than where they are being caused. This makes it difficult to hold people accountable or mobilize around urban issues. By choosing for dispersal we have taken the momentum away for the emergence of urban movements.’ [Dehaene, 2018, p. 278]. Let us return to the example of the country road. When the activity of collective concern at the end of the road, such as food production, disappears, it equally seems unfair to hold the existing houses along this country road all of a sudden responsible for the costs of its maintenance. Definitely when we look at the current political debate, the Flemish are for the first time confronted with traditionally more urban questions such as higher degrees of social inequality, mobility congestion and, most explicitly, migration. The need for collective organisation arises urgently, but the traditional, parasitic answer to introduce a new form of dispersal is no longer available. A certain degree of spatial scarcity is imminent. There comes an end to an unbridled freedom of choice, while a truly urban alternative is still not considered desirable. Continuing on the same track, without bearing the consequences, is however impossible. The disappearance of open space, the realisation that space becomes scarce and the cost of sprawl is real and shocking, and very much part of the current debate. The double crisis of this Flemish-Brussels territory—leaning on an underinfrastructured territory and the loss of agriculture—is being responded to from different angles. But neither seem capable of acknowledging the elephant in the room: a necessary balanced relationship between urbanity and agriculture, accustomed to a country in se still composed of small holdings.

[3] Parasitic, in the sense that the more suburban areas are profiting from the investments of the city 

[4] In this sentence, we mean under ‘urban’ the provision of amenities and collective services such as mobility, water management, energy, etc.

The fantastic return to the City

Spearheaded by current Flemish state architect Leo Van Broeck, the debate today increasingly takes the ideological bias of the urbanism of compactness. With a call to flock to the city, the ongoing construction of detached housing was even labelled as ‘criminal offense’ [5]. The future would be a more polarized division between what is rural and what is urban; a land sparing strategy in a country rooted in land sharing [6]. In the wake of its state architect and Europe’s 2050 goals, the last Flemish Government announced a betonstop (concrete-stop) to prevent further sprawl by 2040. After all, the potential financial benefits of stopping sprawl and even reversing sprawl (giving back open space through de-sealing) were calculated: by 2050, in terms of the maintenance of infrastructure, Flanders could save 380 million euros per year [Vermeiren et.al., 2019]. This betonstop, for example, would save 1.8 billion euros in water management [Wolfs et.al., 2018]. What the strategy of the concrete stop, however, seriously underestimates, is the current reality. As a first, it requires enormous political courage. But unwilling to touch the average Fleming’s development rights, the government promised to fully compensate and reimburse anyone who would potentially be financially disadvantaged by this betonstop [Flemish Government Agreement, 2019], including questionable speculation in residential expansion areas. Calculating what this cost would entail for society, it is no wonder that there is little support for it. Secondly, it requires immediate action. By pushing the ambition so far in the future, the market has time to start panicking now. Smaller municipalities, which are confronted with shrinkage and see their development potential and associated tax revenues go up in smoke, take matters in their own hands. While ambitious but difficult projects are looking for ways to scrap residential expansion areas, others are being developed at a cut-throat pace. The intake of the open space, which was already out of proportion with a pace of 6 hectares daily, has increased to an average 7,33 hectares since negotiations on the betonstop started. The government thoroughly choked on this exercise, the cost of changing the course of centuries of dispersed urbanisation not outweighing the cost of sprawl. As such, it led to a political stand-still and continuation (to aggravation) of the current status quo. Flemish people are hastily looking for an available home (for example, a vacant farmhouse) to fulfill their rural residential dream and building promoters are already concentrating on the new development ideal: compaction. All of a sudden, the porosity of Flanders’ towns, hamlets and ribbon development seems to display a lot of available space. The proximity of open space, so typical for dispersed urbanisation, is now seen as spatial inefficiency and thus, by definition, as development potential. In this sense, the theoretical ideal of the compact city has often caused more damage to the scattered urbanization than good. Instead of making it more ‘efficient’, residual values, as for example productive open spaces, have often been overwritten. Urban qualities, such as services that were still in place in local towns or close access to open space, are replaced by apartmentization or the more Flemish so-called jumbo fermettes [AWB, 2012, p. 20 & Declerck, 2018].

While this dynamic is strongest in the Flemish Region, the ‘compact’ city of Brussels is dealing with similar issues. Faced with continuous demographic growth, affordable housing remains one of the key challenges of the city. Still heavily borrowing on its 19th century urbanism foundations, it is less equipped to deal with dispersed urbanisation. One such example, relevant in this discussion, is Le Logis-Floréal. This Garden City at the edge of the Sonian Forest was centred around a collective orchard. Over the years, it was rented out to a farmer who used it as a small corn field. A few years ago, neighbourhood organisations and activists joined forces to install the first (and still only) CSA farm in Brussels there. Chant des Cailles houses a professional farmer, a shepherd and community gardens on about 1,5 hectares (also see next chapter). The land, however, is property of the Brussels Public Centre of Social Welfare and, well located and accessible, proved to be ideal development land for housing. But the neighbourhood, and the more than 300 cooperants of the CSA farm, heavily protested to the local municipality to combat the plans that wanted to eradicate their local farm. The Brussels Government is currently conducting a study [7] to research development potential in combination with food production, on which local movements responded with an inventory of underused, urgently in need of renovation or downright completely vacant houses in the district. It completely shifted the discussion from a unidirectional greenfield development in the ‘compact’ city to focus on the infrastructure in place in this dispersed urbanisation.

[5] L. Van Broek, Nu nog vrijstaand bouwen is crimineel, Het gesprek 6 december 2017, https://www.vlaamsbouwmeester. be/sites/default/files/ uploads/20171206_Nu%20nog%20 vrijstaand%20bouwen%20is%20 crimineel.pdf 

[6] The same ‘tabula rasa’ argumentation is used to plead for more intensive to vertical farming, thus creating ‘space’ for acres and acres of ‘untarnished’ nature development. 

[7]Innoviris co-create project, La Ferme du Chant des Cailles, http://www.chantdescailles.be/ saule/ 

Proximity = opportunity

The economy of natural selection

In our current territory, not only housing and agriculture are battling for space. Increasingly, also the interaction between agriculture and nature is up for debate. Historically, this interaction has yielded an enormous wealth of semi-natural landscapes in Flanders. A variety of grasslands, meadows, haylands, heathers, hedges to pollard willow rows, all testify to the natural history of our agriculture. A large part of nature management as we now apply it in our nature areas, goes back to old agricultural practices [Borgo, 2017, p.11]. But ‘canals must be maintained, hedges pruned, and verges mowed. This is today not only a landscape where too much is leaning on, it is a weakened landscape. A landscape with a shrinking economic base and with fewer helping hands that can take care of the reproduction of society’ [Dehaene, 2019]. It sheds a different light of many of our territorial issues. The increasing threat of flooding in Flanders is not only due to more intense rainfall by climatological change but is also in large part exacerbated by ‘the simple fact that the ditches between the fields are no longer cleared once a year by farmers’ [Dehaene, 2018, p. 276]. The historical land sharing organisation of Belgium, illustrated by its extensive crop rotation tradition and ager-saltus-silva balance, was completely replaced by the land sparing ideal of post-war land consolidation and urban planning (one land, one function, one colour). Agriculture, however, was and is the natural user and caretaker of open space, highly necessary in the water management of the territory and as an infiltration and buffer area [Declerck, 2018]. This is especially the case in highly urbanized areas such as Flanders, where the valleys are tightened, and the sealing degree is notoriously high. 

In the 1990s, the ‘land bank’, the traditional means to scale up agriculture, shifted from a focus on land consolidation to land inrichting (land development). The instrument was first used to enable infrastructure works by swapping land of unfortunate farmers. Later, and to this day, the instrument is mainly used to achieve nature objectives in agricultural areas, by reorganizing land and closing management agreements with farmers. It led to a complete shift in the policies of open space. Where previously the main aim was to increase the scale, cooperation was sought with many parties. However, that did not go smoothly [CAG]. Whereas agriculture was traditionally the most important open space manager, scaling-up and stricter land-use legislation had meanwhile driven a wedge between food production and nature development.

Agriculture was now on the losing side of the land deal. But farmers, and agricultural policy by extension, were not going to go quietly. They would sell their skin dearly. And although this state-of-mind often resulted in a very profitable financial settlement for the farmer in the competition between agriculture and more urban functions (earning much more by selling agriculture land as housing development), collaboration between farmers, environmental movements and municipal and governmental authorities was much less lucrative or taken for granted. Simultaneously, the broader social outlook on agriculture also changed considerably. Due to large manure surpluses, contaminated water tables, the use of hormones, antibiotics and the outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, swine fever, mad cow disease, the dioxin crisis and avian flu, polarization rose. Farmers on the one hand and nature organisations and society on the other, stood radically on other sides of a very harsh political fault line. Kurt Sannen, former cabinet employee for the minister of agriculture (Green Party, 1999-2004), today organic livestock farmer and former chairman of BioForum (Organic Farmers’ League), summarizes it as follows:

"After the war, the motto was: ‘never again hunger, and cheap food for everyone’. European food policy focused on specialization, scaling up and industrialization. Subsidies were intended to stimulate production. That was good for that time, but it meant that the flowers and butterflies disappeared from the grasslands due to the use of fertilizer and pesticides. And that our streams were polluted by nitrates and phosphates. The nature movements mainly focused on those grasslands. In densely populated Flanders, that led to the idea that agriculture and nature cannot go hand in hand." [8]

This trend continues today. Stricter European legislation today very much puts nature to the fore. On the one hand, it focuses on compensation regulation for economic expansion. These nature and forest compensations always end up on agricultural land. Where the economically more profitable agricultural function used to take in nature land, the opposite is often the case today. In the logic of the survival of the fittest, agriculture no longer wins. On the other hand, European legislation (such as Natura2000) focuses on protecting and increasing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. In Flanders, this is the responsibility of the Flemish Land Agency (VLM), which concludes nature management agreements with farmers for about 11,000 hectares of agricultural land. More than 3500 farmers have at least one management agreement in place, around 10% of the Flemish farmers. The main focus is the sowing of so-called ‘parcel edges’ into rich flower borders, protecting vulnerable landscape elements (such as watercourses) against the impact of agricultural activity. Although it is widely considered a useful tool in the current agricultural landscape, it sometimes feels like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble. Management agreements today have a duration of only five years, are well subsidized, and although they are more renewed than not, farmers easily cancel out in one day what they have grown during all those years. After all, they depend on every square meter of land to obtain European subsidy regulations. Next to that, the instrument is perhaps also used too diffusively. Today, all farmers can apply, but it makes ‘no sense in a monotonous agricultural area’. If agriculture itself does not change but, from a biodiversity point of view, remains an ecological desert, then the measure only has a reactive, buffering function. Here too, the maximum impact seems to be sought by ‘nibbling at the edges’ (land sparing) instead of looking for more cross-pollination in a country rooted in land sharing.

[8] ‘De boeren kapot, is dat wat we willen?’, De Standaard, February 2019

The Horizontal Metropolis

The fear for the cost of sprawl and the polarisation between nature and agriculture have led to positions denying the territorial reality. But can we turn a problem into a chance? Can we see scattered urbanization as an opportunity? How? What kind of residual infrastructure is there that we can strengthen? How can we develop more land sharing strategies in a territory with a traditionally low amount of urban functions in place? How should we start to read this territory?

In their 2040 vision for Brussels, Bernardo Secchi and Paolo Viganò argue that Brussels is first and foremost a city, which has expanded into a metropolis situated in the middle of a vast and fragmented urban area. By withdrawing the wealthy classes and the middle class from the compact city and, conversely, the international immigration movements in the central parts of the city, they argue, a huge, diffuse city was created where people can now live and work just about anywhere [Secchi-Vigano, 2012, p. 30]. On a larger scale than that of this diffuse metropolis, Brussels forms a new megacity in the heart of Europe that has developed between the two extremes of Flanders and Wallonia. Brussels is at the core of that megacity, but it does not really form its centre, because this diffuse metropolis does not really have a centre or periphery. In the absence of a polarization in the centre, they continue, the metropolis is not ‘vertical’, but horizontal [Ibid.]. This Horizontal Metropolis forms an extensive urban space, an isotropic, typologically varied area with decent infrastructure in place. The city is structured by the three valleys that cross it and by a dense grid of public transport, and is built around a number of urban and spatial figures (old centres, new centralities, parks, forests) that act as beacons. Their vision for this Horizontal Metropolis emphasizes the countless qualities of the subspaces, gauges their similarities and complementarities, and looks beyond the contradictions. Even more so, considers them to be unique qualities and potentialities. When comparing the Brussels territory with the Dutch Randstad or Greater Paris, Brussels clearly has the lowest density and most hardened surface, but also, and most strikingly, the largest surface and perimeter of open space per inhabitant. So, our open space is scattered, yes, but the access to it, is in abundance.

Comparison of linear (peri)meters of open space per inhabitant in metropolitan areas.

But how to valorise these residual qualities? How to harvest the value of proximity of demographic density? If we look at alternative and viable farming practices, this ‘proximity’ is key. For short chain farming, you need people, and the products you produce should be fresh and therefore in need of quick transport. We have to re-think infrastructure that truly supports proximity and that is able to house local metabolic chains. The appeal of Brussels and the expected strong population growth by 2020-2040 require specifically targeted management in this Horizontal Metropolis. It will, however, be necessary to disarticulate the ‘quest for equal opportunity and spatial equality (in the sense of equally distributing opportunities)’ [Dehaene, 2018, p. 280]. Flanders, for example, gave every individual the right to have access to public transport within 800 metres of their home in the 1990s. The ‘rather bleak result, however, is that everybody is given the dubious privilege of access to poor public transport (...). Everywhere the same, may seem just, but amounts to a logic in which a society deprives itself from the surplus through difference’ [Ibid.]. 

In that sense, the perspective of the Horizontal Metropolis is not a plea for sprawl, nor one against compactness. It is rather a call for the continued, more radical development of the existing patterns of urbanisation. Not suddenly choosing another model that, like the ideal compact city, ignores the territory in place, but ‘rather continuing to garden carefully in the existing field’ [Dehaene, 2013, p. 96]. The building fury of a country of smallholdings resulted in an infrastructurally equipped field in which ‘agglomeration effects are patterned forth along the way, where a specific form of urbanity emerges as a locally cultivated breed’ [Dehaene, 2013, pp. 100-101]. The project for the Horizontal Metropolis is in that sense also concerned with the organisation of robust ecosystems and the development of a shared landscape as the necessary support for a shared urban culture and sociability. Like agroecology, it aims for a maximisation of local return. It is an equipped field, in its basis so locally rooted it can mobilize a Garden City neighbourhood around the protection of its CSA-farm; it has residual infrastructure with the potential to revive the Boerkoos practice and pull it into the 21st century through projects like BoerenBruxselPaysans; it is an urbanity that horizontally diffuses the city and already breaches regional border logics. Brussels, as a tapestry metropolis waiting for its social and ecological re-edition is already rethinking and supporting its territory as a Horizontal Metropolis. It has grown as a project initiated by kings and engineers alike,  ‘but brought to fruition by gardeners who continue to cultivate with great care and  attention the possibilities that have been injected into the territory, without however consuming them. A project which this time will not be driven by industrialisation, but rather by a new economy, with as its leitbild a richly varied checkered urban field in which the urban condition is not only divided, but also shared’ [Dehaene, 2013, p. 101].

Contested Lands, Elaboration of existing data

  • Roels, Maarten (2017): ‘Country Studies: Belgium’, in Supporting access to land for farmers in Europe, pp. 31-36.

  • Cahn, Livia, et. al. (2018): ‘Terres des villes. Enquêtes potagères de Bruxelles aux premières saisons du 21e siècle.’ Editions de l’éclat, Bruxelles.

  • Lefebvre A., et.al. (2018): ‘Étude urbanistique et juridique pour le développement de l’agriculture urbaine en Région Bruxelloise’, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Agora, Pascal Hanique sprl, Goisse-Lamal & Associés sprl.

  • Architecture Workroom Brussels (2012): ‘Naar een Visionaire Woningbouw. Kansen en opgaven voor een trendbreuk in de Vlaamse woonproductie’, Team Vlaams Bouwmeester, Brussel.

  • Dehaene, Michiel (2018): ‘Horizontal Metropolis: Issues and Challenges of a New Urban Ecology Statements’, in Viganò, Paola, et.al. (eds): ‘The Horizontal Metropolis Between Urbanism and Urbanisation’, Springer International Publishing AG, pp. 269-281.

  • Dehaene, Michiel (2019): ‘Het volle land – het lege land. Met Bruegel op zoek naar een toekomst voor het verstedelijkte platteland’, Paper submitted for the exhibition catalogue of De Blik van Bruegel, Pajottenland.

  • Vermeiren et al., (2019), ‘Monetariseren van urban sprawl in Vlaanderen’, commissioned by Departement Omgeving.

  • Wolfs V., Ntegeka V., Willems P., Francken W. (2018): ‘Impact van Beleidsplan Ruimte Vlaanderen op rioleringen’, study by Sumaqua commissioned by VLARIO.

  • Architecture Workroom Brussels (2012): ‘Naar een Visionaire Woningbouw. Kansen en opgaven voor een trendbreuk in de Vlaamse woonproductie’, Team Vlaams Bouwmeester, Brussel.

  • Borgo, Esmeralda (2017): ‘Armoede is de echte oorzaak van honger, agro-ecologie de oplossing’, MO*papers.

  • Declerck, Joachim (2018): ‘Between Plan and Pragmatism: Families of Challenges. Designing the setting and the reconfiguration for an old urban ecology in multiple crises.’ in Viganò, Paola, et.al. (eds): ‘The Horizontal Metropolis Between Urbanism and Urbanisation’, Springer International Publishing AG, pp. 401-411.

  • Secchi, Bernardo & Viganò, Paola (2012): ‘The horizontal metropolis’, in Dejemeppe, Pierre & Périlleux, Benoît: Brussels 2040. Three visions for a metropolis. Brussels Capital Region, Brussels, pp. 28-41.

  • Dehaene, Michiel (2013): ‘Gardening in the urban field.’ A&S/ Books, Ghent