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Diagnosis of the state of the territory in Flanders.

Book Contribution - Chapter

Subtitle:Reporting about new maps and indicators differentiating between urban and rural areas within flanders
Within the several European analyses of spatial patterns, Belgium and Flanders take a specific position. The average ‘settlement area percentage’ (i.e., all land used beyond agriculture, semi-natural areas, forestry, and water bodies) for Europe is 4%, but 32% of the Flemish area is occupied with artificial land. Belgium has the highest score for urban-sprawl indicators, and within the European context, almost the entire area is considered urban. The aim of the research presented in this paper is to expand on the theme of indicators for spatial patterns by analyzing the Flemish area with detailed data across various scales. The results are collected in a report, the ‘Ruimterapport’— ‘RURA’, published in 2018. RURA is a bundling and compilation of research results from very diverse sources, amongst others studies from the Department of Environment and Spatial Development of Flanders and of Espon studies. This article presents the most important results from RURA and further positions them in international comparative literature. New maps and indicators are developed for the urban/peri-urban/rural dimensions of the human settlement area, urban sprawl, and settlement patterns by differentiating amongst others between urban centers, ribbon development, and scattered buildings. The paper gives a quantitative, methodological, and empirical contribution to the field of urban and regional development processes and contributes to conceptualizations of space. The case of Flanders, with its specific sprawl pattern, illustrates the difficulties spatial planning policy makers currently are facing, dealing with the complexity of space and society.
Book: Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions
Edition: 1
Pages: 209-221
Number of pages: 13
Publication year:2021
Keywords:Urban/peri-urban/rural dimensions, Indicators, Land use, State report, S240-urban-planning-and-development