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More space and less open space in Flanders. A more detailed analysis of the facts.

Book Contribution - Chapter

The Flemish open space is increasingly taking on a broader social role. Agriculture, nature, forest, recreation and water all find their place here. Sometimes functions occur side by side, often a multifunctional use of space is presupposed. Challenges related to climate change and energy transition are also creating a growing role for open space as a location for additional forests, renewable energy, carbon storage, water infiltration or storage.

At the same time, there have been many new developments in recent decades that are altering the open space. Transformations related to housing, such as gardening and hobby farming, but also recreational developments such as riding stables and recreational accommodation or non-agricultural economic dynamics. The open space is further occupied and fragmented. The fragmentation is increasing. Social expectations and ambitions for open space have never been so high; the surface area has never been so small.

The paper introduces the concept of open space from the Spatial Report and describes and concretizes, where possible, the processes of spatial change in the open space in recent years. It examines where, how and at what rate the open space is changing. In the Spatial Report, the open space in Flanders was (precisely) defined on the map, situation 2013. In the meantime, we have already made progress for a number of years. More recent data make it possible to investigate where this open space was taken up by land take, which activities take place here and what effect this extra land take has on the fragmentation of the open space.
Book: MEER met MEER
Pages: 62-72
Number of pages: 11
Publication year:2019