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Urban sprawl in Flanders

Book Contribution - Chapter

Subtitle:Spatial and financial gains from investing in anti urban sprawl measures
At the beginning of 2019, the research on the monetization of urban sprawl in Flanders was completed. This research provides new insights into the occurrence and cost price of urban sprawl in Flanders. The results are not surprising, but still confrontational. 95% of the Flemish people live in an environment that is characterized as 'urban sprawl'. This scattered living has a cost, both for the individual citizen and for society. This cost price will increase considerably if we do not succeed in rolling out a policy in the future that aims to reduce urban sprawl.

This article explains the main results of comparative international studies on urban sprawl. The situation in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium) is similar for many indicators, but still different in the field. For Flanders, a spatial and monetary analysis was carried out into the phenomenon of urban sprawl. Three cost items were identified: infrastructure, mobility and loss of ecosystem services. If we continue in Flanders as we do today, this will inevitably lead to more sprawl with more costs. An anti-spray policy can save a total of 25.6 billion euros in costs (charged until 2050).

The analysis fits in with the current discourse shift that is prominent as a result of the climate debate. The old social discourse of "what will all this cost, who will pay for it and will we have a budget for it" is slowly giving way to a discourse that pays more attention to a long-term perspective and can be understood as "we must invest now in order to make a profit in the future or at least to limit the losses".
Book: MEER met MEER
Pages: 48-58
Number of pages: 11
Publication year:2019