The challenge for the Lageweg pilot project consists in bringing about a coalition of policymakers, landowners, investors and other social actors. Our hypothesis was the following: by working from the start with the available capitalin the form of available propertyand the available actors, we would increase the likelihood of a qualitative mixed development that was rooted in the neighbourhood. But what method makes it possible to involve everyone and to activate the available capital? What instruments can we use to forge a robust coalition that is capable of achieving a financially healthy and qualitative urban renewal project?

During the process, the parties concerned were not merely ‘consulted’: a dialogue was instigated, made of creativity, conflict and doubt. Beyond dialogue, this collaborative model also relied on other elements: making connections between the owners, integrating progressive insight, bringing about mutual trust, contributing according to one’s means, and supervising the quality of the process organization. In this model, solutions can no longer be developed in isolation. Indeed, because of the highly fragmented property structure and diverging interests, the traditional work method of the architect or urban planner who conceives a harmonious plan and implements it step by step does not work. Instead, a series of instruments were tested, attempting to establish new pairings between the different specializations in the project, between the various opinions and interests, and between different temporal perspectives. By means of these instruments we were able to test and reinforce the coalition, by finding out which proposals seem most appealing, which concepts reinforce the coalition, and which questions demand more detailed explanations.

In the wake of this coalition development, the project received additional funding from the Flemish Government (OVAM) for the conception of a development frame. Simultaneously, temporary use was implemented in the project perimeter, opening up sites that had remained inaccessible for a long time to the neighborhood.

The Lageweg publication is accessible
here.

coalition development
Project area Lageweg
site safari and "future collage"
urban reality
declaration of engagement signed by the property owners