Dossier Desealing

Today, vacant agricultural sites are often transformed into residential farms or non-agricultural enterprises. If we don't stop this dynamic, farms will no longer be available for agricultural use and our countryside will disappear along with them. Smart desealing can be part of the solution.

What does ILVO do?

  • Image of "Boer breekt uit"
    Systems analysis shows relationships between the factors affecting desealing of agricultural sites and which factors promote desealing.

Desealing, a necessity for improving our living environment

Flanders is one of the most paved areas in Europe. Today 16% of the surface is paved and if we continue like this it will be more than 20% in 2050. Paved space is space that is occupied by buildings, roads, parking lots, terraces and driveways, for example, which disrupt some of the natural functions of non-paved space. Indeed, soil and open space perform many functions that maintain ecological balance. When a paved area seals the soil, all those functions are lost. This results in, among other things, a greater risk of flooding, less water infiltration, warmer cities and towns, less CO2 storage by plants and the soil, and a loss of biodiversity.

Desealing provides more space for nature and food production, less flooding, cooler cities, greater biodiversity, healthier air and a better climate. In this way, we are focusing on climate adaptation and climate mitigation, and we are taking a step towards a more climate-proof and liveable Flanders. Desealing tackles many challenges at the same time, which makes it unusual.

See also