Research project What will the Flemish agricultural landscape look like in 2040?


A lab for agricultural space: 'LABO RUIMTE Boerenland' [Lab space for farmer country]

Rainbow farmers of the future

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General introduction

What will the Flemish agricultural landscape look like in 2040? Based on the 'Farmers of the future' report, an exploratory study of agriculture in Europe that outlines 12 different farmer profiles in 2040, the LABO RUIMTE Boerenland [Lab space for farmer country] explores the spatial dimension of (future) agricultural developments in two case areas: the Leie river valley and the North Kempen. For both areas, the project examines the opportunities of the 12 farmer profiles and the synergies with other local developments.

Research approach

LABO RUIMTE Boerenland aims to feed into landscape development and planning policies in Flanders with inspiring research by design that start from the perspective of farmers. As such, the project wants to get a better grip onto the spatial dimension of (future) agricultural developments. The research by design is conducted by two design offices. ILVO, together with the other partners, joins in during the workshops and other brainstorming moments throughout the design process.


This project is expected to make a substantive and imaginative contribution to the conversation and debate about the strong interaction between "our space" and food production. It can provide a basis for building bridges between the spatial planning world and the agricultural world. The project is an initiative of LABO RUIMTE, a collaboration between Department of Environment and Team Vlaams Bouwmeester, and with support from the Flemish Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, SALV, ILVO, Intercommunale Leiedal and the Province of Antwerp.