Research project Climate-proof through design. Research and design for climate adaptation in peri-urban territories.

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General introduction

In this research by design, ILVO aims to support the elaboration of a strategy for the development of peri-urban areas. This strategy should address the numerous design challenges of these areas, of which climate adaptation is an important example. Various peri-urban case study areas in Flanders are selected for which exemplary spatial concepts are elaborated. These concepts take the recent transformations in the Flemish countryside (increase of land use for horses, private gardens, …) and the fundamental changes in agricultural management (scale enlargement, clustering, …) into account. The development of the scarce open space in Flanders is now hardly on the policy agenda. Scientifically supported spatial concepts can strategically support this development.

Research approach

Research by design is actually “thinking through designing”. As such, research by design is used here as a method of testing, both for the current problems and opportunities and for the possible spatial concepts. Case study areas in Flanders are selected based on their spatial and agricultural differences.


This research project takes advantage of previous ILVO research results. The survey of transformations, which can be called “passive”, is now used to perform an “active” design of peri-urban areas. This stimulates and broadens the debate on (climate adaptive) development of peri-urban areas in Flanders. The design exercise delivers a range of visual documents, sketches, maps, collages, etc. This graphical output can facilitate the dialogue between the actors involved and the policy makers.