From spatial planning to socio-spatial activation : emerging new planning approaches in post war housing estates in Flanders - the case Luchtbal
Faculty of Design Sciences
Engineering sciences. Technology
Conference Proceedings AESOP 2012 : 26th Annual Congress of the Association of European Schools of Planning, Ankara, 10-15 July 2012
In this paper we reflect upon emerging planning practices based upon an actor-relational approach of planning in the case of Luchtbal Antwerp, in Belgium. This approach draws on recent insights in planning theory, grounded in a relational understanding of space, Latours actor-network theory and urban regime theory. It breaks with traditional government-centred forms of planning and stimulates the formati on of associative governance networks around spatial issues; hence the label socio-spatial activation. The case concerns a deprived high-rise social housing estate in the northern fringe of Antwerp. Since 2005 the city of Antwerp and the social housing company have been taken initiatives to restructure the area, with the goal to increase the social mix of the area and to attract new inhabitants. Although a considerabl e effort had been made to develop a physical masterplan for the area, the implementation of the plan was very weak. The failure of traditional physical masterplanning in this area led to the development of new and innovative approaches. Instead of relying on traditional resource-intensive physical approaches, following a technical and government-centred approach, the city opted to develop an approach focused on identifying and activating socio-spatial networks in and around the area. In this paper we will discuss the context of the case, experiences with this actor-relational approach and its preliminary outcomes. This paper is written from an insiders perspective of two practitioners. Whereas Coppens has been involved as the project manager within the administration of the city of Antwerp, Boelens has been involved as a planning consultant for the city of Antwerp.