Project objective

Green and blue infrastructure for grey peri-urban landscapes

This project aims to convert the scarce remaining open space fragments in a greying peri-urban context into ecological stepping stones with a multifunctional character. By upgrading and connecting natural and semi-natural landscape elements, such as pools, orchards, natural grassland and watercourses, the so-called green/blue infrastructure, an ecological framework will be developed throughout built-up areas.

These ecological stepping stones have a high social added value, as they fulfill multiple other functions, such as sustainable food production, natural water retention, recreation and green lung. A more difficult term for these functions is ecosystem services. The green and blue landscape elements improve the environmental quality and help control problems related to urbanization, such as biodiversity loss, lack of resting and meeting places, lack of space for flood protection or sustainable food production,...false


5 cornerstones for blue/green design and development

To realise this objective in the six project areas in the Flemish Belt around Brussels and in De Wijers, the project is based upon 5 corner stones :

  1. Natural landscapes in a peri-urban environment
  2. Integrated planning for multiifunctional land use
  3. Participative design
  4. Together with private companies
  5. Towards an innovative blue/green policy



Natural landscapes in a peri-urban environment

By developing green and blue landscape elements in peri-urban open space fragments, grey semi-natural landscapes are transformed into green hotspots. In this way, we stimulate the conservation and reinforcement of more natural urban landscapes.

Projectgebied Zaventem
Dull grey landscape (Project area Zaventem)
Projectgebied Zaventem na
Transformation of the project area (Zaventem) into an attractive natural spot where biodiversity and natural water retention are combined.

 to the project zones



Integrated planning for multifunctional land use

Monofunctial areas, are areas designed to serve one single function, such as food production for example. Monufunctional design often creates dull and unattractive landscapes. Integrated planning stands for the combination of objectives from different themes in one project area: nature, recreation, water retention, landscape, sustainable food production, climate adaptation,... In this way, multifunctional land use is pursued with smart use of the scarce open space in an urban context. In addition, multifunctionality improves the environmental quality and the social dynamics in the project areas. 

luchtfoto Schansbroek
Dull grey urban landscape (project area Schansbroek) in the shadow of an old coal mine.
Geïntegreerd plan Schansbroek
Transformation of the project area (Schansbroek, Genk) into an attractive and ecological zone with space for a community garden and park, water retention,..

read more about blue/green infrastructure



Participative design

Together with inhabitants, employees, students, policy makers, experts and non-govenrmental organisations, we integrate the different wishes for a project area using participative working methods. This way, we raise awareness on the different functions of blue/green infrastructure and enthuse users of blue/green infrastructure for the sustainable maintenance of these landscape elements.

Participative design of the Schansbroek neigbourhood park in Genk
Participative design of the Schansbroek neigbourhood park in Genk

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Together with private companies

We promote the multifunctional character of green infrastructure and the importance to invest in this green infrastructure for businessess.


Projectgebied Horing
Project area Horing (Asse): a business site acts as an ecological barrier
participatie Horing
Participative workshop (Horing): together we invest in green business sites

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Towards an innovative blue/green policiy

With this innovative, integrated and multifunctional method of building green/blue infrastructure, the project aims to contribute to the implementation of the EU’s Green Infrastructure Strategy in EU peri-urban areas. 

read more about the Green Infrastructure Strategy
green infrastructure for Europe