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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

Agata WALNY Boris FERON Jonas AEBI Panagiotis BOURLESSAS Sandra SCHELLER Vanessa HUENNEMEYER

HEEMBEEK

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies 1.0 Project overview 2.0 Neighbourhood Context 2.1 Location.............................................................................................................................5 2.2 Historical Development .......................................................................................................6 Urban Sprawl ...........................................................................................................................6 2.3 Statistical Analysis Family Structure .......................................................................................................................9 2.4 Spatial Analysis ................................................................................................................13 2.5 Qualitative Analysis ...........................................................................................................19 3.0 Identification of Current Problems 3.1 SWOT..............................................................................................................................23 3.2 Integration .......................................................................................................................27 3.3 Densification ....................................................................................................................27 3.4 Mobility ............................................................................................................................28 4.0 Our Proposals 4.1 Integration: A Socio-Cultural Hub ........................................................................................30 4.2 Densification: Mixed Housing .............................................................................................32 4.3 Mobility: Public Transport and Connecting to the Surroundings ............................................33 6.0 References 7.0 Appendix 7.1 Interviews ........................................................................................................................36

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

1.0 Project overview The purpose of this paper is to give insights to the present day characteristics of the northern Brussels neighbourhood of Neder-Over-Heembeek, and to analyze major issues affecting future development in the area. We will give creative inputs to showcase potential solutions. This report does not argue in which direction Heembeek should develop, but rather creates a knowledge base that we will later use to expand and refine our arguments. Our approach to this research and initial idea generation for solutions stems from the idea that

“There is a wealth of examples where planners haven’t researched the context in which they were trying to solve a problem, which have then resulted in either insufficient plans or in outright worsening of the problem.” (Gaber and Gaber 1997). Therefore, the purpose of this project is to challenge this notion with a careful analysis of Neder-Over-Heembeek (NOH) and to address and find possible solutions for the present-day problems afflicting it. To better understand our neighbourhood from an external point of view, we have researched the historical and current-day development and have done an analysis of the most current statistical data, also creating a spatial analysis of the neighbourhood to help us identify areas of interest. To obtain authentic internal information about NOH we interviewed local inhabitants and institutions to better understand their perspective on the current situation. A SWOT analysis was used to better understand which problems to focus on, and from this we developed our proposals for solving what we believe are the biggest issues currently affecting NOH.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

Project design

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

2.0 Neighbourhood Context To understand the neighbourhood context of Heembeek we used different methods of analysis, (Gaber & Gaber, 1997, 167). to gain a broader perspective by allowing them to build upon each other and create a complete visualization of Heembeek We looked at the historical and current development, statistical data, created a spatial analysis and obtained our own qualitative research.

2.1 Location

Fig. 2.1 1

Heembeek is a neighbourhood largely surrounded by physical barriers that greatly decrease the access into the neighbourhood (SEE FIG. 2. 11). On the Eastern side there is the Canal de Willebroek, which lies on an industrial strip not well integrated with the neighbourhood. On the other side of the canal is the Schaerbeek train sorting facility which is inaccessible to the public. The private Royal Garden of the King is to the West of Heembeek and is closed to the public. The Northern part of Heembeek marks the end of the Brussels Capital Region (BCR) and the beginning of the Flemish Region, where to the North-East of NOH lays the town of Vilvoorde and the Hopital Militaire Reine Astrid. These physical barriers leave Heembeek with only two main entrance points from the city, being Pont de Buda into Schaerbeek and the numbers 3 and 7 trams which enter from the south on the Pont can Praet alongside the Royal Garden. Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 5


Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

2.2 Historical Development The earliest references to Heembeek were made as early as the 7th Century where it was described as a small village belonging to the Frankish King Theodore Haimbech. However little is known about this period and the physical development of Heembeek. In later references from the 12th Century it is described as two separate villages, each with their own parish. Neder-Heembeek had the St. Nicholas Church, which now houses the Heembeek cultural center, however it is currently vacant. Over-Heembeek was home to the St. Peter and Paul church, which to this day has remaining ruins of the original Romanesque tower, however the church itself was redesigned in 1935 by the architect Julien de Ridder, and rebuilt. In the mid 15th Century the two villages merged into one, and the name changed to the one known today: Neder-Over-Heembeek. In the 16th Century the canal was built in order to gain access to the Scheldt ship port, and later became a pretext for the annexation of the area by the City of Brussels in 1921. Today Heembeek is located in the Northern most part of the city of Brussels municipality, and known mainly for the Hopital Militaire Reine Astrid a renowned burn and poison center, and which also houses the National Museum of Radiology and a large industrial zone along the canal. Urban Sprawl In 2006, Heembeek had a total population of 11,791, with an average density of 6,137 inhabitants per km2. This was similar to the total density of the Brussels Capital Region (6,313 inh/km2) but lower than the total of BCR sectors with more than 200 inhabitants (9,158 inh/km2). This shows, that Heembeek, although not the densest of neighbourhoods within Brussels, has shown increased urbanization. Although this urbanization happened mainly after the annexation by Brussels,. The population and housing statistics show that there have been different steps to this urbanization. Of all known apartment constructions, there have been 654 built between 1919 and 1945 – perfectly coinciding with the constant growth of the BCR during this time. 1946 to 1980 shows a remarkable growth of 1640 new apartments, which make up total of 38.6% of all existing housing in 2001. Considering that this number does not take into account unknown constructions, we can conclude that more than one third of the existing apartments today were constructed during this time, including two major housing projects; the Mariendaal and the Versailles social housing blocks (totaling 118 apartments). Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 6


Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies This first step of urbanization can be explained by the urban sprawl that Brussels had been experiencing in this time. In the 'trentes glorieuses', the high times of the Fordist regulation system, people were integrated in a mass consumption system that allowed them to constantly enlarge their consumption patterns. The growing demand for typical industrial goods such as cars or household appliance did not only re-stimulate the economy, but also affected the spatial structure of cities: „Such goods required

space, made visible by buying or building a house in the urban fringe, daily commuting by car, and the accumulation of consumer durables at home“ (Kestelot 2000: 193). The result was suburbanization, a general tendency of people moving outside the city centre to the urban fringe of cities, which Fig. 2.2 1 also affected the BCR. We can understand in part the growth of Heembeek in this period as a part of the urban sprawl, which did not end after the 1970’s economic crisis. At the same time we also see that Heembeek is not a typical suburban area, because a major part of this growth can be explained by large social housing projects. Since the 1950s, Heembeek has not only grown because of a wealthy middle-class, but also because of state interventions in the social housing sector. Since 1981, Heembeek's population has been consecutively on the rise, with rates of 7.8% (1981-1991), 12.9% (1991-2001) and 13.9% (2001-2006), while the total population of the BCR first declined between 1981 and 1991, and grew at most 4.6% between 2001 and 2006 (SEE Fig. 2.2 3). Consistent with its population growth, Heembeek has experienced a significant growth of

Comparison of Growth: Inhabitants, Households, Private Houses

Percent

30,00 20,00 10,00 0,00 1981-1991

Growth of Inhabitants Growth of private houses

1991-2001

2001-2006

Growth of Households

Fig. 2.2 2

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies private housing since 1981. The construction of new houses between 1971 and 1995 is significantly higher than in the total Brussels region. In total, 42.1% of all current houses were built after 1971. This shows that the rising population in Heembeek has been maintained by the construction of new houses – therefore it can be inferred that the population densification of Heembeek was stimulated by the increase in housing construction. The statistics show two steps of urbanization (See Fig. 2.2 4): From Fig. 2.2 5 we can see that in the period from 1981-1991 there was a significantly higher proportion of housing compared to the amount of incoming population. The next two decades were more evenly distributed with both the period between 1991-2001 and 20012006 showing similar population and household growth.

2.3 Statistical Analysis In urban social geography literature, we can find certain models and methods to identify different residential areas in a city. Shevky and Bell (1955) use the deductive method of social area analysis, which works with three societal trends that underlie social change through urbanization: Social rank or economic status; urbanization and family status; Segregation or ethnic status. Even though this deductive method has been contested, the inductive method of factor analysis used by Ley to describe North-American cities let emerge similar factors to define distinct residential areas (Pacione 2001: 352). This is why we will use these categories to define the identity of our neighbourhood – concerning the role it plays within the BCR. These three categories can be seen as three social layers overlapping the general physical layer of a city, as Fig. 2.31 shows. Each of these layers

„influences the structure of the city in a particular way“ (ibid.). We will therefore statistically analyze our neighbourhood following the four dimensions that are: • Family status: Household composition, Age structure, dwelling types • Segregation/ethnic status: Ethnic origins • Socio-economic status: Education, Employment and Income • Physical space: Housing and Infrastructure

Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 8 Fig. 2.3 1


Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies The statistical analysis below is based on data collected by Cosmopolis. If not indicated differently, the figures date from 2006. Family Structure Concerning the age structure of the population, Heembeek has a significant percentage of young people. 26.8% of the whole population is under 19 years old and 44.4% of the population is below 34 years. Nevertheless, 20.7% of the whole population is over 60 years, which is slightly more than in the BCR. Equally we can observe, that Heembeek has a smaller percentage of young people between 20 and 29 years than the BCR. Therefore, we can conclude that Heembeek has a tendency to attract young families, and older populations, while youth have a tendency to leave Heembeek. Nonetheless, all these differences do not result in a dramatically different age distribution from the overall Brussels region (see Fig. 2.3 2). Fig. 2.3 2

Heembeek Population Age Total Persons Breakdown 0

2000

4000

6000

Age 0-19 20-24 25-34 35-59 60+ 80+

While the overall Brussels average of persons per household is about 2,04, in Heembeek bigger households with 2,27 p.p.h. are seen (2008). When we look at the family situation of the inhabitants in Heembeek, we see that there are slightly more family households (55.8%) than non-familial households (44.2%), which is opposite to the overall Brussels region (54.1% and 45.9% respectively). Compared to the Brussels region, Heembeek has slightly more households with children, specifically more mothers living with their children. A similar image is shown when comparing the dwelling sizes of the neighbourhood with the BCR average. We see that there is a tendency towards bigger households in Heembeek than in the BCR (See Fig. 2.3 3)

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies On the flip side, this figure shows that a vast majority (67.1%) of all households are single or two person households. As a result, it can be assumed that Heembeek is on one side a typical suburban neighbourhood catered towards families, while at the same time a neighbourhood with quite urban characteristics such as the high amount of small households and the normally distributed age structure of the BCR. Ethnic Structure The composition of nationalities in the Heembeek population has a significantly higher percentage of Belgians than the overall Brussels region. While the overall number of categorized Belgians living in Brussels consists of 72.1%, in Heembeek the population is made up of 86.4% (See Fig. Fig. 2.3 3 2.3 5 & 6). In total, there are 94.9% Europeans living in Heembeek – and only 4.9% non-Europeans, which is very low compared to 8.9% non-Europeans living in the BCR. However, it is important to note that many immigrant gain Belgian citizenship, and are therefore counted as Belgians. As mentioned previously, the population evolution shows that the ratio of the Belgian and foreign population did not change significantly since 1981, with only a slight increase in the incoming Belgian population (See Fig. 2.3 6). Therefore we can conclude that the composition of the population moving into Heembeek since 1981 has remained consistent and predictable with previous years. However, if we look at the differences between the 8 statistical sectors Heembeek consists of, we find a relative concentration of the foreign population in Kersenkook. Here there are 20.8% foreigners, while the other sectors have very low amounts of 10.8%-13.9%. We can see for the first time a socio-spatial difference between the sector Kersenkook (which includes the Versailles social housing project), and the older neighbourhood centre.

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Fig. 2.3 4

Fig. 2.3 6


Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies Socio-economical factors Concerning the type of professional activity, Heembeek shows a distribution that can be compared to the normal distribution of the BCR. 3,586 people (84% of the working population) have a job, while 683 people (16%) are unemployed. The percentage of unemployed people is slightly under the BCR average (18.3%). Again, we can observe a high unemployment in the social housing areas. In Mariendaal, 33.8% are unemployed, while in Kersenkook it is even higher at 46.5%. That means that nearly every second person of the active population in this area is unemployed, while in the centre of the neighbourhood (Sector Peter Benoit Plein) only 9.3% are. Heembeek shows a slightly higher average income per habitant than the rest of Brussels (Index of 105 vs.100 of the Brussels region, (SEE FIG???, 2004), but regarding the type of work activity and position of activity it is in the normal distribution of the BCR (2001). Heembeek therefore cannot be seen as an extraordinarily wealthy neighborhood. Although, referring to the welfare index (www.wijkmonitoring.be), an overall rise in welfare is not seen, however, a rise in the average income over the past 10 years is. Therefore, Heembeek has increased its overall wealth and lies slightly above the total Brussels average today (2008). As mentioned previously, Heembeek is distinguished as an average income district. It performs better than neighbourhoods like Louiza, Hoog St.-Gillis, but lower than that of Jette or Bondaal. It can be most closely compared to Etterbeek and Elsene (2008). This means, that Heembeek is not part of the rich suburban belt around Brussels that is most prominent in the wealthier southwest region, and shows more of a typical Brussels city neighbourhood with a mixture of socio-economic classes. Physical space: Housing and Infrastructure What strikes the most in the statistics concerning the housing and infrastructure is that compared to other Brussels neighbourhoods, Heembeek has one of the highest percentages of single-family dwellings (See Fig. 2.3 7) The single family dwellings seem to be show a higher quality of life, than the social housing areas. Again we can see that there is a strong spatial division in the neighbourhood: While most sectors show significantly high percentages of private garden access (up to 95.5% in the social housing Mariendaal), with a garden-city character – in Kersenkook, only 4.9% have access to a private garden. This shows again that the socio-spatial divide in the

Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 11

Fig. 2.3 7


Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies neighbourhood is reinforced by the physical contrast of the green village character with the social housing blocks in Kersenkoek. Compared to the BCR, Heembeek has insufficient access to administrative services, but good access to child care services. The availability of commercial services is below average, with one main commercial street in the neighbourhood. The number of shops when compared to total inhabitants is relatively low when compared with the rest of the city (2006). The availability of public transport in the area is also only partly sufficient, which is most likely the result of the impeded access to the neighbourhood due to the Royal Gardens closed to the public. Even though these statistics date mostly from 2001, and could be different today, the figures show that Fig. 2.3 8 there is a certain lack of access to central urban infrastructure. The level of traffic density on the roads in Heembeek is less than half of the average level in the BCR (2001), however it seems that the traffic moves around the neighbourhood on Chaussee de Vilvorde near the canal and Avenue de Versailles to Rue Bruyn on the North side. The neighborhood in general seems unaffected by traffic noise, but it is worth mentioning the proximity to the main Brussels airport which results in an increase of noise pollution in the neighbourhood compared with other areas (2006). In relation, Heembeek also has low levels of pollution caused by traffic. It has one of the lowest NO2 levels in the city, significantly lower than the more central areas of the city. Conclusion: An urban Belgian village The statistical analysis shows us a two-sided conclusion of the socio-spatial structure of Heembeek. On the one hand, we can see that Heembeek has many typical suburban qualities, such as a quite homogenous ethnical distribution with a vast majority of Belgians; a high percentage of families, and a very high amount of single-family dwellings. Nonetheless, these suburban characteristics seem to only fit for certain areas of the neighbourhood. We can see that in the central and southern part the one-family-dwellings with private gardens overwhelm, and that the ethnic and socio-economic factors seem to be very middle class. On the other hand, the social housing areas, particularly Kersenkook, are seen as deprived areas comparable to other impoverished areas in the centre of Brussels. There is a strong division of the neighbourhood that results not only in economical inequality and socio-spatial segregation, but also in a contradictory character of the neighbourhood: A “Belgian village� with its vast green spaces and small houses and a deprived urban area with grey blocks.

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2.4 Spatial Analysis To better understand how inhabitants of Heembeek identify and operate within the neighbourhood we analyzed Heembeek using five major elements described by Kevin Lynch (1960): Paths, Edges, Districts, Nodes and Landmarks (See FIG 2.41). We created this spatial analysis based on our own observations and information from surveyed inhabitants.

Fig. 2.4 1

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Paths:

Fig. 2.42: Paths in Heembeek.

Source: own map based on googlemaps.com We organized paths in Heembeek under two categories: • Minor Roads: connect residential areas to primary roads (ex: commercial strips or major transit roads) • Transit Roads: These are major roads used for public transit and larger amounts of automobile traffic. Because Heembeek is a border between the BCR and Flanders we have identified four main transit roads: • Avenue des Croix de Feu/Vuurkruisenlaan and Chaussee de Vilvorde provide a connection with the surrounding neighbourhoods Mutsaard, Vrede, Helmet and Schaarbeek. • Avenue des Criox de Guerre/Oorlogskruisenlaan connects Heembeek with the Flanders region. • Rue Francois Vekemans/Frans Vekemansstraat acts as the major commercial street of the neighbourhood • Rue de Heembeek/Heembeeksestraat functions as a very important connecting road, linking avenue des Croix du Feu directly with the commercial strip and the neighbourhood centre.

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Edges:

Fig. 2.43: Edges in Heembeek

Source: Source: own map based on googlemaps.com (2011) While defining the edges of Heembeek, contrary to our first impression, the border of Flanders, in our opinion, does not create a barrier to the neighbourhood in any way and does not break the continuity of Heembeek. Therefore we defined only four main edges throughout Heembeek, the majority of which are impenetrable and consistent with the physical barriers surrounding the neighbourhood: • the Royal Garden: Impenetrable edge due to high fences. This edge however does not only affect inhabitants of Heembeek, but also all persons who enter and leave the city in the North. • the Canal: Impenetrable physical barrier with only a main crossing point from Heembeek being the Pont de Buda located on the Chaussee de Vilvorde. • the Industrial Zone: Lies along Rue des Faines/Beukenootjestraat. Penetrable, but lacks any useful facilities and usually remains empty. • the Residential Zone: The Avenue de Versailles-Rue de Craetveld/Kraatveldstraat with its large amounts of green space creates a divide between the residential area and the main district.

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Districts:

Fig. 2.44: Districts in Heembeek

Source: own map based on googlemaps.com It is important to mention that greater districts such as the Royal Garden, Flanders, a great Industrial zone and the Canal Zone surround Heembeek. These surroundings have a strong independent character, while the districts within the neighbourhood are much more interwoven with each other. We identified several different districts within Heembeek: • Central: We define this as the commercial district as here are located the majority of stores, and this also acts as the heart of Heembeek. It is not clearly separated from the residential area; the distinction from the green spaces is mostly done by fences • Residential: We chose to focus on three main residential areas; the new social housing, Val Marie and the Versailles social housing area. • Industrial: We chose this area because it is a large area that has the potential for housing and other developments. • Green: These green spaces are located along Rues de Versailles, Donderberg, Beizegemstraat, Heembeek, des Faines, and Avenue des Croix Guerre. They are mostly playgrounds and sports fields, parks, used for agriculture (in the case of La Ferme Nos Pilifs), or are simply empty green spaces. • Military Hospital: We decided the military hospital was a district due to its large area coverage and importance within the neighbourhood and the BCR overall.

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Nodes:

Fig. 2.45: Nodes in Heembeek

Source: own map based on googlemaps.com We decided on the following main nodes based on our mental maps and information from the inhabitants: • The tram stop: the tram (also a bus stop) at Avenue des Croix du Feus function as an important node connecting the neighbourhood with the Brussels city centre. • Rue François Vekemans/ Rue de Heembeek: the junction around the playground at the corner of Kruipweg- Rue de Craftveld/Kraatveldstraat – Rue Francois Vekemans/Frans Vekemansstraat – Rue de Heembeek/Heembeeksestraat is of major importance because it represents the beginning of the commercial road which leads directly to the city centre. • Centre: This is the main square in Heembeek on which is located the new church, and is surrounded by cafes and shops. This functions not only as a transport node but also as a meeting point. • End of commercial road: Located at Avenue des Croix de Guerre/Oorlogskruisenlaan – Rue Francois Vekemans/Frans Vekemansstraat – Rue de Ransbeek – Chemin Vert/Groenweg – Rue du Wimpelberg/Wimpelbergstraat; it not only connects the commercial strip and an important transit road; it also can be considered as the end of Heembeek’s densest residential area. • La Ferme Nos Pilifs: Offers approximately 150 handicapped people with jobs, it is also an attraction for both the inhabitants of Heembeek and the rest of Brussels with its walking path, petting zoo, a café and store selling homemade products. • Military Hospital: Although located outside Heembeek, we chose it as a node due to the new housing and that are currently taking place which has the potential of giving the area greater importance. Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 17


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Landmarks:

Fig. 2.46: Landmarks in Heembeek

Source: own map based on googlemaps.com We defined six main landmarks in Heembeek: • Incinerator of Schaerbeek: The chimney of the incinerator is a unique and uncommon building that helps with orientating oneself towards the Canal Zone. • Hill: Because Heembeek is located on hilly terrain, we defined the hill as an important indicator of direction (downward towards the canal, and up towards the centre) • Church: The towers of the Peter Benoit church are a great way to find your way into the center of Heembeek towards the more commercial area. • Military Hospital: Located on the north-east side of Heembeek it is a very recognizable building and therefore defined by us as a landmark • Canal: One of the most important landmarks as near it lies the tram stop, as well it is a place of recreation for inhabitants • Royal Garden: Probably the most recognizable green space in all of Brussels, the Heembeek tram stop lies close and the area nearer the canal acts as an entrance point into the neighbourhood from the tram. The walls of the garden are also one of the first things people see when entering Heembeek by tram.

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2.5 Qualitative Analysis Expert Interviews In order to find relevant key institutions and experts to interview we searched relevant websites to help us find a contact, and also to better understand the main agendas of the institutions in order to formulate our questions (SEE APPENDIX 7.2). The interviews were conducted on the basis of an interview guide with open-ended questions in order to not limit the answers given from the experts. We interviewed four experts from three institutions inside Heembeek, each who spoke of a different issue currently plaguing the neighbourhood: 

Claire Vandewalle (Délégation au développement de la Ville, Bruxelles, Département Urbanisme). The city of Brussels is the biggest municipality in the BCR, and has to coordinate the plans of several parts of Brussels. The “delegation au développement de la Ville” has edited a map of the neighbourhood with sustainable initiatives. Working on this map they involved the citizens and with positive results. As our first expert contact we received an overview of the development projects in Heembeek, which shed light on a few potential problems and conflicts. We learned that the social housing projects are strongly contested. We also learned how their job in the municipality is to make these processes go as smoothly as possible, since the politicians tend to push their projects forward and sometimes forget to consider the bigger picture.  Pierre Hargot (Secretary of the Comité inter-quartiers NOH). Pierre Hargot started a few years ago to gather efforts of the several existing “Comité de quartier” that exist in Heembeek in order to have more influence in the discussions with authorities and private investors. When the BCR and the Ville de Bruxelles respectively announced their “Plan 5000 logements” and their “Plan 1000 logements”, Heembeekers started fearing the wild densification, which resulted in the Comité inter-quartiers. Pierre has been involved in projects and social initiatives for the last two decades, and therefore has a good awareness of Heembeek’s inhabitants and their socio-cultural background. His main critique is regarding densification, and that the authorities (Bruxelles Ville and the BCR) do not have a concrete global vision of where and how to densify. Also, new housing projects are often politically backed, as parties in power will rush to finish housing projects before the end of their term in order to gain votes from future inhabitants of those areas, whereas parties in the opposition will launch petitions and try to impede new projects. Quote: “Of course we have to densify, to build new apartments, but there is no view of

the whole. A vision for Heembeek is missing.” 

Tijl Segers, Patricia Caulemans (Employees of the “Gemeenschapscentrum Heembeek-Mutsard”). The main issue of this cultural centre is the lack of space, and the distance between parts of the local population and different institutions, like themselves. Again, political games were slowing the construction of a new cultural facility in Heembeek. Such a new building would help to get closer to the Heembeekers as well as organizing more activities for them. Other cultural centers in Brussels would also benefit from bigger spaces. Quote: “What we are lacking is a big hall where our cultural events could take place.

There are plans for a new cultural centre in Heembeek, but it is up to the politicians now and they do not really care about it.” Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 19


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Locals To take the opinions of the locals into consideration we created a questionnaire with a few basic questions about the neighbourhood and walked around Heembeek asking random passers-by to answer (SEE APPENDIX 7.1). In most cases the questioning was done in French or Dutch, and the answers written by us, but in the case of any language difficulties we asked that the questionnaire be filled in by the interviewee. In those cases we were always ready to give complete explanations of the questions that were unclear. In some cases the interviewee agreed to draw a mental map of the neighbourhood. The street interviews were conducted on a Tuesday afternoon between 16h-18h, from a random sample of inhabitants we met in different areas of the neighbourhood. In total we interviewed 20 locals aged between 13-70, half of which were Belgian. We do not claim this sample to be representative because we had a limited time and ability to gain interviews, however the sample gives us a good suggestion about the opinions and impressions of Heembeek as many of the answers were repeated. FIG 2.51 shows a visualization of the answers we obtained from the interviews with more common themes in larger font. Fig. 2.51: The main conclusion of the street interviews visualized in a word cloud

Source: own figure In order to make the survey more complete and to approach children to participate, we asked three of them to draw their own mental maps of their neighbourhood. Here are the results:

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Mental Map 1: We can see a broad understanding of the neighbourhood. Important elements are pictured: the Canal, the Royal Garden and the roundabouts of Heembeek.

Mental Map 2: For this boy, Heembeek is a neighbourhood; his neighbourhood. This drawing shows the “neighbourhood identity” of Heembeek, an identity which concerns every resident.

Mental Map 3: Showing the main, central church of Heembeek, this drawing confirms the fact that this particular place is an important central meeting point for the residents of the area.

The main conclusion we can draw out of the surveys is that people identify with their neighbourhood and feel like a part of it (Heembeeker), however they are aware that Heembeek despite its geographical position belongs to the BCR. The most distinctive feature of the neighbourhood turns out to be the huge amounts of green spaces, often referring to it as village-like”. As a result many inhabitants are worried about losing this village feeling through densification of the area. There are concerns and worries about immigrants moving into the neighbourhood, however some welcome this process only if the appropriate infrastructure is built: (“Growing population, as long as infrastructure is adapted to that, is not regarded as a problem “). Through the survey we gained further understanding of the importance the topic of densification is in neighbourhood discussions.

We also tried to draw mental maps of Heembeek in order to explain our thoughts for the neighbourhood: Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 21


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Mental map showing Heembeek gagging on its surroundings and the long way to the city centre

Mental map showing “inside Heembeek�.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

3.0 Identification of Current Problems In order to find out which problems needed to be focused on we analyzed our collected data set; first with a SWOT analysis to visualize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the neighbourhood; secondly we decided upon three main issues we would analyze further and attempt to find solutions for.

3.1 SWOT STRENGTHS  Very green: Heembeeks counts lots of parks and open spaces. Heembeekers like this aspect of their neighbourhood, as it allows them to raise their children in a natural environment  Village charachter: People often leave their children to play outside, at they feel close to each other. Heembeek is more a neighbourhood of Small shops rather than big malls. The Ferme Nos Pilifs also confers a typically village atmosphère to Heembeek.  Human scale: Very few big buildings emerge from the skyline in Heembeek.  Numerous sports facilities: which allow lots of inhabitants to practice their leisure and sports as they want  Mixed socio-economic status: Heembeek is not a ghetto, not at all. Even if inside Heembeek one can distinguish different kind of areas, in overall Heembeek is quite mixed, and this is one of its important strengths.  Calmness: Even if the airport of Brussels isn’t too far away, Heembeekers didn’t complain about it, and fin dit a very quiet neighbourhood  Part of municipality of brussels: Heembeek, since 1921, benefits from the same municipal adminstration as the City of Brussels. It has its own administrative office in rue du Craetveld, but has all the advantages of being part of a greater area : culutral évents, own paper, subsidies, …  Numerous open spaces: They leave place for densification.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies WEAKNESSES

 

 Divided Population: Heembeek’s “residential contradiction” is that typical middle-class houses coexist with a big amount of social housing buildings. This fact entails an equivalent segregation in population. Two different social classes share the same neighbourhood and the inbetween “social gap” seems dangerous for NOH as far as the one side feels different than the other. Apart from that, there is an ethnic segregation as well.; immigrants live in Heembeek and the local Belgians appear skeptical about that. Spatial Segregation: The social segregation mentioned above is followed by a spatial one. We can see that NOH is separated into middle-class residential districts on the one hand and social-housing districts on the other. Physical Isolation: Heembeek’s surroundings “dominate” the area. The Royal Garden is an enormous green, inaccessible surface to the West. The Canal is the southern border of NOH with only one bridge connecting it with the city centre. The eastern side is green and looks unfamiliar to the urban environment. All those surroundings contribute to Heembeek’s isolation with a parallel effect on accessibility. Poor Accessibility: Due to surroundings such as the Royal Garden and the Canal, Heembeek lacks satisfying connection to the city centre. Two (2) tram-lines reach the neighbourhood from the western side but do not really cross NOH. People need to change means of transport (buses) in order to reach the core of the neighbourhood. Thus, there is no direct way to enter Heembeek from the centre of Brussels. Las but not least, the two (2) bus lines cover only a small part of NOH leaving the biggest one accessible only by foot or car. Lack of cultural & social facilities: Except for the cultural centre and the local swimming pool are the only facilities regarding culture and socialisation. This means lack of actions in which the local social classes can participate and mix with each other, lack of opportunities for people of Heembeek to invest their time in a creative way. Weak commercial area: There is only one street where nearly all the shops of NOH are gathered. In addition, this number of shops is regarded quite restricted considering the needs of citizens.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies OPPORTUNITIES  Sustainability: The concept of sustainability can be considered to point the way of Heembeek’s future development. Throughout the area the researcher have defined various opportunities to realize a sustainable development e.g. in terms of energy, higher density, rational use of space etc.  Identity: The development of a united identity in a sustainable and inclusive manner will lead to a re-positioning of Heembeek in the BRC. This is utterly needed to compete with other, more attractive neighbourhoods.  Integration: The new building activities can and should push forward integration by a mixity of social and middle-class housing. The integration process shall be enhanced through social and cultural activities that include every person no matter of their ethnic background or economic power.  Open up: As Heembeek lies directly to the border of the BRC and the Flemish region, the opening up of the city borders can offer new ways to link the Flemish region and BRC. This can be helpful e.g. in terms of infrastructure planning.  Cooperation: As well as the opening of borders offers new opportunity in city planning and development, also enhancing the cooperation of the different stakeholders and interest groups can push the area’s development.  New public spaces: In order to not only focus on the connection towards the Flemish Region, the opening of the Royal Garden and a more inhabitants friendly re-activation of the canal zone can lead to a higher integration of Heembeek to the BRC. As a consequence it might be more attractive to new inhabitants which in the end will promote the idea of creating a sustainable neighbourhood by a more rational use of space.  Mobility enhancement: The re-organisation of the public transport offers new opportunity for Heembeek. With further a tram along the canal and a new connection to Schaerbeek the use and the attractiveness of Heembeek will automatically change and offer new ways to use and live in the neighbourhood.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies Threats  Segregation: The segregation can increase due to incoming populations who will live in isolated areas and there will not be many reasons for different socioeconomic groups to mix  Conflicts: The different identities and differing interests will cause conflicts  Low appreciation: The inhabitants will appreciate their neighbourhood less  Devaluation: Devaluation of the neighbourhood both for the inhabitants and for outsiders due to lacking integrative elements and homogenous new developments, that doesn’t consider the context of the neighbourhood  Lack of quiet: Rapid development may cause uneasiness in residents  Malls: There are about to open two new shopping malls close to the boarders of NOH which may cause that the inhabitants use those shopping facilities instead of the local shops. There for the local commercial district is in risk off not sustaining income and might risk to close down. Furthermore the increased distance to shopping, might engage more car traffic in the neighbourhood  Identity: New homogenous housing developments and increased traffic could cause a loss of the appreciated village character and the calmness  Isolation: The neighbourhood could become further isolation if public transport is not prioritized and the neighbourhood at the same time is devaluating.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

3.2 Integration We chose integration as a major problem within Neder-Over-Heembeek because of some concerns that came about from our analysis of our interviews. We noticed that the issue of security and immigration were commonly addressed, and from further analysis we think that the two are linked. The population breakdown statistics show that Heembeek is mainly a “Belgian” neighbourhood, in which a strong Belgian identity brings forth a feeling of community. Our analysis shows that the composition of nationalities did not change over the last 20 years, but at the same time our street interview data reveals there are some mixed feelings concerning the foreign population in Heembeek. Many interviewees expressed opinions of uncertainty towards the immigrant population with answers ranging from seeing the future of Heembeek as “black” to straight out saying that Heembeek is the “Brussels bin” where the perceived “lesser” populations are sent in order to focus more closely on the European core of the city. This mentality creates a divide between the foreign and native populations and impedes the ability for the neighbourhood to unite. However, there was a good amount of individuals who did not see any problem of immigration as they believe that the proper measures and infrastructure are being adapted to the incoming population, and look at the future of the situation in a positive way. The data reveals a sort of paradox, where on the one hand there are feelings of insecurity and uneasiness towards the foreign population, and on the other they are welcomed with open arms. Currently this problem is not being addressed to its full potential, as besides the Mutsaart Cultural Center there is no “official” area for the immigrant and native populations to integrate.

3.3 Densification We chose densification as a major issue within Heembeek as from our experiences of walking throughout the neighbourhood we noticed there is a very high amount of open space, which currently have very little use-value since they stand empty and deserted. Those areas are both green and brown-field with potential for further development. Although from the interviews we discovered there is a very strong connection between the locals and the green spaces, when looking at demographic trends we believe that it is important to develop these spaces in order to accommodate for growing populations of the Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 27


Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies future. However, looking at the amount of construction zones popping up around Heembeek we can see that there is an initiation into transforming these unused green spaces, however our (and residents) biggest concern is that they are not being thoughtfully developed. Locals are very unwelcoming towards high rise social housing buildings that for them means a decrease in the aesthetic appearance of Heembeek. From the street interviews we learned that one of the biggest concerns of densification is the lessening of the “village character� that Heembeek is known for. Currently there is a social housing construction near the Military Hospital along Rue Bruyn which will give more possibilities for more affordable housing. Because increased densification is perceived with a rise of social housing, increased number of immigrants and higher criminality, looking back to the previous issue of integration, it will be a great challenge to gain support from the local inhabitants for increased housing developments in Heembeek.

3.4 Mobility Due to the distinct and impenetrable borders of Heembeek (the Canal and Royal Gardens), there is a very serious problem of connectivity between the neighbourhood and the rest of the city of Brussels. There are only two trams lines (3,7) that connect the city center with Heembeek, and three bus lines (47, 53, 57) that also connect Heembeek internally and with the Military Hospital. Even though Heembeek is part of the City of Brussels that travel from the center to the neighbourhood is estimated at around half an hour. Although it is clear from walking around that the automobile is a preferred transportation mode, many people in the interviews mentioned the tram as a way of getting to and from the neighbourhood. The bus lines to connect Heembeek with central Brussels nodes like De Brouckère and Gare du Nord, however from what we deduced are not used as often as the tram lines. Most residents regard local mobility as unsatisfying, and added with the general sense of isolation of the neighbourhood the problem of mobility becomes, in our opinion, one of the most important issues that also has a great impact with the densification and integration of the neighbourhood.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

4.0 Our Proposals Based on our three main identified problems, and taking into account the quantitative and qualitative data we analyzed, we came up with three main project proposals that could possibly provide solutions. We split the project proposals under the three categories mentioned previously: Integration, Densification, and Mobility. A Common Vision As we have seen, these changes do not necessarily contribute to a homogenous development of the area. We can observe a divide between the social housing areas in the north and the village like area of the south of Heembeek. As well, Heembeek’s integration towards the city centre is constricted due to the strong physical borders of the canal and the royal park. Heembeek does not seem to be a strongly considered area by the city of Brussels, but a marginalized area that lacks a vision. This is why we believe in order to guarantee an urban development that takes into account specific issues, and social consequences of densification there has to be a common vision for Heembeek. This vision must be developed in part by Brussels as a growing urban region, and the inhabitants of Heembeek. It is important to understand and take into consideration the specific character that the neighbourhood has today. Many inhabitants perceive Heembeek as calm with a strong community feeling. Even though for the further development, a more urban societal character will come to Heembeek, this culture and tradition can not be neglected. In order for his change from a perceived village community to an urban society to be successful, it has to be made in part by the inhabitants of Heembeek. We think that the people of Heembeek are aware of the upcoming developments but feel shunned by the urban planning of the city and region. This is why we opt for a participatory process to create a vision of Heembeek that attempts to negotiate between the needs and the culture of the population and the greater development of the Brussels region. Since there is a strong need for further densification and extension of the urban fabric in Brussels, Heembeek can play an important role in solving this problem. If we look at Brussels as a post-industrial city we have to acknowledge that the future development of Brussels most likely will be similar to other post-industrial cities, making Brussels a multi-centric city. Instead of concentrating the effort of future developments to the city centre, the region’s future development can concentrate on the creation and spread of urban centers. We see Heembeek as an important node for this kind of development. Heembeek is now more easily connected with the Flemish region (Vilvoorde) and Schaerbeek than with the city centre itself. This is why we opt for Heembeek as a Gateway to the Flemish region. We see Heembeek as a future centre for an expanding city region, a place of integration and connection of Brussels with its northern surroundings. This vision is not fixed, but seen as an input into the current discussions both in Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 29


Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies the neighbourhood committees as well as into the current planning process of the Municipality and the region. To become such a centre, Heembeek thus has to be changed from a pure living area into a more mixed, urban area that offers urban infrastructure, such as cultural and social institutions, shops, work and public space. It needs a densification that brings more mixed-use functions and an urban infrastructure, rather than densification through the construction of large housing projects. The potential of Heembeek lies exactly in the vast spaces that are available for such an urbanization, which both serves the inhabitants and also creates an image of Heembeek in the BCR and the Flemish surrounding itself. Without a common vision for Heembeek there is a danger towards a development of singular projects that do not contribute to a functioning neighbourhood. To be consistent, it is important to draw in the near future some new spatial arrangements that define the characters of the areas. We therefore produced three different, but intersecting proposals that do answer on the one side to the three main problems we detected (Integration, Densification and Mobility) and do on the other side set a starting point for the future development of a central area of the wide city region. The three proposals are: Integration: A Socio-Cultural Hub Densification: Mixed Housing Mobility: Public Transport and Connecting to the Surroundings It is important to note that although each of these proposals is described individually, they are all interrelated, and create a sort of cycle, in which one cannot exist without the other.

4.1 Integration: A Socio-Cultural Hub We have decided on the creation of a socio-cultural hub located in the middle of the neighbourhood that will allow for the inhabitants of Heembeek and local institutions a chance to exchange ideas in one common area. Our research gave us a clear view of the mixed feelings regarding social housing projects and the fear of rapid densification without the availability of social and cultural infrastructure. We want to support those directly expressed needs for social and cultural institutions appearing from the interviews, not focusing solely on traditional institutions but ensuring a broad range of projects for all socio-economic backgrounds in order to increase integration. There is a big potential in such cultural projects to not only welcome the users to the institutions, but also incorporate them in activities and projects. Our hope is that through integration a stronger community feeling can be developed encouraging an “urban village” character that echoes that of the traditional village.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

FIG 4.11: Cultural Hub We propose to gather these facilities in one common hub in order to spatially create a close network between the institutions, stakeholders, and interested inhabitants. This hub will provide local institutions with work infrastructure allowing them to work in one shared area in order for an easier transfer of ideas between them. The idea is for both the representatives from the municipality dealing with the development of NOH, the present key actors in the neighbourhood and also representatives from the Flemish Region to have office space in this hub. We realize that physical proximity is not enough to ensure cooperation and therefore we call for a sort of independent “Council of Heembeek” which should not have its own agenda for the outcome of the development, but rather focus on managing a sustainable process through sparking cooperation, ensuring communication and enhancing participation of the citizens. Focusing on the processes and gained experiences from the development is what we call a sort of “Urban Laboratory”. This allows for inhabitants to learn about urban planning and give them a stronger base of knowledge and prepare and encourage them to participate in issues that concern Heembeek. Another advantage of such a laboratory is that the experiences can be shared with other parts of Brussels to learn from the development in Heembeek. We believe that this socio-cultural hub is a viable solution to allow all the inhabitants of Heembeek, immigrant and native, and of all socio-economic statuses, to work together and create a future vision of Heembeek that is built by a united community. We decided that a good area for the placement of such a hub would be the middle of the neighbourhood, since it is slightly north of the commercial center and would physically and symbolically act as a borderland between the middle-class and social housing. Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 31


Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

4.2 Densification: Mixed Housing

FIG 4.21: New Mixed Housing Projects As mentioned previously, Heembeek has a great potential for densification due to its vast open spaces. Because of its location, Heembeek has been an important area for social housing projects for the City of Brussels. This has made Heembeek a constantly changing space, with a tendency towards densification, however, we believe this densification is not being planned appropriately and is in a sense worsening the problem by creating isolated areas of social housing that are not being well integrated with the rest of the community. This can be seen through the divide between the social housing areas of the north of Heembeek, and the more middle-class housing located in the south. Because there is a need for more housing in Brussels and that the density of population is already fairly high in many areas of the city region (figure?), we cannot justify that Heembeek should avoid new housing projects. Instead, we want to use the new housing projects as a stepping stone towards integration rather than separating socio-economic statuses. Our proposal is therefore to build mixed housing areas, focusing specifically on the canal zone. Other housing projects we have in mind should be on empty green spaces towards the north of the neighbourhood, in close proximity to the new and the older social housing projects. The idea is to develop these areas as mixed-housing, but catering towards more middle-class in order to restore a balance within those areas. The chosen sites are among the unprotected green areas, which still leaves many green sites for the public use. We have envisioned these new housing projects to be built around a common area such as a shared garden to create a space that is used, rather than just open space. Urban Analysis I/ HEEMBEEK/ November 2011 32


Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

4.3 Mobility: Public Transport and Connecting to the Surroundings

FIG 4.31: The Canal The limited access into the neighbourhood from the Brussels center, mainly by public transport poses a strong problem for Heembeek. The only tram stop into Heembeek lies at the edge of the Royal Garden and provides very limited options for travel throughout the neighbourhood. From our perspective it seems that it is not only the limited transport connections and the actual travel time that makes Heembeek isolated from the rest of Brussels. It is also due to the huge barriers surrounding Heembeek; the Royal Garden and the canal with the industrial zone. We propose to not only to enhance the public transport access into Heembeek, but also integrate deserted areas into their surroundings to mentally decrease the distance between the Brussels city center and Heembeek. Firstly, we would plead for an opening of the Royal Garden for the public, as this would remove a huge mental and physical barrier into Heembeek, and also develop a mobility way along the canal as it is such a large and unused space and is an excellent way to create a connection with the Flemish region and Schaerbeek, In order to make the canal zone more attractive for the public and thereby enhancing the feel of it belonging to Brussels we propose creating a large public space in the form of a promenade along the canal with a cycling path, benches, and trees to enhance aesthetics and render it more attractive.. We also propose the addition of a small commercial zone (including post office, grocery store, cafĂŠs etc.) to encourage more inflow of people in the canal zone.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies A row of residential housing as well as small scale office spaces can also be implemented in order to create a more mixed area, paying specific attention to mixed housing to spark integration. Heembeek’s proximal location to the Flemish region and Schaerbeek make developing the canal zone a very practical solution for the mobility issue, and gives the potential for Heembeek to become the gateway into Flanders from Brussels.

5.0 Conclusion The purpose of this work was to build a coherent profile of the neighbourhood Heembeek. To gain a profound understanding of its structure a variety of empirical methods were used. Literature research on the history of Heembeek revealed a greater understanding of Heembeeks current structure. Through a statistical analysis we gained further insights in the characteristics of the neighbourhood. The central focus of the research has been several visits to the neighbourhood itself, street interviews with locals as well as with experts. A spatial analysis according to LYNCH has also been carried out. Heembeek is a very interesting area for development due to its high potential as becoming a strong link between the Flanders region and Brussels. After analyzing Heembeek with quantitative and qualitative data we have come to the conclusion that there are three main issues that Heembeek is dealing with: Integration, Densification and Mobility. We have come up with three possible solutions to solve these problems: creating a cultural hub, new mixed-housing projects, and the development of the canal zone in order to create a strong link between Heembeek and the Brussels center, as well as creating an attractive link into Flanders. Historically Heembeek was a small village, and even after the annexation of the neighbourhood by the City of Brussels it still retains a very isolated feel. After interviews with the locals we know that they are proud of this village within the city, however, with the increasing urbanization of Brussels we think it is unavoidable that Heembeek will have to change from an isolated village into an urban village with the ability for self-sustenance as well as making it an important node within the city of Brussels into the region of Flanders. Our project proposals stems from trying to deal with the development in a reflected manner, which ensures the citizens of Heembeek an important role in the new development, since it from our point of view is the only sustainable way to deal with the antagonism.

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

6.0 References Literature:  Ceux, C. (et al) (2009) Promenades bruxelloises: Neder-Over-Heembeek; Feb (2009)  Gaber, J. & Gaber, S.L. (1997) Utilizing Mixed-Methods Research Design in Planning: The Case of 14th Street, New York City. In Bryman, A. (2006) Mixed Methods, Vol. IV, SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Methods. SAGE Publications Ltd, London  Lynch, K. (1960) The Image of the City. In Bridge, G. & Watson. S. (Eds) (2002) The Blackwell City Reader. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Malden, Oxford & Victoria.  Pacione, M. (2001), Urban Geography. A Global Perspective. Routledge, London & New York.  Shevky E. & Bell W. (1955). Social Area Analysis. Stanford University Press.

Statistics:  Cosmopolis (2011), VUB, Brussels Websites: http://www.monitoringdesquartiers.irisnet.be/ (07.11.2011) http://www.1000logementsbruxelles.be/ (07.11.2011) http://noh.comitedequartier.over-blog.com/ (07.11.2011)

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Vrije Universiteit Brussel 4CITIES UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies

7.0 Appendix 7.1 Interviews Street Interviews Questionnaire

Dear Sir or Madam, We are a group of international students of urban studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. At the moment we are analysing several neighbourhoods in Brussels to evaluate their good assets and their problems. Herefore we may ask you to answer a few questions. The questionnaire focuses on your opinion about Neder-Over-Heembeek and does not collect any personal data. After the analysis is completed, the questionnaires will be deleted. Thank you very much for your support and we wish you a nice day! 1. What is your relation to Neder-Over-Heembeek and for how long? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What do you like most in Neder-Over-Heembeek? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Do you think anything could be improved in Neder-Over-Heembeek? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 4. How do you see the connection between the city centre of Brussels and Neder-Over-Heembeek? Do you feel like a Brusseler? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 5. How do you see Neder-Over-Heembeek in the future? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Demographic Data Age: _______________

Gender: O male

O female

In order to get proper results some ideas for more specific questions: Are you satisfied with public transport?/ Are you satisfied with the accessibility of the riverside?/ Do you think Neder-OverHeembeek is a safe area?

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