WASTED SQUARE METERS IN CITIES: Improving the use of buildings in time & space



The 22 June 2023 from 12:00


Brussels, Belgium



In a context of scarce urban land and the fight against climate change and the artificialization of land, many urban spaces remain paradoxically underused. In addition, for many years, cities have been built with monofunctional buildings. If the way of conceiving the city has evolved, we are still consuming far too many resources including land and building materials. According to the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON), land take exceeded the population growth during the 2000 – 2018 period.

“Even areas experiencing depopulation usually still show increases in artificial surfaces.” Our cities need to go through a resource diet. And the use of space in cities is one of the sectors that must radically change. On average, the use rate for a school is around 20%, when an office building is used around 30% of its time across a year.

This topic poses the question of how we use and share our resources (in this case, the space in cities) to meet the basic needs of all. The problem is not so much about the availability of space and buildings, but how these resources are shared among a territory.

Come to Brussels to learn, get inspired and exchange with municipalities and organizations active in exploring alternatives to urban sprawl.

This one-day workshop will focus particularly on:

  • Pooling of public equipment (schools, libraries, etc.) and private offices
  • Reactivating vacant spaces and buildings through transitional urbanism for example
  • Strategies to assess the use intensity and map vacant spaces


This event, which runs in parallel to the final conference of Path2LC, will be a combination of presentations, conversations amongst participants and a field visit. Join us in Brussels to learn more about sustainable urban planning practices, get inspired from speakers and exchange with municipalities and other organizations that are active in this field.