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Brussels 2030, Open call about the future places Featured

Brussels 2030, Centre tour à plomb Brussels 2030, Centre tour à plomb

Brussels is brimming with cultural, artistic and socio-cultural dynamics. At the same time, Brussels is home to an abundant and active network of ‘city makers’ who are already taking up roles ‘from below’ in unfolding the urban transformation(s), either directly or indirectly.

Citizens’ initiatives assume strong positions with the aim of enhancing the city’s residents’ well-being and quality of life. Innovative users of space are setting up in vacant buildings and urban in-between spaces. Forward-thinking entrepreneurs are changing the way we consume or (locally) produce. Social-spatial activists are seen to adopt a thorough approach to water and energy management in the city. Nature organisations are working to secure space for biodiversity in the city.

Cultural Brussels as a network of future places
Brussels2030 wants to appraise and make visible these existing bottom-up dynamics. They are looking to bundle the existing forces on a cross-sectoral basis and organise the various organisations as to strengthen their ability to write the city’s narrative. A city project that concerns everyone and connects different parts of the city, from the centre to the periphery, from east to west. In doing so, Brussels2030 is also keen to involve, through cultural production, city-makers ‘to be’ in setting the societal agendas. Brussels2030 wants to organise this joining of forces in the form of collaborations and local coalitions around concrete places: future places.

Future places are where abstract agendas take physical shape. These are buildings, neighbourhoods, streets, squares where societal transitions are put into practice, in the areas of care, solidarity, affordable housing, mobility, education, the redistribution of access to (public) spaces, the circular and productive economy, sustainable energy, water management, local food production, soil care and biodiversity. These places are the bedrock where current and future city makers and their partners have their roots, using the local surroundings as a seedbed to experiment with improving the daily living environment. A multiplicity of future places enables systemic change. Together, the future places give shape to an urban geography that forms the foundation of Brussels2030’s city project.

In concrete terms, in the first phase, they will be exploring the possible development of 6 to 12 future places together with the respective city makers (to be). Through participatory action research, they want to get a grip on the opportunities and challenges they see in the collective transformation of the living environment into a future place. In 2023, they will be working on a subjective cartography of the development opportunities of each future place. Along with the city makers (to be), they will work towards the creation of an imaginary of what the future places could be in 2030. From September, they will also assist the local coalitions in elaborating the next steps towards 2030 (e.g. organisational form and funding).

Participatory research in 2023, towards realisations in 2030
This fieldwork for each future place will contribute to a broader (city) narrative for Brussels2030. At the Summer Assembly in the summer of 2023, they will pool the insights for the various future places and present these to other experts and policymakers. Brussels2030’s artistic-cultural summer programme can serve as a framework to test and show ideas, as to start working towards the prefiguration of the city project. they set the agenda for the Brussels2030 city project and collectively write a place-based approach to the project of Capital of Culture. Together, they will build a robust framework for Brussels’ candidacy for the nomination as European Capital of Culture (to be submitted in summer 2024).

Are you a city maker (to be)?
Small or large, new to this kind of field or already a fixture in Brussels, professional or informal, they are happy to hear from you all – motivation and enthusiasm are what is most important. You can submit immediately with (a) (local) partner(s), but also as an individual organisation. A matchmaking with other city makers (to be) around the same place(s) is part of the process. Your organisation can submit using a simple, straightforward form. Together with an external jury, they will select 6 to 12 future places with local coalitions.

Deadline for the first round: 14 March 2023

Info sessions: 21 February 2023, 3 to 5 pm and 7 to 9 pm

Contact person Maya Galle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The open call for projects and the Territory track are an initiative of Brussels2030, Louise Lab (ULB) and Architecture Workroom Brussels.

Other info here.


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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 January 2023 17:35

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