10 July 2024

International Roadmap Workshop: Brussels welcomes seven member cities

Brussels, Belgium

On June 17 and 18, eight member cities of the Roadmap Collaborative Network dealing with the thematic ” Protecting and strengthening the residential function of the city’s historic centers” met in Brussels, the Network’s pilot city.

Together, Colonia del Sacramento, Dubrovnik, Évora, Luxembourg, Regensburg, Strasbourg, Visby and Brussels exchanged courses of action to reduce the proportion of vacant housing, combat short-term rentals (such as AirBNB) and attract new residents to historic city centers.

During field visits, Brussels’ heritage and urban planning departments presented ambitious urban transformation projects, recent or planned, at scales ranging from facades to blocks. Among the targeted objectives are to encourage permanent residents to occupy the upper floors of older buildings and to create lively, green communal spaces.

Dubrovnik, Regensburg and Visby, for their part, shared their efforts to promote a greater social diversity in historic city centers, notably through a well-rounded mix of local shops and amenities catering to young families.

Colonia del Sacramento and Évora shared the incentives they are putting in place to reach out to owners of deteriorating residential buildings and support them in their rehabilitation.

Luxembourg and Strasbourg shared their experiences in the redevelopment of heritage institutional complexes, where housing, shops, citizen services and spaces dedicated to the interpretation of the site are made to coexist.

The workshop also featured a visit to the “Vivre autrement” (Live differently) exhibition at the Halles Saint-Géry, which offers visitors a historical review of alternative housing experiments that give food for thought about the relationship between people and their habitat.

All these exchanges will feed into the results that the Collaborative Network will share at the 17th World Congress of the OWHC, from September 24 to 27 in Cordoba.