Joris M.J. Scheers

Spatial Planner and Sociologist (PhD, MSc) // Visiting Professor at KU Leuven // Vice-president ECTP-CEU // Project Manager Flanders Government

Joris is professionally active in the field of urban development, spatial planning, architecture & heritage and public governance. For the last three decades he has been working as...
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Joris M.J. Scheers

Joris is professionally active in the field of urban development, spatial planning, architecture & heritage and public governance. For the last three decades he has been working as academic, consultant and civil servant. He promoted on the theme of exponentially growing cities in Latin America at the KU Leuven University (Belgium), where he is currently visiting professor. As the former deputy Government Architect and Manager Creative and sustainable cities, he is involved in various urban and regional policy issues within the Flanders Government of Belgium.

Over the past decades, he performed as an international consultant for spatial policy projects and programs in cities and countries in Latin-America, Africa and Asia. He has been UN-Habitat expert for the elaboration of International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (2012-2014) and is currently vice-president of the European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP-CEU).

Joris is past president of the Association for Spatial Planning in Flanders (VRP), has written on a range of strategic planning issues and chaired numerous jury’s in the field of spatial planning and architecture.
Joris is recognized for exploring strategic approaches within the public governance field, including the cross level integration of local, regional, national and international agendas. He combines conceptual thinking with a pragmatic - project driven - problem solving attitude, keeping close touch with planning practice as the chair of the Municipal Spatial Planning Advisory Board of the city of Leuven.

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National Spatial Planning Policy in Ecuador. The PlanTel project.

The PlanTel project aims to achieve the strengthening of local and regional territorial planning in Ecuador through technical and methodological support. The Belgian/Flanders NGO VVOB invested during the 2003-2010 period together with the local government associations AME (Association of Ecuadorian Municipalities) and CONCOPE (Association of Provinces of Ecuador) and the Technical University of Ecuador (EPN) in self-governance in spatial planning processes and GIS-applications. The project contributed to the national SENPLADES-objective of decentralizing the spatial planning practice by ensuring a better local management and achieve a better quality of life for all inhabitants. Two pilot areas were chosen: the central part of the Manabi province and the Central Sierra area.

The PlanTeL-experience has offered very interesting and mostly practical results and a growing interest for spatial planning. It ranks high on the political agenda, resulting e.a. in a higher demand for both professional assistance and theoretical research. Several publications and instruments were developed and brought together in a toolbox. Also literally: a wooden box contains all relevant material. A set of didactic video’s was developed.

Joris Scheers was involved with the initialization process of the project in 2001, gave a lecture at the ‘Encuentro Nacional de Planificación’ in Quito (2008) and acted as academic supervisor during the entire period of the project (2003-2010).


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