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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Regional Spatial Development Policy. Flanders Case

After the federal law on urbanism and spatial planning (1962) and the subsequent detailed zoning plans covering the entire country, the government of the Belgian Northern Region Flanders decided in the mid 1990’s to develop a strategic spatial structure plan as a policy framework for the future. Given the growing environmental challenges, the economic development pressure and the need to invest in degrading city centers, a new plan (Ruimtelijk Structuurplan Vlaanderen) and an accompanying new planning legislation was developed and approved by parliament (1997).

Returning from his first Latin American project, Joris Scheers was part of the coordinating plangroep of this first policy plan (1994-1997), conformed by KULeuven and UGent academics and practicioners.

In 2010, the government of Flanders decided to develop a second spatial policy framework, called Beleidsplan Ruimte Vlaanderen. Joris Scheers chaired the Ambtelijk Forum, a policy committee integrating the several sectoral administrations, resulting in a green paper called ‘Flanders in 2050: Human scale in a Metropolis?’, approved by Flanders Government in 2012.

http://www.beleidsplanruimte.be/


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