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...
Read More

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.

×

Reuse of religious heritage in Flanders

Today the increasing secularization process in Flanders doesn’t fit any more with the historical oversupply of parish churches. Their daily use has been replaced by a specific use during only a few major events in life such as marriage or a funeral. Regardless questions related to the cult as such or the place of the church in society, the challenge now is how the ca. 2000 existing parish churches can be re-positioned in the heart of the local society. To what extent they are able to absorb alternative functions and meanings, given their growing maintenance costs?

Since this is a complex issue and a shared responsibility with bishops, local church councils, central church authorities, local communities and governments at different levels, the responsible Flemish minister Bourgeois commissioned the administration to deliver a report on the topic. Joris Scheers chaired the working group during the period 2010-2011 en edited the report ‘Aanbevelingen van de werkgroep (her-)bestemming en ruimtelijke inpassing van parochiekerken.’ (2011).

See article in VRP Ruimte, page 68.


Back to portfolio