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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Vaartkom Urban redevelopment Leuven (Belgium)

The redevelopment project Vaartkom Leuven is a large-scale urban renewal project that transformed over 30 ha former industrial area into a mixed urban area with a high density. Inside there is room for housing (about 2,275 units ), trade (about 60,000 m²) , offices (100,000 m² ), culture and recreation ( 50,000 m² ). Due to its strategic location near the railway station and city center, the Vaartkom has the potential to become a multi-functional urban development area. The combination of water, green spaces and valuable heritage provides a unique context for this redevelopment.

The redevelopment is guided by several plans: the masterplan public space (Settings - okra - ARA) , four approved implementation plans (Municipality of Leuven) and urban design plans (BUUR, XDGA and Stephane Beel Architects).

Joris Scheers first involvement in the redevelopment of the Vaartkom goes back to 1986, when he was asked by KULeuven’s urban planning institute (ISRO) to design and realize a spatial and social- economic analysis of the area. Later on, as member and president of the Independent Municipal Advisory Council on Spatial Planning, he advised the different redevelopment plans (2002-2012). Finally he was member of the public space design jury for the area (2009).


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