News & Events

BMiX Seminar: Perspectives on Functional Mixing and Accessibility for a Livable Metropolitan Region

30 May 2016 , U-residence, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Campus Etterbeek 12.00h-17.30h

This seminar intends to examine planning policies that strive for functional mixing and enhanced accessibility in metropolitan areas. Emerging from research based in Brussels, we are interested in whether and how such policies centering on shifts in spatial form and mobility patterns sustain a livable form of urbanization, i.e. one in which working and living can be achieved for a superdiverse population marked by professional and income polarization. Moreover, a key concern of the seminar is to gain insight into how planning instruments are utilized to influence the uneven geographies of labor, housing, and transportation within, but also across the borders of the Brussels Capital Region. To that end, the seminar reviews old and new models and debates in the literature, offers critical policy analyses, dissects contemporary cases of mixed and transit-oriented development, and paves the way for scenarios that allow to plan and design livable urban areas. The BMiX seminar is organized in cooperation with Brussels Studies Institute and, and is funded through the Innoviris Anticipate programme.


This seminar is organized by members from BMiX, a research project funded by Innoviris, which entails a collaboration between the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Prof. Michael Ryckewaert & Prof. David Bassens), Ghent University (Prof. Luuk Boelens), and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Prof. Benoit Moritz) (more info via The seminar will report on the intermediate results of that project, but also provides an interdisciplinary platform for researchers from related projects with the aim to confront different perspectives on the same overarching theme.


Attendance is free, but registration is required at latest on May 16th 2016 by sending a message to . Please provide us with your name, organization, and function. For further questions, please contact the organizers via the same e-mail address.

Seminar Program

12:00 – 12:45
Registration & Lunch

12:45 – 13:00
Welcome and Opening Address: Functional Mixing and Accessibility for a Liveable Metropolitan Region & Introduction to Session 1 by chair Michael Ryckewaert, VUB (BMiX)

13:00 – 14:45
Session 1: Functional Mixing in Urban Areas in Policy and Practice
•    Easing spatial inequalities? A prospective analysis of the effects of urban enterprise zones in Brussels Sarah De Boeck, VUB (BMiX)
•    Règles et régulation de l'aménagement du territoire bruxellois Sarah Levy, ULB
•    Urban metabolism: Designing with flows Eric Frijters & Olv Klijn, FABRIC
•    The circular city Nadia Casabella, ULB & 1010
•    Designing for mixed development and transit access: the case of the Brussels West Station Fabio Vanin, VUB-ULB (BMiX) & Aglaée Degros, VUB & Artgineering
                     Design research for the West Station is exhibited in the foyer throughout the day !
•    Discussants Kristiaan Borret (Brussels Bouwmeester), Patrick Le Galès (Sciences Po, Paris), and Benjamin Cadranel (

14:45 – 15:15
Coffee Break

15:15 – 17:00
Session 2: Mobility Policies and Accessibility in Brussels and the Fringe
•    Introduction by chair Kobe Boussauw, VUB (BMiX)
•    The spatial mismatch between Brussels and its fringe: A reverse commuting perspective Joren Sansen, VUB-UGent (BMiX)
•    Target group policy for low-skilled employment in Brussels and the hinterland Nick Deschacht & Tobias Theys, KULeuven (Innoviris funded)
•    Mobility of alternative transport policies: Multi-site lessons for Brussels Wojciech Kębłowski, VUB-ULB (Innoviris funded)
•    Critical mass and polycentric growth: Envisioning an efficient metropolitan core area in Belgium Michiel van Meeteren, VUB-UGent (Flemish Government funded)
•    Discussants Frank Witlox (Ghent University), Patrick Le Galès (Sciences Po, Paris), and Benjamin Cadranel (

17:00 – 17:30
Final reflections by Patrick Le Galès

17:30 – 19:00

Location and Venue

The BMiX BSI – seminar and the following book presentation will take place in U-residence, Campus Etterbeek, VUB. You will find directions on .
Approach to the Campus is possible by train line to Etterbeek Station, by metro to Pétillon Station, or by tram to Etterbeek Sop (Boulevard Général Jacques). If you intend to come by car, please contact the seminar organizers who can grant access to parking on campus.