Sarah De Boeck

Research staff

  • Current position Postdoctoral researcher
  • Contact Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Department of Geography
    Faculty of Sciences
    Building F – Room 4.71
    Pleinlaan 2
    BE-1050 Brussels

  • Phone +32 (0)2 629 28 28
  • GSM 0032 (0) 484 627 867
  • E-mail

Sarah De Boeck’s research focusses on how to shape the coexistence between economic activity, liveability and urbanity in urban and metropolitan areas. By linking economic geography and urban planning, she looks for less competitive and more inclusive local and regional scenarios for policy makers to practice urban economic development.

She has a background in Theatre Studies and Urban Design and Spatial Planning and has worked for a number of years as the regional manager of a socio-cultural non-profit organisation in Brussels.


Regional Development Commission of the Brussels Capital Region (16/01/2020 – present)
Building Brussels. Brussels city builders and the production of space, 1794-2015 (01/01/2017-30/05/2020)
Ph.D. Research, funded by Interdisciplinary Research Project, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
BMiX – Working and living in the Brussels Metropolitan Area (01/01/2015 – 31/12/2016)
Ph.D. Research, funded by Innoviris Prospective Research for Brussel.
Advisor urban production space (15/05/2018 – 31/12/2018)
Competition for the public development of a mixed-use building project  Citygate II/Petite Ile in Brussels (budget: 98 billion euros) in consortium with Multiple, Brussel
Collective housing (01/01/2014 – 31/12/2014)
Project research for the Flemish Government, Steunpunt Wonen Vlaanderen (via UAntwerpen & KULeuven)
Erasmus aan de Slachthuizen (01/09/2013 – 31/12/2013)
Project research for the Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie Brussels
Regional manager (07/05/2007 – 31/01/2013)
Curieus Brussel vzw, non-profit organisation, Brussel


Doctor in Interdisciplinary Studies (2015 – 2020)
In the fields of urban planning, economic geography and urban economic development
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Urban Planning and Design (2012 – 2013)
Preparatory year Master of Science
Erasmushogeschool Brussel
Theater Studies (1999 – 2004)
Master of Arts
Universiteit van Amsterdam, Nederland
Social and Cultural Welfare Studies (1997 – 1999)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Highschool (1993 – 1997)
Unesco School, Koninklijk Atheneum Koekelberg, Brussel

Additional education

Non-Violent Communication (2019)
Jaspis vzw, Dilbeek
Master Urban Planning and Design (2013 – 2014)
changed into Ph.D research trajectory
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Train the trainer Interculturality (2010)
Centrum voor Intercultureel Management en Internationale Communicatie, Mechelen
Intervision Trajectory Interculturality (2008 – 2009)
Socius vzw, Brussel

Participation at various fora

Social and Economic Board Flanders
Member of expert group (2019 – present)
Foundational Economy Collective
Member of international thinktank of academics and policy makers about the essential or foundational economy (2018 – present)
Atelier Groot-Eiland vzw
Member of board of Brussels’ social enterprise in woodworking, urban farming, restaurant, biological food, and education (2018 – present)


BASSENS D. & DE BOECK S. (2020, 11 mei). ‘Gebruik de essentiële economie als motor voor de sociaal-ecologische transitie.’ Opinie. Knack (zie:

DE BOECK S., BASSENS D. & RYCKEWAERT M. (2019). ‘Making space for the foundational economy. The case of the construction sector in Brussels,’ in Geoforum 105, pp 67-77

DEGRAEVE M., DE BOECK S. & VANDYCK F. (2018). ‘Building Brussels. Een interdisciplinair onderzoek naar de Brusselse bouwsector,’ in Stadsgeschiedenis (Hilversum) 1, 13de jaargang, pp 41-58.

DE BOECK S., BASSENS D. & RYCKEWAERT M. (2017). ‘Easing spatial inequalities? An analysis of the anticipated effects of urban enterprise zones in Brussels,’ in European Planning Studies, 25(10): pp. 1876-1895

DE BOECK S., BASSENS D. & RYCKEWAERT M. (2015). ‘Stedelijke ondernemingszones en de Brusselse Zone van Economische Uitbouw in de Stad (ZEUS). Brusselse beleidsinstrumenten en –strategieën voor gemengde stadsontwikkeling in een Europees perspectief’, in Ruimte maken, p.113-124. Paper Plandag 2015 (Zie: ).

DE BOECK S., BASSENS D. & RYCKEWAERT M. (2015). Urban enterprise zones and the Brussels Zone of Economic Expansion in the City (ZEEC). Brussels’ policy instruments and strategies for mixed-use development in a European context. Definite space – fuzzy responsibilities, Aesop Annual Congress 2015, Prague, 13-16 July.

RYCKEWAERT M., VAN DEN HOUTE K.J., DELBEKE B., OOSTERLYNCK S. & DE BOECK S. (2015). ‘Gemeenschappelijk wonen’. Onderzoeksrapport voor Steunpunt Wonen

AERTS J., DE BOECK S. & DECORTE S. (2014). Erasmus aan de Slachthuizen. Vooronderzoek conceptstudie stadsvernieuwingsproject. Report for. Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie (VGC), Brussel. Zie: