Thomas Dawance

Research staff

  • Current position PhD researcher
  • Contact Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Department of Geography
    Faculty of Sciences
    Building F – Room 4.69
    Pleinlaan 2
    BE-1050 Brussels
  • Phone +32 (0)2 629 33 84
  • E-mail

Thomas Dawance is an architect and a sociologist. After five years of research at the ULB’s Centre for Urban Research, he worked as advisor for the Brussels-Capital Region’s Minister of Housing before co-founding the Community Land Trust Brussels where he has been working until the end of 2018. He also has a strong militant background and is engaged in the Brussels’ squatting movement and on the temporary occupation scene.

In 2019, after more than 12 years on the field, he joined both Cosmopolis and Brussels Ageing Studies (Educational Science) to fully dedicate himself to academic research. He is in charge, with An-Sofie Smetcoren (BAS) of the scientific follow-up of the CALICO project (Care and Living in Community) (2019/2021).

This project is the first European Urban Innovative Actions program to take place in and be managed by the Brussels-Capital Region. The objective of the project is to develop a large community-led housing project on a land owned by the Community Land Trust Brussels. Based on the theory of the Commons, this project is an answer to the housing crisis and the problems of the ageing population and other vulnerable groups, especially women.

The project involves a large range of stakeholders (Region, CLTB, Municipality of Forest, Eva vzw, Pass-âges asbl, Angela D. asbl) and its academic monitoring aims at delivering policy-based recommendations useful to inspire new Brussels-Capital Region Housing policies and to offer guidelines for a European dissemination of the model. 

Thomas Dawance also realizes a joint PhD (Geography / Educational Science) on issues raised by the recent International diffusion of the Community Land Trust model, especially in Europe. He will study the ability of this community-led project to strengthen empowerment  and be a tool for social justice.

Key publications

  • C. Louey, «Community Land Trust à Bruxelles : Quand l’Europe s’inspire des États-Unis pour construire un gouvernement urbain et une politique de l’habitat, coopérative, solidaire et anti-spéculative», in Les coopératives d’habitants, des outils pour l’abondance, collectif, Lyon, Chairecoop, 2014
  • N. Bernard, L. Goossens, Les commissions paritaires locatives : chronique et enseignement d’une expérience pilote fondatrice, ed. Bruylant, Brussels, 2010
  • « Le squat collectif autogéré : réponse à la crise urbaine », in La Revue Nouvelle, feb. 2008, Brussels, pp. 28-39
  • « Requalifier les quartiers de gare pour favoriser le report de mode », (avec Y. Hanin, V. Clette, A. Daems, M. Grandjean et V. Rousseaux), dans Territoire(s) wallon(s), n°1, septembre 2007, DGATLP, Namur
  • « Le programme des partis dans les élections régionales 2004: réponses à la crise du logement locatif à Bruxelles », in L'Année Sociale - 2004, Brussels, ed. IS-ULB, 2005
  • Evolution des régimes fonciers, migrations et conditions d’habitat au Bénin - le cas du département du Zou Nord -, postmaster thesis, Coopération au développement, ULB, Brussels, 2001
  • Squat et urbanisme, master thesis, Institut Supérieur d’Architecture Saint-Luc, Liège, 1999.

Educational background

  • Post master in Sociology, anthropology ULB – UCL - FUSL (2005-2007)
  • Post master in Development cooperation ULB (99-01)
  • Master in Architecture Institut Supérieur Saint-Luc Liège (93/99)

Previous positions/employment

  • Community Land Trust Brussels asbl – Project manager (12-18)
  • Political advisor for the State Secretary in charge of Housing (RBC)

Follow-up of the associative sector and innovative policies (09-12)

  • Alter Agency – Mission leader in Research & Innovation (08/09)
  • Urban Research Centre - Sociology Institute – ULB, Academic researcher (02-07)
  • ERAP (Training in municipal management) – ULB, Lecturer (06- )
  • International trainings A.U.D. (Archit., Urbanisme pour le Dévelop.) - La Cambre – workshop supervision (03) 

Associative mandates

  • Societal Housing Network (Sohonet), administrator (2018- )
  • Social Real Estate Agency “Quartiers” (AISQ) - Chairman (12-18)
  • Rassemblement Bruxellois pour le Droit à l’Habitat (RBDH) – Admin. / co-chairman (06-09)
  • Woningen 123 Logements – Funder / chairman (04-09)