A platform for the development of Walloon cities



The LEPUR, a ULiège Research Centre on the City, Territory and Rural Environment (SPHERES Research Unit /Faculty of Sciences) - has been mandated by the Walloon Region to develop a platform to support cities that wish to integrate their policies into an urban development and a networking perspective. This has been done with the creation of the Plateforme Villes Wallonie. This represents a major advance in urban governance and a novelty for Wallonia, which until now had no specific tools dedicated to urban policy.

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ollowing the regionalisation of the Federal Urban Policy budgets in 2014, the Walloon Government launched several research projects with the aim of developing a real urban policy in the field of urban development. Consigned to the CPDT (Conférence Permanente du Développement Territorial), of which the Lepur is a member, these studies quickly showed a lack of strategy in terms of transversal urban development of Walloon cities and a lack of interconnection between cities. Wishing to anchor urban development within Wallonia, the Walloon Region also mandated the LEPUR to develop a platform allowing not only the networking of Walloon cities interested in the project but also a follow-up and a support of the cities throughout the process.

This platform is now available! Called the Plateforme Villes Wallonie, it aims to bring together in a single network all Walloon urban development stakeholders and ensure the exchange of information on urban policy.

The Walloon Cities Platform is divided into three main sections:

  1. A website (plateforme-villes-wallonie.be) that aims to be a resource centre, accessible to all, and that will be updated and expanded over time and will include articles, studies, advice on good practices and on various themes related to urban issues. In order to communicate on the news and on the events the platform is organising, there is a newsletter to which anyone can subscribe.
  2. The organisation of thematic workshops and field visits for member cities several times a year to accompany and train them. Once a year, a visit of concrete achievements will be suggested (open access or open to members as the case may be).
  3. Support provided by LEPUR for the creation of administrative files, the response to identified problems and the provision of data for diagnosis, for example.

To date, seven major cities are already members of the platform. These are Liège, Seraing, Verviers, Charleroi, Mons, Mouscron and La Louvière. A first meeting workshop between cities and urban actors took place in June, as well as a visit of Ghent in September. Other cities can of course become members of the platform; registrations are open until the end of November. There is only one condition: to have an Urban Development Perspective (Perspective de Développement Urbain – PDU) within your city or to commit to achieving it during the municipal legislature.

The Urban Development Perspective is a strategic territorialized governance tool for so-called "urban" municipalities. It is a document that enables urban municipalities to plan and manage all actions that contribute to their dynamism and influence more effectively in order to strengthen their vocation as a structuring centre. Any municipality that considers itself "urban" can develop a PDU.

For more information, visit www.plateforme-villes-wallonie.be

Contacts at ULiège

Maud BLAFFART

Bruno BIANCHET

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