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Main research question/goal
The objective of this participatory research project on agrarian architecture in Flanders is to formulate policy recommendations about the desired future architectural quality of farms. The appearance of farms  in the Flemish landscape has evolved drastically in recent years. Typical, region-specific farmhouses are being replaced by uniform agro-industrial buildings that are becoming larger and larger due to their functional-technical and/or legal requirements. In earlier times, agriculture practically held a monopoly position on the countryside, but today other industries and actors are claiming parts of the countryside. Conflict situations regularly arise around new large scale agro-industrial buildings. Actors involved such as passers-by, tourists and residents often associate the countryside with quietness and open space. The goal of this project is to bring all of the involved policy areas and actors together in a policy working group and make it possible for them to constructively discuss the future of agrarian architecture in Flanders.

Research approach
We organize a participatory process in which we bring actors together during formal and informal gatherings. In addition we complement a relevant literature study by performing in-depth interviews and analysing existing policy documents.

The agrarian architecture in Flanders has an important influence on the spatial quality of the Flemish countryside. Besides that, construction projects often seem to result in conflicts with local residents and other rural actors. It is thus important to gain more insight into the exact problem. The end product is a guideline which should lead to a more qualitative construction process for all actors involved.
Effective start/end date1/01/121/01/13

ID: 4155302