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Main research question/goal

The project explores the potential of de-pavement in agricultural sites to be released by farmers in the near future. These agricultural sites have an important (untapped) reconversion potential from paved agricultural site to new open agricultural space. To date, regulation allowing function adaptations of agricultural buildings cause aggravation of paved impermeable surfaces in rural areas. This reality is in contrast with the growing need for productive rural land and open space. Depaved agricultural sites allow such reconversion to renewed valuable agricultural lands, which directly contributes to the strategic vision of a robust open space by the ‘Beleisdplan Ruimte Vlaanderen (BRV)’.      

Research approach

The project toolbox consists of both quantitative and qualitative approaches in a coproduction with the different project partners and local stakeholders. The engament of Boerenbond, a large farmers organization, guarantees an intensive dialogue about this topic and the project outputs with its members. The project will produce a cartography of the potential of de-pavement in agricultural sites and will reveal the obstacles and needs for future de-pavement in three case areas. The results of the pilot cases will be translated in an action program with policy recommendations and a learning trajectory with sensitization and communication towards farmers.


The ambition of the project is to embed a cultural change of de-pavement in rural areas, with complete depavement of abandoned agricultural sites. This is valuable - following objective 5 of the strategic vision of the BRV – for the creation of open space, the reduction of paved agricultural land, improved infiltration of surface water and reconversion of abandoned lands by professional agricultural purposes.  

Effective start/end date1/03/191/03/21

ID: 6862560