Learning from Antwerp – Study Visit

Learning from Antwerp – Study Visit

Antwerp, Belgium
17-20 October 2013

As the highlight of its tenure as European City of the Year, Antwerp is hosting a special event for Academicians to visit, explore and promote its learning potential. Join us over three days in October to pick up ideas and lessons from this exemplar in delivering long-term strategy, genuine community and private sector engagement and creating sustainable growth.

This visit is excellent CPD learning, great value for money, and a perfect way to position yourself at the vanguard of urbanism.









Why Antwerp?

From its position as a stronghold on the River Scheldt during Gallo-Roman times to today’s modern European port city, Antwerp’s mixed path has created a city rich in culture and quality. However, Antwerp has had to approach many challenges over recent years, including population exodus and subsequent desolation, socio-economic instability, cultural cohesion, together with and a delicate regional and national relationship.

Following a sustained period of decline, the city’s trajectory began to change during 1990s, leading to the 2003 European Capital of Culture crown. Since then, the city has worked hard to cement long-term and pragmatic thinking into its psyche, capturing civic imagination along the way. They are at an important time in evolution, bridging the half-way mark of a 15-year strategic plan that side-steps political short-termism and delivers combined socio-economic & physical improvement within the existing urban fabric – an approach they have labelled ‘slow urbanism’.

Antwerp is an important exemplar for other towns and cities, especially in terms of their commitment to quality, whether that lies within governance, development, or community engagement. This is a forward-looking city that is quietly and assuredly following its own path of self-improvement, cognoscente of its place in both past, present and future terms.

Read the Academy assessment of Antwerp

To make the most of the organised visits, participants should aim to arrive in Antwerp on the afternoon / evening of Thursday 17 October where the group will join for an informal meal. The main programme will take place on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October, plus there will be optional additional activities on Sunday 20 October.

The programme will take in some of Antwerp’s most important interventions, including those in the city centre around the Sailor’s Quarter, Falcon Square housing projects, Spoor Noord, as well as new communities in the peripheries.

Thursday 17 October

Arrival + dinner

Friday 18 October

9h30-11h Presentation on urban planning in Antwerp and discussion Stadsbouwmeester, Kristiaan Borret FelixArchives (6th floor)
11h-12h30 Guided walk ‘housing programme AG VESPA’
Sailor’s Quarter/Falcon square Housing projects
AG VESPA, Ilse Peleman Falcon square, Sailor’s quarter
12h30-14h Lunch offered by City of Antwerp all STORM café MAS
14h-15h30 Guided walk urban development Eilandje AG Stadsplanning, Filip Smits
15h30-17h Guided walk Park Spoor Noord AG Stadsplanning, Sofie Schoeters

Saturday 19 October

10h-12h Presentation and visit ‘t Groen Kwartier/ Military Hospital AG Stadsplanning + AG VESPA + Matexi ‘t Groen Kwartier
12h30-14h Lunch at the South tbc
14h-16h Guided walk at the South quarter: KMSKA museum, plans for New South, plans for the Scheldt Quays, visit of the art campus deSingel Professional guide by Antwerpen Averechts
16h-18h Projects on the Leftbank: Regatta and IGLO (new housing/mixed quarters on the Leftbank) Team Stadsbouwmeester

Sunday 20 October

Free program: Middelheim Park, Cogels-Osylei, Jewish Quarter/Stadspark, …

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Places are strictly limited to ensure a high quality of learning. Booking will be on a first-come first-served basis. For each participant there is an attendance fee plus the cost of your accommodation, travel and meals. Participants are to make their own travel arrangements.

To book, please contact Linda Gledstone on lg@academyofurbanism.org.uk or +44 (0) 20 7251 8777.


Academicians £75+VAT
Non-Academicians £115+VAT
Young Urbanists £50+VAT


The Academy has secured preferential rates at the centrally located Different Hotel, where we can reserve rooms on your behalf. The rooms are 80€ per room per night to be paid on arrival.


The Eurostar train to Brussels is currently from £69 return – Antwerp is a 20 minute train journey from Brussels. Please remember that flight prices are cheapest when booking in advance. We recommend that you visit http://www.kayak.co.uk/ to review flight prices.