Shana is an urban planner and PhD researcher. She is currently working as a policy officer in policy innovation for the Department of the Environment and Spatial Development of the Flemish authorities. She is responsible for developing policy proposals with regard to urban underground space use and urban underground planning. In addition, her fascination with the possibilities for urban underground space use in Flanders led to an ongoing doctoral research (Faculty of Design Sciences at the University of Antwerp) on ‚underground urbanism‘. Before she was head of a local planning office and project developer.
Beneath the Surface: Building a Community for Underground Urban Development
Policy exploration is a lever for boosting less known working fields adding up to sustainable and integrated territorial development policies and practices. It’s a highly effective approach for diving into the unknown.
In this session, Shana Debrock and René van der Lecq from the Department of the Environment and Spatial Development of the Flemish authorities share their practical experiences with policy exploration as an approach for developing underground urban spaces in Flanders since 2017.
The use of underground space used to be a hidden practice in Flanders. But policy exploration has brought about new dynamics – building knowledge, bringing together expertise, getting in touch with potential users, creating stories and imaging the underground. Together with a few different cities, the team is developing and experimenting with projects while refining policies and instruments.