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Land use in the Brussels Region
Land use based on the surface areas recorded in the Land Register
According to the statistics on the surface areas recorded in the Land Register of the Brussels territory (i.e. approximately 8/10 of the actual surface area of the Region), residential buildings (mainly houses – including their small gardens – and apartment buildings) accounted for 37% of the regional surface area recorded in the Land Register in 2014. Early 2014, their number amounted to 558,345, entailing a 7% increase in a period of approximately 10 years.
Nevertheless, the Brussels Region has maintained a relatively green character, which is shown by the number of residential buildings with a garden (40% according to the figures from the 2001 socio-economic survey - ADSEI) and the number of green spaces, such as woods, gardens and parks, agricultural land, fields, grassland and orchards, as well as fallow land (31% of the surface area recorded in the Land Register in 2014). The use of high-resolution satellite images dating from 2008 showed that vegetation covers 54% of the regional territory (see documented sheet).
Land use based on the surface areas recorded in the Land Register (12.842 ha) (2014)
Sources: BISA based on the figures from the Administration of the Land Register (AKRED) and Directorate-General of Statistics (Statistics Belgium)
Over the period 1994-2014, the total built surface area increased by 10%. The strongest growing categories are apartment buildings (+49%) followed to a lesser degree by public utility equipment (+15%), buildings intended for recreation and sports (15%) as well as banks and office buildings (+10%).
The increasing urbanisation and loss of undeveloped areas is confirmed by the analysis of aerial photos and satellite images (IGEAT-ULB, 2006) and inevitably leads to the soil being rendered impervious. This phenomenon differs from one municipality to the other. For the whole of the Region, it increased by 18% between 1993 and 2006.
Characteristics of the building stock
Whereas the total number of buildings is tending to stagnate (approximately 194,250 in 2014), a continuous evolution of the typology of buildings has been observed over a period of 20 years, namely 1994 and 2014, with a significant increase in the number of apartment buildings (+54%) at the expense of the amount of terraced houses (-4%) – which represent more than half of the buildings in the Brussels Region - and commercial properties (-41 %). Semi-detached and detached buildings increased slightly (from 4 to 5%). As for the other categories of buildings, they have increased significantly (+53%). The number of garages, car parks and covered spaces continues to increase significantly (+15% between 2004 and 2014).
- Thème « L’occupation du sol et les paysages bruxellois » n°13. Analyse des surfaces non bâties en Région de Bruxelles-Capitale par interprétation d’images satellitaires (.pdf, in French and dutch only)
Studies and reports
- IGEAT-ULB (S. Vanhuysse, J. Depireux, et E. Wolff), 2006. « Etude de l'évolution de l'imperméabilisation du sol en Région de Bruxelles-Capitale » (.pdf, in French only). Study performed on behalf of Brussels Environment. 60 pp.