Christian Dessouroux is a researcher in urban geography at the Institute for Environmental Management and Land-use Planning (IGEAT). After examining the role of public spaces in contemporary urban policies in Europe during his doctoral thesis, he is conducting a research on the urban development of Brussels the 19th and 20th centuries. Interested in cartographic analysis as well as urban history and economy, he has contributed to several publications on urban policies, transport and the history of Brussels. His recent work focuses on the social and demographic challenges of residential real estate dynamics.
Housing production in the Canal area: social, real estate and land related issues. The Senne valley is home of a varied range of residential areas, industrial and logistics sites, public facilities, urban brownfields and transport infrastructure (including the canal). It's also a rather disjointed area, urbanistically speaking, marked by its industrial past, that is increasingly coveted because of its land reserves in a context where private investors and public authorities explore new ways and new areas to meet the growing demand for housing. The recent Plan Canal, defining the major compositional options for the development of the area, emphasizes the attention paid by public and private stakeholders in order to redefine materially and symbolically this area. The research project will identify the actors and mechanisms at work in this area (more specifically inside the ERDF perimeter), name and analyse the urban issues at stake (among others affordable housing) and try to understand how urban space is built and redefined in this particular context. This basically comes down to understand the sheer mechanisms of urban production and the role of its protagonists in the current economic, social and demographic context.