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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 2012. Early 2012, their number amounted to 548,981, 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 (32% of the surface area recorded in the Land Register in 2012).
Land use based on the surface areas recorded in the Land Register (12,839 ha) (2012)
Sources: BISA based on the figures from the Administration of the Land Register (AKRED) and ADSEI
Over the period 1992-2012, the total built surface area increased by 9%. The strongest growing categories are apartment buildings (+ 49%) followed by, albeit less pronounced, banks and office buildings (+ 27%) as well as public utility equipment (+ 19%) and buildings for recreation and sports (+ 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
While the number of buildings appears to stagnate (approximately 194,150 in 2012), there is however, over a period of 20 years, namely between 1992 and 2012, a continuous evolution of the typology: we notice a very significant increase in the number of apartment buildings (+ 55%) at the expense of the number of terraced houses (- 4%) – which account for more than half of the buildings in the Brussels Region –, commercial properties (- 18%) and buildings for commercial and industrial use (- 19%). The other building categories (semi-detached and detached buildings, public service buildings) show a slight increase (of 5 to 6%). The number of garages, car parks and covered parking spaces continues to increase significantly (+ 32% between 1992 and 2012).
Evolution of the type of buildings (1992-2012)
Sources: BISA based on the figures from the Administration of the Land Register (AKRED) - ADSEI
- IGEAT-ULB (S. Vanhuysse, J. Depireux, et E. Wolff), 2006, "Etude de l'évolution de l'imperméabilisation du sol en Région de Bruxelles-Capitale", 60 pages.