Leuven Belgium2023-08-04T14:18:31+02:00

Leuven, Belgium

The City

Leuven is a centrally positioned city both within Belgium and Europe. It is a historical city with a rich cultural heritage, known for its high-ranking university and Belgian beer. Leuven has become a dynamic international community, with over 170 nationalities and many students living in the city centre. In 2020, the city was elected as the European Capital of Innovation and offers several opportunities for co-creation.

The Pilot

Regeneration of former hospital site (Hertogensite)

The pilot area for VARCITIES is a former hospital site in the medieval centre of the city called ‘Hertogensite’. This fully built area will be transformed into a green district, where the river the Dyle and the Aa will be re-opened and the connection between the city centre and the river landscape will be re-established.

The area will become a multifunctional neighbourhood with different housing typologies, economical functions like hotels, shops, restaurants and cafés and co-working spaces. Cultural attractions like the new performing arts hall for the city (with a capacity of 1500 spectators) and a museum site on the history and future of health care will be the heart of this area. The construction of several buildings has begun, just like the opening of the Dyle River. If all goes according to plan, the Dyle would be visible again by 2025 over a length of 300 meters. By 2026, most of the site should be finished.

VARCITIES will finance and develop five different Visionary Solutions in Leuven.

Several co-creation events were already organised:

  • On June 24th 2021: the First Co-creation Workshop was organised online with 26 participants including 7 city officials from different domains (health, urban development, neighbourhood work …) and 19 external participants (citizens, developers, knowledge institutes, health sector, etc.)
  • On November 25th 2021: the Second Co-creation Workshop was organised online with 20 participants including 5 city officials and 15 external participants from different domains.
  • On June 12th 2022: the Town Hall Event was organised as part of the ‘Benedenstad op zondag’ (Downtown on Sunday) 2022 event. Around 300 people participated in guided tours across the Pilot site and 50 people visited VARCITIES’ information corner and interacted with a city official about the project.

The Visionary Solutions

Leuven’s Visionary Solutions are currently being revised:

  • VS1: Mobile urban living rooms for cultural activities
  • VS2: Sensors for health and water measurements
  • VS3: Health trail
  • VS4: IoT infrastructure for smart lighting and noise measurements
  • VS5: Mobility sensors to measure pedestrian and bike flows

More information will be available soon.

The Visionary Plan

News & Events

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