Resistance from inside. Brussels on the way to sustainable development

Session #2 Panel Discussion | Tuesday, June 25  | 12:00-13:30
Auditorium Maximum JU (Aula Mała)

Sub-Theme: Change and the City: Urban Spaces as Catalysts for Change

Katarzyna Romańczyk

photo by Juan M Sarabia | Pink Plastic Bag

If urban policy is based on the requirements of a global bureaucracy rather than on the common needs of local dwellers, how would that city transform? Within the context of this frequently asked question, we focus on the aspects of urban governance in Brussels’ development. As a leading political city in Europe, Brussels is currently in dramatic need of a new urban vision that would overcome the negative consequences of its former alteration caused by international influences. The European institutions required plenty of office space and the lack of systematic planning during the search for an impressive symbolic capital resulted in a haphazard redevelopment in some parts of the city. Even if today urban governance is defined as a local matter of the 19 communes of the Brussels Capital Region and the European institutions may not be visible as players in the local setting, they are very present in the arena of power, because they create a specific demand at certain places in the city. The cooperation between the key international actors of Brussels’ economy and the political elites is often contested by other social groups, more concerned about the future of Brussels as a living space. Resistance of local communities and their demands to transfer the urban decisions on the lower, district level has caused an upsurge in the diversity of actors, who are influenced by the idea of sustainable development. Their ability to make their voices heard is still weak, but some changes have been made. Our approach is to examine how this framework of institutions and local actors has changed the city and how the rule of law and urban governance are abided in making Brussels into a sustainable city.


PhD Katarzyna Romańczyk

She graduated from the Jagiellonian University (MA in European Studies) and the Pedagogical University of Cracow (MA in Political Science). As a scholar of the Flemish Government she has conducted research at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her PhD thesis is about the political aspects of Brussels’ development after 1958. She works at the Jagiellonian University on her research project about urban policy of Brussels. She is the author of several articles in recognized journals.

One response to “Resistance from inside. Brussels on the way to sustainable development

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