The Doughnut portrait of the Brussels Region

What is the "Doughnut portrait"?

The Brussels Donut team has constructed the Donut portrait of the Brussels Region as a tool for establishing a social and environmental diagnosis of the Brussels Region territory. Like a compass, this tool should enable the Brussels Region to appreciate the path it needs to take if it wishes to enter the ‘flesh’ of the Donut (i.e. between the social floor and the environmental ceiling) and thus consider its territory to be socially desirable and ecologically safe.

The Brussels Region Donut Portrait is a graphical representation of a set of indicators that allow us to visualise the situation of the Brussels Region in relation to its social floor and its ecological ceiling, both in terms of its local activity and the impact of that activity at a global level.

To create the Brussels Donut portrait, several dimensions have been selected to illustrate in concrete terms the 4 glasses of the unrolled donut. These include health and housing, for example, for the social-local lens. Each of these dimensions is itself made up of several indicators. An indicator measures a phenomenon using data from the field: for example, the ‘obesity rate’ for the ‘health’ dimension.

In short, the Brussels Donut portrait below shows different dimensions, themselves measured by indicators (but which do not appear on the visual), which illustrate the 4 glasses (on the left of the visual).

What do these red areas represent? When a dimension deviates from the Donut space, the red zone tends to get bigger. The further this zone deviates, the more the dimension is considered “critical”. Conversely, if the dimension is contained within the donut space, it is considered safe from an environmental point of view or fair from a social point of view.

How were the limits calculated? Why were these dimensions chosen? What does the timeline in the bottom right-hand corner represent? You can find the answers to all these methodological questions in the full report below.

Please note that this second version of the Portrait represents a major methodological advance in terms of collecting quality indicators and organising them by dimension, in order to answer 3 questions: is the Region in the Donut or not? Is it moving into the Donut? If so, how fast? However, it is still too early to interpret the data as such. Ideally, we should now be comparing the data with the targets set for the public authorities and citizens, in order to enrich and adjust them so that the Portrait can truly represent a compass for the region. In addition, the global-social dimension merits further research to find an appropriate methodology to better reflect the issues at stake in this highly complex dimension.

Table of indicators

On what indicators are all the dimensions represented in the portrait based? If you’d like to find out more, take a look at the table showing the indicators used for the portrait. A ‘tutorial’ document with various explanatory videos is also available to help you navigate this database and understand all the key elements.