WHAT'S GOING on at home
Brussels situations to analyse the Donut in action
What do we mean by 'situations'?
The Brussels economy consists of a multitude of diverse actors who, in many cases, are already on a track of transition. Within the situations, we will study some of these Brussels actors and their concrete actions. Together with them, we will look at how to go even further towards a social and ecological transition.
Via the so-called co-enquiry, the Donut team enters into dialogue with the situation to understand with them how they are already contributing to a Donut economy, how they can go even further in this, how they should shape their actions for this, and what obstacles and levers there are for this.
What are we doing now?
Three co-surveys happened during the first phase of the project : two with site actors (Masui and Arc-en-Ciel), one with a company (Democo).
You can find information on these situations below. New projects are happening and will be able to be shared in the future.
Masui is first and foremost a neighbourhood, and a square that is home to the building that used to house the stamp workshop of the Ministry of Finance, abandoned for some time now. It will soon be given a new lease of life when the non-profit Zinneke moves into the premises. It is currently transforming this building into a third-place of social and artistic production for Brussels.
The idea is to transform the 4000 sqm of this building by minimizing environmental impacts and maximizing social impacts. The project therefore puts a great deal of emphasis on maintaining the existing, using reclaimed materials, co-designing and co-executing the project, on an open and evolutionary programme, and on employing and training the members of the association.
The participatory co-investigation process is conducted by the BrusselsDonut team with the stakeholders involved in the Masui situation. Together we invent and shape the process itself. The co-inquiry team, with whom we co-create a series of 5 workshops, is composed of different members of the Zinneke organisation, as well as members of Rotor, responsible for the reuse of materials in the Masui project, and Bureau Ouest, whose architects are involved in the construction site. In this way we want to get a multiple perspective of the situation.
The doughnut approach is part of the project’s “Restitution Plan”, which aims to document the process and the results, to share learning and appreciation, and to debate the issues and problems (to be resolved or transformed). To complete this Plan, the Masui team would like to carry out the exercise of situating itself in relation to the four glasses opened by the donut by crossing the issues (social and environmental) and the scales (local and global). Thus, broader evaluation criteria than those that would normally be used are included here, allowing a more holistic approach to the issues.
Arc-en-Ciel is the name of a collective housing project whose construction began in 2018 on Vanperenboomstraat in Molenbeek, the residents moving in at the beginning of 2020. The project stands out because it is a “Community Land Trust”: a model that aims to make housing ownership more accessible while promoting the idea of common land ownership. The residents’ group of the Arc-en-Ciel project was first set up in 2012 and has worked on the design of the entire project, including the needs of the group as a collective but also more broadly those of the neighbourhood. As this is a passive construction project, the ecological aspects were also taken on board.
The co-investigation process is designed and executed by the BrusselsDonut team and by members of the organization
Community Land Trust Brussels, which is leading the project – thus also promoting the Community Land Trust concept in Brussels. The organisation has taken over the management of the financial, land and legal aspects of the project set-up, and together with other actors, is leading the process of building and accompanying the group of inhabitants.
The co-investigation allows a retrospective look at this completed example of a Community Land Trust and its impacts, both social and ecological. The donut approach reveals its plurality and the links that can exist between the different types of impacts. The co-investigation also allows us to look to the future: how can we further increase the impacts of the project by working on the dimensions of the donut that are not yet affected today? The doughnut thus invites us to broaden our view and to consider new actions.
DELVA by Démoco
Democo is a Belgian construction company.
It is committed to a sustainable development and circular economy approach and seeks to apply its principles to its various projects. As part of the Doughnut joint investigation, we studied together one of these projects: the construction of a building of 82 apartments in Laeken.
The DonutBrussels team is conducting the co-investigation with both the technical team of the construction site and the company’s managers. This approach should thus make it possible to include all the actors by taking into account their different points of view.
The aspects linked to resources are often the most obvious to work on in a transition process. On the site studied, monitoring of electricity and water use is already in place, and actions for renewable energy production and rainwater harvesting have already been taken. But can we go beyond these aspects, and what about the social aspects? Does adding points of attention mean more work or does it also create synergies? In this case too, the donut invites us to move towards taking into account a wider range of issues.