Suburban renewal: Perspectives from Belgian, Danish and French cases

Marion Serre*, Remy Vigneron, Oswald Devisch, Majken Toftager Larsen, Ion Maleas

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper examines the transition of the perception of the suburban from an inherently non-sustainable territory, to a territory holding environmental, social and architectural potential. This is done through a comparative analysis of the suburban of three European countries: Belgium, France and Denmark. The approach identifies urban, architectural, social and environmental constants and variables of each country in order to better illustrate the reasons and nature of this shift of perception.

First, the paper provides a comparative insight on legal contexts and urban policies that have favored or limited suburban development. This state of the art highlights how the increasing focus on sustainable development has introduced the concept of suburban transformation as being an integral part of the “urban sutainability” discourse. Finally, a number of case studies of retrofitting initiatives from the three countries are examined.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)103-134
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • suburbanisation
  • retrofitting
  • planning policies
  • sustainability

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