The Hop Region

The past 25 years, the hop region was characterised by new dynamics: a strong decline in population size, the withdrawal of economic activity, an increased vacancy of building stock, changing living habits, and a more significant role for tourism and recreation.

Due to this evolution, the landscape as well as a substantial part of the building patrimony seems obsolete for the current standards of living and working. As a result, a number of buildings becomes dilapidated or gets demolished, whereas others get renovated to accommodate an alternative programme such as living, recreation or tourism. Apart from retro-fitting the existing building stock, new volumes are added that suit the contemporary living and working demands.

The Labo S research aims to bring together the concerns of various (new) stakeholders and to formulate a strategy to rethink the profile of the hop region, and the Flemish countryside in general, with an emphasis on the role of the build patrimony.

Project Info

Research group: Labo S
Start date: 2003
Researchers: Pieter Uyttenhove, Bruno Notteboom, K. Boonen, David Peleman and A. Harbers