The Loop Gent

‘The Loop’ is a large area in the south of Ghent. This former regional airport currently holds commercial venues and an event hall but is squeezed between the city’s main infrastructures: a highway interchange, the main railways, the Ringvaart canal, and the ring road. This gives the area the enormous potential for development, but equally hampers the creation of a qualitative and livable urban environment.

Mobility pictogram
Mobility collage

The site exists as a location near the highway and has easy car access. Today’s use of public transportation makes access to the site, which is otherwise near to the train station, difficult due to the blocking nature of existing roadways. ORG's mission is to update this plan and transform a typical highway location into a welcoming, pedestrian-friendly, accessible urban area. This includes strategies for mobility, spatial planning, real estate development, and sustainability.

The plan is based on two key principles:

1 - The introduction of an urban grid: an ecological framework with bike lanes, wadi’s and generous green spaces, that reconnect the site with the surrounding city. This framework defines individual plots that can be developed.

2 - Deregulation of the individual plots: the development of the area will take many decades. Therefore, we propose not to define programs or geometric rules for development. This to anticipate a volatile and unknown future. The development of the site will not be guided by a rulebook, but by a curator in a process of co-creation.


Project process diagram

Location

Ghent, Belgium

Year

2019 -

Area

25 km2

Program

Public Space, Transportation, Infrastructure, Landscape

Collaborators

Rasschaert Advocaten, LiPS

Mission ORG

Masterplan

Team

Hendrik Bloem, Jelle Potters

Clients

City of Ghent