Built-up area

This indicator shows how much space is taken up for building in Flanders and provides more information on the extent of built-up area.

393,551 ha

  • 28.9% of Flanders is built up.
  • In 2022, the built-up area in Flanders totalled 393,551 ha. This is the equivalent of an area larger than the province of Flemish Brabant.

What do we see?

In recent years, we see an increase of the share of built-up area in Flanders. In 2022, built-up area amounted to 28.9% of the land area, corresponding to 393,551 hectares. Compared to 2010, this represents an increase of 36,473 hectares. The largest share of built-up area in 2022 consisted of residential buildings (44%), followed by infrastructure for transport and communication (30%) and non-residential buildings (commercial, industrial and public buildings) (16%).

What’s the aim?

The use of open space for the construction of buildings has a major impact on the environment, biodiversity and the natural carbon and water cycle. Within a circular model, we want to minimise the use of space by organising the use of space more efficiently, for example by increasing the living space per square metre, by compacting housing units and/or by reducing the size of plots. This is a challenge given the development of both population and economy. The Strategic Vision Policy Plan “Ruimte Vlaanderen” includes as a strategic objective that by 2025 a decrease in the average daily additional space take-up from 6 to 3 hectares per day should be realised. By 2040, this take-up should be limited to 0 hectares per day.

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator shows how much space is occupied by buildings in Flanders. The data comes from Statbel.

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