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When traffic light management prefigures mobility choices. The strategic challenges of a technical tool

This article opens the black box of the remote controlled traffic light system used by public transport in Brussels. This technical device redistributes the temporal sharing of space in favour of public transport, which allows the constant erosion of the commercial speed faced by the Société de transports intercommunaux de Bruxelles (STIB) to be halted, thus cutting back on operational costs. Our objective is to make sense of this technical device and to highlight the underlying political challenges in terms of the management of space. At the heart of discussions on remote controlled traffic lights is of course the question of the respective role of public transport and cars in the context of a very high level of road congestion. We also wish to emphasise the relatively invisible work of the administration (in this case Bruxelles Mobilité) in its capacity to create compromises – with their advantages and disadvantages – so that a project is able to function within the Brussels “ecosystem”.

BSI synopsis. The traces of World War I in Brussels

The hundredth anniversary of World War I has put the spotlight on this period once again. The media coverage of the commemorations is unprecedented and even surprising for a conflict which has remained in the memorial shadow of the even more deadly World War II. While there was every reason to believe that the Great War was only a distant memory, it must also be noted that it is still the object of true curiosity on the part of the general public.

The hundredth anniversary has also led to a number of publications, most of which are in keeping with the revival of historical research surrounding World War I for the past twenty years or so.  The case of Belgium – the scene of fighting in a territory which was almost completely occupied – has thus been well studied. However, while several recent studies have used Brussels as a framework, a global summary specifically devoted to the capital does not exist. This synopsis thus summarises the material traces and immaterial heritage of the conflict in Brussels.

The aim is therefore not to trace the history of Brussels during World War I or to present the latest works on this subject, but rather to answer some simple questions asked by the inhabitants of Brussels today: What remains of World War I in the capital? Who is interested in it, and why? How does this conflict resonate today in Brussels’ memories? How are they reflected in the urban space? In other words, this synopsis reverses the historical temporality to observe the results of the sifting of time.

Brussels Studies fact sheet. The need for teachers in the Brussels Region by 2020

In 2019-2020, the Brussels Capital Region will be home to some 24 000 more students than there were in 2013-2014, in preschool, primary and secondary education. This growth generates additional needs in infrastructure, but also in teachers. An interuniversity research team from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the Université Saint-Louis (USL-B) and the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) have analysed the data available so as to have a clearer view of the Brussels perspective. The IBSA/BISA Cahier n° 5, summarised in a Brussels Studies Fact Sheet, lays out their estimates of the number of teachers needed in 2019-2020.

The Tivoli sustainable neighbourhood: a new way of building the city in Brussels?

In Brussels and elsewhere, the reference to sustainable development has made its way in public policies. With its 400 housing units, its park and an economic centre dedicated to "green" companies, the "Tivoli" sustainable neighbourhood project is one of the most ambitious projects under way in the Brussels territory. In 2012, researchers from Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (USL-B), Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) and associations such as Periferia – in charge of participation in the Tivoli project –carried out an in vivo study of the project. This article summarises part of this group's work based on four themes: 1) the reorganisation of public action and "governance"; 2) participation at the heart of the sustainable project; 3) the connections between architecture and the model of the sustainable city; and 4) the appropriation of sustainable living in two other projects in Brussels. For the authors, the Tivoli project reveals (new?) approaches which question more broadly the methods of building the contemporary city.

BSI synopsis. Housing in Brussels: diagnosis and challenges

This synopsis highlights the various facets of the housing problem in Brussels through different approaches (demographic, legal, political and sociological). It does not constitute an exhaustive state of knowledge regarding housing, but presents a panorama of current knowledge and challenges. It highlights the different dimensions of housing in the context of demographic growth and social fragmentation, reveals the controversies and debates on this subject and points out the main challenges for the future.