Geospatial analysis of access to green and blue infrastructure from other foundational amenities in the Brussels Capital Region (GREENEQUITIES)

Project Details


The implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) and green and blue
infrastructure (GBI) in urban areas is gaining momentum as a strategy to
mitigate climate risk, enhance public health, and ultimately, create more
livable cities. However, NBS and GBI (spatial) assessment and planning
instruments have been criticized for its poor consideration of environmental
justice and social vulnerability, hence its implementation in cities bares the
risk of (re-)producing social inequalities. In order to make NBS, GBI and its
related benefits (more) available/accessible to the above-mentioned
vulnerable social groups (e.g., children, older persons, people with
disabilities), it is important to assess their accessibility from other
foundational social amenities which represent an essential place of their daily
urban experience (e.g., schools, senior centers, healthcare facilities). Yet, to
date, the majority of studies analyzing (unequal) exposure or access to urban
green and blue spaces by vulnerable social groups focuses on residential
metrics. Approaches based on foundational social facilities are still scarce,
clearly dominated by US case studies and rarely looking at the equity
implications of the observed (spatial) distributional patterns. In response to
the above-mentioned knowledge gaps, this project aims to set the ground for
the development of an interdisciplinary research line at VUB on the geospatial
analysis of access to urban NBS and GBI, with a focus on vulnerable groups
living in the Brussels Capital Region (BCR). This overall goal is structured
around three main research objectives to be accomplished by a novel mixed-Research Council Regulations | Chapter 5, Article 19 – Centraal Werkingsreglement Onderzoek | approved AB 17.02.2020
method approach that combines both quantitative and qualitative techniques
from both natural and social sciences, including GIS analyses, map-based
surveys, and semi-structured interviews. The research project will be mainly
implemented in the form of a PhD thesis supervised by the ZAP member. The
project is structured around seven interrelated work packages with defined
tasks to ensure that the research objectives will be reached within the project
duration (max. 4 years).
Effective start/end date1/09/2131/12/25


  • Nature-based solutions
  • green and blue infrastructure
  • urban climate
  • change adaptation
  • environmental justice
  • vulnerability
  • urban ecosystem services
  • urban resilience
  • urban inequalities
  • geospatial analysis

Flemish discipline codes 2018-2023

  • Ecosystem services
  • Urban and regional geography
  • Geospatial information systems
  • Landscape ecology
  • Environmental and sustainable planning
  • Urbanism and regional planning
  • Environmental sociology


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