Eurada News nº402 - July 2020

IGRETEC: Creating the collective space of tomorrow

Most European Regional Development Agencies have been and are implementing urgent measures to provide assistance following the outbreak of Covid-19. In this article, the initiative “Creating the collective space of tomorrow” conducted by IGRETEC is presented.

Following the initiative of the Creative Hub (Hub-C) and the Conference of Mayors (Conférence des Bourgmestres) of Charleroi Metropole, IGRETEC has developed a toolbox called ‘Living tomorrow’ (‘Vivre demain’).

With regard to the Covid-19 context, IGRETEC decided to set up a transdisciplinary working group whose mission was to consider the reorganisation, reinvention, and re-appropriation of the public space, given the various needs of multiple sectors of activity.

The work of this transdisciplinary group was fuelled by different scientific studies and cartes blanches of experts (architects, sociologists, urbanists…), as well as by an internationally managed benchmark. All the data has been centralised on a collaborative platform. 

So far, the approach has mainly focused on the writing of practical factsheets making it possible to ‘reinvent and optimise the planning of the collective space’, either for its shared occupation or for its exploitation, while following sanitary rules and recommendations. Five kinds of spaces (streets, green spaces, squares, wastelands, and buildings) and three types of use (mobility, temporary occupation, and short stay) have been considered for the analysis.

Each factsheet, illustrated with photographs and/or schemes, offers a short explanation of the context and detailed examples: improving mobility in town, defining the exterior spaces and managing their flow, extending pedestrian areas by removing parking spaces temporarily, marking internal pathways, establishing a wait sign, programming outdoor activities, and so on. Together the factsheets currently make up a 28-page booklet. Please note that the toolbox aims to evolve as potential urgent situations appear, but also aspires to push ideas of reorganising public space in a permanent way (that is, to inspire and propose solutions to the new social and environmental challenges). The working group is open to suggestions, remarks, or the identification of new issues.

About IGRETEC

IGRETEC stands for Intercommunale pour la Gestion et la Réalisation d’Etudes Techniques et Economiques en Charleroi. They have been active in the Belgian energy and water sector since their RDA’s inception, and now have more than 300 collaborators that act for the sake of citizens, public actors, and enterprises. They work to adapt the agency to whatever the current context is and to provide it with responses to the new needs of their associates while working on ambitious and innovative projects for the general interest of Charleroi.

More information

For more information about IGRETEC, please check their official website

To see the booklet of facts sheets, downloadable from the Charleroi Metropole and IGRETEC’s website, please check this link

If you have any specific inquiry, please note that IGRETEC’s contact person is Ms. Stéphanie TOUSSAINT

Written by Roser Torres, Project Officer at EURADA