Postdoctoral research position NeW-BLIV project (Post-Covid housing supply in the Brussels Capital Region)

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
September 23, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Postdoctoral research position NeW-BLIV project (Post-Covid housing supply

in the Brussels Capital Region)

(ref. BAP-2023-571)

Last modification : Wednesday, August 23, 2023

The Department of Architecture (www., KU Leuven, Belgium is part of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group at KU Leuven and coordinates the research on (interior) architecture, urbanism and spatial planning at the Faculty of Architecture (Brussels and Gent) and the Faculty of Engineering Science (Leuven). The Department enjoys an international reputation and currently counts more than 150 (international) PhD students. Within the Department of Architecture, the researcher will be part of the P.PUL research group. P.PUL focuses primarily on sociological, ecological, environmental as well as political aspects of housing, migration, ageing, socio-ecology, the use of open space, and political processes in urban and urbanising contexts. P.PUL critically questions existing socio-spatial concepts and ideas that circulate in society and academia. P.PUL researchers further share the ambition to explore and represent different societal challenges in relation to land use at varying scales and through time. P.PUL conducts both fundamental and applied research, relying mainly on qualitative research methods. Moreover, its researchers combine methods and techniques from several disciplines (sociology, history, ecology, design, political sciences, etc.), but always keep space as their primary focus of attention. The sourcing and sharing of knowledge from and with societal actors are of crucial importance in this endeavour. It positions P.PUL as an active participant in the public debate besides its contribution to the scientific field of urban planning.

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The NeW-BLIV project aims to explore the possible long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on housing and working conditions in the Brussels Capital Region (Belgium) and their related implications for urban housing provision. Considering Covid-19 as a path-clearing event, the project further examines how the pandemic may have accelerated and legitimated policy changes related to urban living and working. Starting from a diagnosis of Brussels' current housing supply challenges and housing needs, the research aims to explore possible scenarios for future housing supply and elaborate strategic options and regulatory enablers to reach possible futures that appear desirable for Brussels' inhabitants. The theoretical framework draws on policy change and crises' effects on urban living and working and urban governance. So far, the project diagnosis phase draws on (i) desk research (policy documents and planning instruments' analysis), (ii) semi-structured interviews with both actors of housing provision and urban developments as well as residents of strategically planned live-work environments and (iii) joint work with Brussels' statistics institute to determine homeworkers' profiles. In the prospective phase of the project, test scenarios for possible futures will be discussed with relevant stakeholders and citizens during thematic scenario workshops, and which results will be used to deliver relevant policy recommendations to local decision-makers. Hence, this policy-oriented research project contributes to a better understanding of the Covid-19 impact on the relationship we have with the places where we live and work, thus challenging the back-to-status quo assumption. Its prospective aspect further contributes to enhancing innovative, adaptive and affordable housing and built environments.

The researcher will have three main missions:

  • Complete the project diagnosis (qualitative analysis of interviews with residents);

  • Carry out the prospective research phase of the project by setting up test scenarios and organizing thematic scenario workshops with all actors involved in the diagnosis and citizens;

  • Establish relevant policy recommendations for the Brussels Capital Region based on the results of the two first missions.

  • The researcher will receive regular support from Prof. Pascal De Decker (PI of the project), Prof. Jeroen Stevens and Dr. Constance Uyttebrouck (former main researcher) through monthly coordination and advising meetings.


    The successful candidate is expected to have:

  • A Master's or a Ph.D. in architecture, urban planning, economics, geography, sociology or any other relevant field;

  • Demonstrable skills in qualitative research, especially in conducting semi-structured interviews, organizing focus groups and carrying out qualitative analysis;

  • Writing and oral communication skills in English;

  • Proficiency in French or Dutch;

  • Expertise in prospective research and knowledge of the Brussels context are strong assets.

  • Offer
  • We offer a 1 year appointment (min. 50% working time) extendable for one year, starting at 1/11/2023, in an open, stimulating and multi- disciplinary research environment.
  • You will be based at the Department of Architecture, Sint-Lucas Ghent or Brussels campus.
  • You will be appointed as a research associate in the postdoctoral barema 44
  • Within this position, you will be part of KU Leuven, a university where 13,000 colleagues together make top-level teaching and research possible. This includes an exciting work environment that offers opportunities to build your experience and develop your skills. In addition, various initiatives are taken, locally and centrally, to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of colleagues in this work environment.
  • More information

    Scale 44


    For more information please contact Prof. dr. Pascal De Decker ([email protected]) or Dr. Constance Uyttebrouck ([email protected]).

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at [email protected].

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