The Cabinet of the Flemish Minister for Environment and Agriculture, Koen Van den Heuvel represents the Flemish Region in PURPLE. In the Federal State of Belgium, Flanders is one of three regions, besides the region of Wallonia and the Brussels Capital Region, and is situated in the northern part of Belgium. Flanders is a densely populated region with important main infrastructures, at the crossroads of the main European highways, with different seaports located in the Hamburg - Le Havre range and a very dense railroad infrastructure. Brussels is the capital of Flanders.

Although Flanders is densely populated with strong urban metropolitan areas the countryside also offers good opportunities to the citizens of these different metropolitan areas. Flanders includes a lot of arable land for agriculture and horticulture (about 47% of the Flemish territory).

The different man-made landscapes of the countryside are mainly shaped by the land use in the last centuries, and are of historic value. Protecting and developing the biodiversity in relation to the economic and urban development in the countryside is an important challenge. Rural development is a key instrument to tackle the challenges of the countryside and to improve quality of life for all inhabitants and visitors.

In the air over Flanders.

Flanders is aware of the urban pressure and is hoping through the PURPLE-network to exchange ideas and projects and to solve peri-urban issues. It is crucial for Flanders to combine both economic growth and the values of the peri-urban countryside and its landscapes, and to improve the sustainable land use for agriculture and horticulture.

General data:

Country: Belgium
Total area:
Region Flanders:
30.528 km2
13.684 km2
Region Flanders:
11.5 milion
6.5 million
Density: +/- 480 hab/km2
Agriculture land use: 625.000 ha
Arable land: 56 %
Main economic activities: Commercial services, Building, Chemical ind.
Main agricultural products: Pigs, Vegetables, Milk

Last updated: 16 April, 2020


Land use map - peri-urban Flanders

Member of the PURPLE Executive Board
Paul Van der Sluys, Senior Advisor,

PURPLE Working Group members:

Katia Van Tichelen, EU policy and projects advisor,

Flemish Land Agency (VLM)
Koning Albert II Laan 15, 1210 Brussels
Tel: 0032 (0)2 5437200