With 2,000 new inhabitants expected in Huy over the course of the next ten years (and 1,000 new lodgings that will come with them), the services of the “Living Environment” department are solicited more and more often. These services include answering all questions about urban planning, land use, mobility, energy, and housing for the city. The department has been overworked for the past few years, and thus finally added Lutgarde Brun to its staff two week’s ago to help manage the workload. Brun is a 36-year old architect, originally from Ardennes, Belgium.
Eventually, she will replace Caroline Brouwers, Head of Urban Planning Services, as Brouwers will be leaving on pension on May 1, 2015. Until then, the transfer of “power,” and above all the transfer of paperwork, will take place between the two women. Especially as “the folders are more and more technical and more and more cross-disciplinary with other services of the City,” specifies Joseph George, alderman of land use and urban planning.
Simply put, a project can no longer be planned by considering architecture alone. It must be taken on as a whole, taking into account its impact on mobility, public health, and the quality of life in the neighborhood where it is to take place. “I am really very happy to be able to lend a hand to this service, especially considering all of the projects that are taking place around Huy,” confides Lutgarde Brun. “Working on quality renovations is one of my passions!”
It is a fact that the city is very attentive to the different architectural projects that will soon be on the table. Could there be a store on the ground floor of a building that is being transformed into housing, for example? It is possible, but on the condition that the facade of the building is renovated to make sense with the residences above. “We can no longer content ourselves with putting a curtain in front of the window, for example,” continues Joseph George. “Because it is the small contracts like that, played out day-to-day, that change the face of Huy. It is necessary that new constructions and renovations stay as close as possible to the old, so as to ensure that the city maintains a certain coherence.”
Brun, the new recruit, is henceforth yoked to this demand, but has been assured that her job is “strategic and absolutely essential.”
How has your city administration coped with a growing population from an urban planning perspective?
Original article, originally published in French, here.
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