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The future of coastal cities: is high-rise the answer?

Belgian coastal cities in 2030. What will they look like and what challenges will they face? And when will we need flippers instead of slippers in our ground floor apartments on the sea dyke?

Our 60 kilometres of coastline are built to capacity. High-rise building may seem like the answer but often meets with opposition. The question is also how high project developers are supposed to build because due to the specific nature of the environment, architecture and coastal building policies demand a different approach than in an urban or rural environment. Many developers have found that coastal towns are not exactly accommodating when they submit plans for a project proposing to build higher than usual and are faced with a strict building permit policy.

If the predictions of some climate experts become reality, high-rise building will probably be outlawed completely. Due to climate change, sea levels are expected to rise by more than sixty centimetres by the year 2100 and this would have an unmistakable impact on our coast as this would put parts of West and East Flanders below sea level.

So are artificial islands the only solution? Is there a waterproof future for coastal cities?

The mayors of Knokke-Heist, Ostend and Nieuwpoort present their vision on these challenges for the coastal cities in a debate.

Debate organized by BVS/UPSI with moderator/journalist Kathleen Cools. “The future and opportunities of real estate at the coast”

The guests will be:

  • Bart Tommelein – Mayor Ostend
  • Dirk De fauw – Mayor Bruges
  • Count Leopold Lippens – Mayor Knokke-Heist

Check out the complete programme

full realty programme
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Cancellation of Realty Belgium edition of 17 & 18 September in Knokke

The 12th edition of Realty Belgium – the biggest Belgian real estate summit that was to be held on 17 and 18 September this year at the Knokke-Heist casino and Albertstrand – will not take place in 2020.

The Realty event's organiser Easyfairs Belgium has decided to cancel this years's edition due to the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 virus and amid growing uncertainty about whether the summit could take place in September. Last week the aldermen's college of Knokke-Heist decided that all major events planned until 31 August are to be cancelled. At the end of May, it will be decided what will happen to events to be held from September onwards, such as Realty Belgium.

Because there is uncertainty about whether or not Realty can go ahead, the partner exhibitors are unable to make a final decision on their participation and no tickets can be sold to real estate professionals just yet.

The international real estate fair Mipim, wich was to take place in Cannes in March, has recently also announced a two-day networking event for het sector in Paris in September. Professional real estate association UPSI-BVS, a long time Realty partner, has announced that it is cancelling all its events for 2020 as well. All these external factors have meant that Easyfairs Belgium will not be able to guarantee a first-rate, high-quality event for the Belgian real estate sector in 2020. It has therefor decided to cancel the September 2020 edition of Realty and Immo Invest Days.

Realty and Immo Invest Days would like to thank its partners and the real estate community for their understanding and their support over the last weeks.