Toogle Left

BATir banner




Scientific committee:

Free University of Brussels – ULB/VUB

MonsUniversity- MU

CzechTechnical University – CTU Prague

SilesianTechnical University – STU Gliwice

ZuydUniversity– ZU

Tokyo Institute of Technology


This unique event bringing together the great and visionary architects and thinkers of the City

has chosen Brussels Capital of Europe as a case study or inspiration for discussion.

Its main objective is to serve as support for the profession and the idea of a better world for tomorrow.


Under the High Patronage of the European Parliament



Centrum Polskie Ignacy Jan Paderewski

Rue du Croissant 68 B-1190 Bruxelles

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


With the participation of:


BRUSSELS-CAPITAL REGION                                                                                                                                             


European Universities:



Conference concept by TPD&A Boguslaw Witkowski



Invited Keynotes


1 - Yona Friedman (France):

Topics: 1-8

Title: Conversation with Yona Friedman, Visionary Architect - Town Planner (filmed interview)


2 - Kazuo Iwamura (Japan):

Topics: 1, 8

Title: Integrated Resilience of Urban Built-Environment


3 - Carlo Ratti (USA):

Topic: 7

Title: A New Mobility Paradigm


4 - Nils Larsson (Canada):


Title: International actions to reduce green-house gas emissions in the built environment


5 - Takashi Ikegami & Olaf Witkowski (Japan):

Topic: 3

Title: How do we live in a Society with Artificial Life Systems?


6 - Jiri Tencar & Clément Imbert (Czech Republic & France):

Topics: 4, 5

Title:Identifying and fighting urban heat islands


7 - Marc Luyckx-Ghisi (Belgium):

Topic: 2

Title: Redefining architectural Beauty in a post industrial sustainable civilisation


8 - Serge Salat (France):

Topic: 1

Title: The urban fabric of historic urban areas as a lesson for sustainability


9 - Li Mei Tsien (Belgium):

Topics: 1, 2, 8

Title: Reconfiguration of the Fontainas neighbourhood in the heart of Brussels


10 - Ronald Rovers (Netherlands):

Topics: 1, 3

Title: The Urban island: A survival strategy


11 - Ahmed Z. Khan (Belgium)


Title:Sustainable Design for Cities of the Future


12 - Francis Metzger (Belgium)

Topic: 2

Title: The recycled city


13 - Jan Kubec (Poland)

Topic: 8

Title: Infrastructural Architecture of the Landscape


14 - Michal Stangel (Poland)

Topics: 3, 8

Title:Applying sustainable urbanism in various scales: three case studies from Poland


Events and privileged contacts


1– Dinner at the Palais d'Egmont on 21 April 2017

Hosted by the Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister


2- Walking dinner at the Symposium on April 22, 2017


3– Polish Ambassador Evening

Piano - bar Centrum Polskie Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

On the piano: Lydie Solomon


Premier Prix at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) in Jacques Rouvier’s class, graduated at ESSEC Business School with an MBA, trained at Cours Florent and at Actors Studio, pianist, actress, composer, singer, Lydie Solomon has led for the last 25 years an original artistic career, including: worldwide concerts; two classical piano CDs; a movie and television career; her constant open-ness to other worlds, jazz (a CD and concerts in clubs), or philosophy (collaboration with Michel Onfray).

A child piano prodigy, Lydie Solomon features regularly on French medias (Le Figaro, Le Parisien, France 2, France 5, RTL, RFI, KTOTV…), but also overseas.


Honorary Committee:

Mr. Ryszard Czarnecki, Vice President of the European Parliament

Mr. Didier Reynders, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Artur Orzechowski, Polish Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium

Mr. Rudi Vervoort, Minister President of the Brussels Capital Region

Mr. Kornel Morawiecki, Senior Marshal of the Diet of Poland

Mr.Michel Czetwertynski, Honorary Ambassador of His Majesty the King of the Belgians

Countess Marguerite Rey-le-Hodey, Administrator IPM

Baron François Schuiten, Designer and Writer

Mr. Philippe Godfroid, National President of the “Union des Classes Moyennes” ,

Honorary Consul of Poland in Wallonia

Mr. Jean Marie de Baerdemaeker, Honorary Consul of Poland in Flanders

Mr. Piotr Jeglinski, "Éditions Spotkania" Journalist, Publisher


Program Friday 21 April 2017


Day 1:

18:00 h Welcome (Palais d'Egmont)

19:00 h Opening by Belgian Minister of the Foreign Affairs and the President of the Conference

19:30 h Opening lecture by Kazuo Iwamura : Integrated Resilience of Urban Built Environment

20:30 - 21:30 h Evening/Reception



Day 2:


Saturday 22 April 2017:


08:30 - 08:50 h Welcome of the participants (ULB/VUB)


08:50 - 09:00 h Opening word by Brussels Region


09:00 - 09:30 h Lecture 01 Film-interview with Yona Friedman

09:30 - 09:55 h Lecture 02 by Nils Larsson

09:55 - 10:20 h Lecture 03 by Serge Salat


10:20 - 10:45 h Break


10:45 - 11:10 h Lecture 04 by Marc Luyckx-Ghisi

11:10 - 11:35 h Lecture 05 by Michal Stangel

11:35 - 12:00 h Lecture 06 by Li Mei Tsien

12:00 - 12:25 h Lecture 07 by Francis Metzger


12:25 - 13:45 h Lunch Break


13:45 - 14:10 h Lecture 08 by Takashi Ikegami & Olaf Witkowski

14:10 - 14:35 h Lecture 09 by Ahmed Z. Khan   

14:35 - 14:50 h 3 Poster Presentations

14:50 - 15:15 h Lecture 10 by Jiri Tencar & Clément Imbert                                              

15:15 - 15:30 h Break


15:30 - 15:55 h Lecture 11 by Ronald Rovers

15:55 - 16:20 h Lecture 12 by Jan Kubec

16:20 - 16:45 h Lecture 13 by Carlo Ratti


Round-table debate


16:45 - 17:45 h Round-table debate.

17:45 - 18:00 h Closing


18:00 - 19:00 h Evening / Walking Dinner


Social Program:


19:30 - 22:00 h Closing reception Polish Ambassador Evening: Piano-bar reception

in Centrum Polskie Ignacy Jan Paderewski


Conference Objectives


The main objective of the Conference "Brussels, Sustainable City ? Urban Life under Climate Change" is to bring ideas and international expertise to the City in order to contribute to its further development.

All too often, urban planning is based on an understanding that the current form and function of the city is an inevitable result of historical forces. A science-based approach that is, at the same time open to new ideas, allows us to move beyond such passive acceptance of the vernacular to create new structures, forms and activities for the future sustainable city. Moreover, such an approach has moments of creation from which new wordings, working hypotheses and innovative approaches arise, moments that will help renew perspectives, methodologies, and inspire innovation. It allows the development of forward-looking visions or even utopian ideas. It leads to social and technological innovation at the service of man. These kaleidoscopic and singular visions could be applied inter alia on the fate of Brussels, the capital of Europe. It is in this spirit that we organise a conference devoted to the topic of “the city of tomorrow” to be presented by various leading personalities from all specialities concerned by the City. These visions, focused on the human element and respectful of the planet, will lead to new questions and reflections.


The reasons why such an action should be undertaken?

Ageing structures of today’s city are letting us know that they increasingly need to be rethought. The dilapidation of our urban structures, in fact, appears at the socioeconomic and physical level, causing many dysfunctions.

However, the design of new urban structures can no longer do today without taking into account the need to ad-dress the problems posed by climate change.

How to consider the city, out of its medieval shackles so that it can serve present and future generations? The idea to bring together experts came to us by listening to the remarks made by Minister Didier Reynders and Mr Rudi Vervoort. Both have expressed their commitment to the values represented by Brussels City, capital of Belgium and Europe; just as they have demonstrated their willingness to act in the right direction and without error…

We have therefore suggested them a symposium gathering together researchers, designers, entrepreneurships and visionaries of the city, not only from Belgium but also from abroad. They bring us their fresh visions and an outside view, without any a priori. This idea has been met with approval and enthusiasm.

The axis Belgium-Poland-Japan symposium was born, on the one end, from privileged relations between Belgium and Poland: these have been revived last year with the visit to Poland of our King and the Queen, accompanied by a large delegation from Belgium. At the other end, we mark the celebration this year of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Belgium and Japan to examine this great culture so different from ours.

The experience of Poland is based on the country's reconstruction after the damages caused by the Second World War, first; then by colonial policy of communist power. This reconstruction experience can be valuable to avoid irreparable errors in the development of the city.

Japanlives under the constant pressure of natural factors such as earthquakes and tsunamis, the consequences of which it has had to adapt. This country can bring a rewarding view of life in the respect of nature, including the human part. In Japan, the damage caused by human activity or by natural elements is repaired quickly. They are in compliance with the "genetic code" unique to each place where the living is emphasized, without an exaggerated attachment to material things. Man takes precedence over anything else.

In Europe the destruction caused by two wars have taken a long time to heal and that, perhaps due to a more compliance-oriented attitude towards the stones and their past than by concern for the living being. This has not been done of course without harm towards our environment. Nor towards mankind that, as a part of nature, should take its place at the centre of our attention.

These two attitudes towards the crisis of the city and climate change call for an urgent debate on the solutions to find. We now possess tools and state-of-the-art technologies, researchers and visionaries capable of finding solutions through the knowledge and experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, aerospace, virtual modelling, and creative and innovative industries and economy. The objective of this conference is not to find immediate solutions, through discussion among the speakers at the round table. It is also to educate the audience, to germinate the virus of love for the nature to which we belong. Above all, before we act, we must have a vision; and to develop visions, there must be research, in which it is not futile to invest and invest ourselves. Let’s stop the wide river of regulations, standards and requirements before they completely stifle any creative spirit. Let’s look for sufficiently visionary solutions. Because the consequences of the actions we are going to engage in today, will be experienced by future generations. Then, and only then, let’s think how to surround the laws and standards in order to achieve them!


How and what to do?


All too often urban planning is based on an understanding that the current form and function of the city is an inevitable result of historical forces. A science-based approach that is, at the same time open to new ideas, allows us to move beyond such passive acceptance of the vernacular to create new structures, forms and activities for the future sustainable city.

Moreover, such an approach has moments of creation from which new wordings, working hypotheses and innovative approaches arise, moments that will help renew perspectives, methodologies, and inspire innovation. It allows the development of forward-looking visions or even utopian ideas.

It leads to social and technological innovation at the service of man.

These kaleidoscopic and singular visions could be applied inter alia on the fate of Brussels, the capital of Europe.

It is in this spirit that we organise a conference devoted to the topic of “the city of tomorrow” to be presented by various leading personalities from the world of architecture. These visions, focused on the human element and respectful of the planet, will lead to new questions and reflections.


Conference Topics


A future Brussels will be obligated to meet very challenging greenhouse gas emissions targets. We assume that this will require a focus on large urban redevelopment projects that will have to balance very high sustainability performance with great sensitivity to social and heritage values.

Within this broad scenario, we request the speakers to address at least one of the following themes:

1. What are appropriate strategies for redevelopment of older residential areas, including questions of density, mix of occupancies, age and social groups, the housing of refugees and respect for heritage values of existing buildings?

2. Is there still a role for new urban development in a mature city like Brussels?

3. How can innovative systems for local human and goods transport be applied to the overall scenario? (Ex. "Spatial City", "Mobile architecture" and "Metropole Europe" by Yona Friedman).

4. Can inter-building synergies in urban areas lead to improved performance in energy, emissions, water consumption and cost?

5. Can we integrate renewable energy systems (GSHP, wind, PV, bio-waste) into urban settings in a way that is aesthetically acceptable?

6. Can we feed the city in a way that reduces transport to a minimum while maximizing use of urban land and the satisfaction of local farmers and residents? (hanging gardens, urban farming etc.)

7. Can new communication and monitoring technologies be usefully applied to small urban areas as well as buildings?

8. Can we improve the access of urban residents and workers to natural areas?




1 Kazuo Iwamura, founded AG5 in Darmstadt, Germany (1977). IWAMURA Atelier Inc. in Tokyo (1980), specialised in the holistic sustainability of architectural and urban design. Many awards: UN World Habitat Award 2001, AIJ Prize 2003 and JIA Environmental Architecture Prizes. Also he wrote 17 books. Professor at Tokyo City University.


2 Carlo Ratti, architect and engineer practices in Italy and teaches at the MIT, where he directs the Senseable City Lab. ‘Digital Water Pavilion’ (World Expo 2008), which was hailed by Time Magazine as one of the ‘Best Inventions of the Year’. Currently serving as Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Future Cities.


3 Nils Larsson, architect and Executive Director of the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE). He is principal developer of the SBTool. He represents four international partners (CIB, iiSBE, UNEP and FIDIC) in managing an international series of regional and global conferences on sustainable built environment, and serves on the scientific committees of five of them.


4 Takashi Ikegami, Professor at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo. Working in the field of artificial life for more than 20 years. He developed through the study of artificial life, such as "autonomy", "enaction", "sustainability", and "evolvability", several experimental and conceptual works, using chemical experiments, the internet web and some artworks.


Olaf Witkowski, EON Postdoctoral Fellow at the Earth-Life Science Institute (Tokyo Tech) and Visiting Member at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). He is also a co-founder of YHouse ­— a nonprofit interdisciplinary institute focused on awareness, complex systems and AI. His research aims to understand the origins and underlying principles of cognitive life and future intelligent societies, using large-scale artificial life simulations, machine learning, and information and game theories.


5 Jiří Tencar, research Associate at University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings at the Czech Technical University in Prague (ČVUT);  teacher at ČVUT and founder of ECOTEN in Czech Republic and Slovakia. He is head of development team of SBToolCZ. Jiri worked as advisor on sustainability on various projects. Since 2015, he has launched a research “Urban comfort” on dynamic simulations of microclimate within cities with the goal to mitigate Heat Island Effect.


Clément Imbert, specialist of urban micro climate in ECOTEN in the Czech Republic. Graduated at University of La Rochelle with master's degree in thermal engineering, after experiences in thermal engineering offices, he joined ECOTEN to lead the research and development project focused on urban micro climate. Clement performs micro climate simulations with the calculation engine SOLENE-microclimat and city thermal maps using satellite data.


6  Marc Luyckx-Ghisi, mathematician, philosopher and writer. From 1990 to 1999, he was a member of the «Forward Studies Unit» of the European Commission created by Jacques Delors, when he was President of the Commission. Luyckx created the program "The Soul of Europe", in 1996. He has published books in French English and Italian, describing the new civilisation created bottom-up by the citizen (Open Source.


7 Yona Friedman, was born in 1923 in Budapest; lives and works in Paris. Visionary architect, created Manifesto Architecture Mobile” and “Ville Spatiale”. Provided maximum flexibility through huge “superstructures” over existing cities, where future inhabitants are free to construct their dwellings within these structures.


8 Francis Metzger, Belgian architect. Architect office MA². Teacher of architecture at ULB. He currently works on various contemporary constructions and refurbishment of remarkable buildings.


9Ahmed Z. Khanis Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design at the ULB, Belgium. He teaches Bioclimatic Design, Sustainable Design Studio, Theory of Architecture and Urbanism, including a seminar on Cities of the Future. Dr. Khan’s research activities (SAULaband DS2BE) focus on issues of Sustainability, Climate Change and Spatial Quality at different scales of the built environment with particular interest in exploring Sustainable Urban Futures. With 5 books and over 50 scientific publications, Prof. Khan has lectured extensively on issues of sustainable urbanism and ‘city of the future’ in the framework of ‘global ecological balance.’ He earned a PhD in Architecture, Urban Design and Planning from KU Leuven Belgium and held the prestigious AKPIA postdoc fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). On the professional side, Dr. Khan regularly advises city and state governments on sustainable architecture and urban development in Africa, Europe and South Asia.


10 Serge Salat, architect, urban planner and designer. References: Triennale di Milano, Centre Pompidou. Recognised in the field of urban morphology, urban policy and complexity science. Consultant for: the United Nations, World Bank, IPCC, CDC and AFD. As a project director, he supervised large projects such as international airports, high-speed train stations and Eco-cities. He is the author of two major books on urban morphology, published numerous peer-reviewed publications. He is a graduate of the École Polytechnique and of ENA, and holds 3 PhDs in Economics, Architecture and Art History.


11 Li Mei Tsien, architect and urban designer. Graduated cum magna laude in Civil Engineering/Architecture from the Université de Louvain, Recipient of the Rotary International scholarship, studied with honors, one year of Master In Urban planning at the National Taiwan University achieved Masters Degree at the AA London. Lecturer at Université de Mons and ISURU. Co-curator of exhibitions “Brussels/Shanghai : Architopia” and “Belgian Spirit” in Hong Kong. Co-founder of B612associates with Olivier Mathieu, their work as been published and presented nationally and internationally."


12 Jan Kubec, architect and town planner, lecturer at Silesian University of Technology, since 1998 he has been running his own studio RAr-2 Laboratory of Architecture. His motto is architecture is an extension of the landscape. In this spirit, the most important of competition projects workshop: filling voids the city of Prague (special mention in Europan 7), restoration of the riverbank St. Laurent Québec (II prize in 2004), management hills Kakolanmaki in Turku, Finland (honourable mention 2004). Jan Kubec also in embodiments, is faithful to the landscape is approach – Copernicus Science Centre (2010) brings the Vistula to Warsaw.


13 Michal Stangel, urban designer, Vice-Dean at the Faculty of Architecture, Silesian University of Technology, Po-land. Received 25 prizes in design competitions, including 1st prize for Kraków – Nowa Huta of the Future. Author of three books. Previously worked for EDAW in London and was a Fulbright visiting scholar at MIT/SPURS.


14 Ronald Rovers, research partner in International projects, Consultancy for urban and national policies , experiences in short term missions (OECD, EU, UNDP) and long term cooperation projects in China, Iran, Canada, Sweden, Taiwan, and more. Guest lectures on many universities and conferences. 
Founding Board member of iiSBE, international initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment, an independent world platform for individual experts active in Sustainable Built environment development


Organization Committee

General organization and coordination : Zenon Lupina

Concept and professional leading : Boguslaw Witkowski

Marketing – public relations : Jean Cambier

Data processing – website : Ivan Trochilov, Romuald Mowinski

Accounting CPIJP : Yves Debecker

Secretariat : Therese de Brouwer

Translation : Joëlle Ley

Public relations Poland: Filip Frackowiak

Special Event musical coordination : Thierry Lier

Audio-visual : Andrzej Wyszynski, Jacek Bak

Photo, film, PR : Leszek Pietrasz (Radio Roza)

Cattering : Marek Kutylowski

Logistics : Marek Zgierun


Special thanks to :

Bea Bussent, Lidia Chmielewska, Jean-Claude Defense, Michel Hauptli, Claude Mathot, Zlatina Rousseva, Jean-Michel  Warszowec Rey, Andrzej Wiatr, Sebastian Osowski, Olaf Khang Witkowski, Ivan Trochilov.




A non profit organisation, named after the great polish musician and diplomat, the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Centre of Brussels is supporting polish artists, scholars and leading professionals  in order to promote personal links and cross-fertilisation of ideas in the Capital City of Europe.


Main Sponsors

Exhibition hall








Commercial booklet