Built-up area

  • More than 28% of the total surface area in Flanders is built up

    At the start of 2019, 3,877 km² of the Flemish Region was built up, which corresponds to 28.5% of the total surface. This mainly refers to plots occupied by dwellings and roads, including adjoining spaces used for human activities.

    The built-up area increases every year. In 2000, 24.4% of the total surface area was built up; in 2019 that proportion was more than 4 percentage points higher.

  • Nearly half of built-up area used for housing

    The residential function occupies the largest share of the built-up area: in 2019, 43.6% of the built-up area was used for housing. Land for transport and telecommunications also accounts for a significant proportion of the built-up area. In 2019, it was 30.2%.  

  • 39 municipalities have a building density of 50% or more

    In 2019, 39 Flemish municipalities had a building density of 50% or more. The building density is the proportion of the total surface that is built up. This was the case in the major cities of Antwerp and Ghent, in some of their peripheral municipalities and in some municipalities in the north eastern periphery around Brussels. In the central cities of Ostend, Leuven, Genk, Bruges and Roeselare, the building density was also higher than 50%. The region Roeselare - Kortrijk - Waregem was also remarkably more densely built up than average. The building density was lowest in the Westhoek, Meetjesland and south Limburg.

  • Brussels Region has highest building density

    The building density is highest in the Brussels-Capital Region. In 2019, 80% of the surface of the Brussels Region was built-up. With 15.3%, the Walloon Region had the lowest building density.

    In all regions, the share of built-up area increases over the years. This increase is most pronounced in the Flemish Region.


Statbel: Land use 

Publication date

14 July 2020

Next update

June 2021

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