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VOLVOLAB 2050

OOSTAKKER, BELGIUM
Alexandre Boyens, Tom Detry, Thibault Feyaerts, Alexis Monti, Valentin Sohet

2020

The village of Oostakker is located in the suburban area of the city of Ghent. Despite the isolation feeling you first get when reaching Oostakker, the village is no less definitely dependent on Ghent and its surroundings. Indeed, Oostakker do not offer any economic or social subsistence.
The emptiness of the place is striking in this village dictated by “go-and-back” drives between jobs, schools, services, etc. outside Oostakker and houses that form the urban fabric. While this area could benefit from a stronger and more personal community experience, the overabundance of cars appears as iconic. The only visit of its centre perfectly addresses this huge starting point since the core of the village and its main square appears and are used as a large parking spot.
Although the place is now ruled by cars and weak exchanges, its situation is no less extremely interesting and could have a strong growth potential in the years to come. Actually, the village is located in an area surrounded by the harbour of Ghent and many major industries. The reinforcement of the connections between Oostakker and these important economic potentials – that employ most of the inhabitants of the village – could certainly lead to important exchanges in order to revive the place and its local activities.
Therefore, the rethinking of the whole mobility system of Oostakker will enable the development of the village as a more attractive area where public transports and slow/ soft mobility could reduce the road congestion during busy hour while improving the ecological aspects and the social interactions.

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