Following a proposal by Liesbeth Homans, the Flemish Minister for Cities, on 12 December 2014 the Flemish Government approved subsidies totalling more than 12.2 million EUR to four projects in Antwerp, Ghent, Turnhout and Vilvoorde.
The selected project are as follows:
Ghent, Winter Circus (3.223.380 EUR)
Antwerp, Nieuw Zuid – Smart City District (3.223.380 EUR)
Vilvoorde, Broek, community development engine in Watersite (3.223.380 EUR)
Turnhout, SLIM Turnhout (project subsidy 2.558.860 EUR)
The aim of SLIM Turnhout is to convert the sites of former industrial companies Foresco and Atelfond, which are centrally located to the west of the railway and the station. Turnhout municipal authorities, PMV and ION aim to use the space to develop a sustainable multifunctional project with room for 600 new homes, a residential care facility, some 25.000 m² of office space and public services. Most parking is underground, allowing for a real emphasis on public spaces. Pending full completion of the construction, the area can be used by the local community. This temporary arrangement is intended to form a link between the surrounding residential areas and to act as a catalyst to increase residents’ involvement and create a dynamic social fabric in the future.
SLIM Turnhout will be an experimental space, aiming to respond to the changes in the care paradigm. Its goal is to create an environment that cares for residents through social innovation, a first for Flanders. The concept developed by VITO (a Flemish organisation for technological research) and the Thomas More Kempen university college wants to put into practice the idea of a caring community: a community where residents are strongly encouraged to share as many activities as possible. This included taking care of each other and their neighbourhood.