€SPACE, bridge for large scale spatial projects
Publication date 02.08.2011
Spin-off €SPACE bridges spatial design, legal process management and triple bottom line performance measurement
Early 2010, the VUB became the host of a new spin-off, €space.
This company is the result of research by the Department for Business Economics and Strategic Management of the Faculty of Economic, Political and Social Sciences at the VUB and the Solvay Business School. In the context of current societal developments, the four founders – Dimitri Meessen, Francis Charlier, Michaël Dooms and Alain Verbeke – thought it was time for a more integrative approach to designing and building large scale spatial projects.
The rise of hub-and-spoke infrastructure and production networks, internationalization, the increasing use of information and communication technologies, more flexible labor markets, ageing and rising migration flows clearly call for new spatial structures and systems.
These dynamics also create new relationships: city and countryside are becoming increasingly interwoven and the pressure on spatial resources, infrastructure capacity and the environment in general is increasing. These changes, combined with the growing awareness of citizens and the ineffective stakeholder management of public and private developers, have led to the non-implementation of many planned infrastructure and multifunctional development projects, even after several years of stakeholder dialogue and procedures. Those problems are mainly caused by the fact that one or more of the stakeholders feel insufficiently involved at a certain point in the implementation process.
The spin-off company €space will function as an operational ’bridge’ for making the thought leadership on real stakeholder inclusion and engagement by its four founding partners actionable. €space will bundle their unique expertise in the fields of spatial design, strategic planning, and triple bottom line performance measurement, with due attention to legal and regulatory processes, to facilitate complex projects.