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Estate futures is the online platform of the research team at the University College Ghent (Belgium) working on rural estates. It encompasses the applied research project 'Preservation by development : new perspectives on historic estates in Flanders' (Behoud door ontwikkeling: nieuwe perspectieven op historische landgoederen in Vlaanderen), as well as the involvement of the research team in the international project INNOCASTLE (INNOvating policy instruments for preservation, transformation and exploitation of heritage CASTLEs, manors and estates).

This research investigates policy measures for the preservation of rural estates, innovative best practices of rural estates from different countries across Europe, and several living labs in Flanders. We do this to disclose success stories and formulas, which can inspire estates across Europe. But we also do this to understand how estates are functioning in order to inform stakeholders and to increase public support. And, finally, to analyze the strengths and shortcomings of different policy measures in relation to the long-term viability and the societal embeddedness of rural estates.

Research team

Sylvie Van Damme
Background: geography, urbanism & landscape architecture
Research coordinator
sylvie.vandamme [ at ]

Bert de Roo
Background: architecture & urbanism
Estate policies in Europe
bert.deroo [ at ]

Steven Heyde
Background:  landscape architecture & planning
Best practices & living labs
steven.heyde [ at ]

Stefanie Delarue
Background: biology
Plant use and ecology
stefanie.delarue [at]

Intership students

Robin Kampert
Wageningen University
Master in Forest and Nature Conservation

Sjors van der Heemst
Wageningen University
Master in Biology

Former internship students

Rens Verhulst (Hogeschool Gent)
Josine Stremler (Wageningen University)