Ghent, city for the future – Teambuilding event

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Get to know other researchers from the Faculty during the Team Building!

Get to know other researchers, brainstorm and develop the road to ‘Ghent 2050’ in just 150 minutes!

Every city, be it in Belgium or Worldwide, faces new (and old) challenges on a daily basis, whether it is the pressure of an increasing population, the effects of climate change or embedding new IT applications in the everyday city life.

The cities’ development is often directed by politics, which can cause (abrupt) course changes after elections. The future however should be implemented by engineers, not politicians. In today’s team building, the future of Ghent is at stake.


In groups of 5 to 10 people, you will gradually shape an idea to get Ghent ready for 2050, which may or may not involve replacing humans by robots…

After some informal chatting and more serious thinking, each group presents their final idea to the public and to the expert jury, who will receive the power to crown a winner. We reward the most innovative, multidisciplinary and sustainable solution with an award! The city council will be involved in the judging and will take your ideas with them, after which the long wait for 2050 starts to see if your idea will have become reality…

Tackle your favorite themes

When registering, you may select two topics of which one will be assigned to you upfront

  • Ready player ONE – are we ready?

    With the increased worldwide connectivity, going hand-in-hand with the Virtual Reality developments, social life may look very different, very soon. This is where technology and social science will meet in order to successfully balance the pros and cons . If we have a virtual city where anything is possible, why bother with the real one?

  • One electric (self-driving) car please

    Electric cars are being developed more and more , either because manufacturers honestly believe in the concept, but sometimes purely to balance their emissions over their range of models. The public opinion is also divided. A new battery, engine or charging (road?) technology could help convincing the public. Maybe automation can lead to a car-sharing system. This however needs several different engineering disciplines to work together

  • Do cars still belong in a city ?

    We love our cars, despite all the frustrations (speeding tickets , maintenance, LEZ zones, traffic,…). Certainly the city environment does not really lend itself to car traffic. Trams, busses, bikes already pose an alternative, but for most people, the flexibility is still a bottleneck. A new transportation system (underground, cable car), transportation mode (water, air) could provide the answer here!

  • Can we play outside?

    Ghent offers multiple recreation possibilities (Blaarmeersen, parks,…). Still, playing streets (Dutch : ‘Speelstraten’) are deemed necessary to have children play outside and for neighbours to socialise. Playing streets however interrupt traffic, which makes it hard to have visitors over on Sunday. Is there a better way to create ‘leisure spaces’?

  • Ghent Technology Park – the most boring place in Ghent

    Many of UGent’s (technology) departments have moved to the Technology park-Techlaneduring the last years, with external tech companies, as well as UGent spin-offs being founded on the park’s terrains. Where many of this type of tech campuses are vivid areas (sports, recreation, restaurants, bars,…), the Technology park offers, well nothing, apart from traffic jams and concrete… Ghent’s policy on the other hand describes it as a high tech cluster in full flourishment and development. How do you view the future of Techlane?

  • Living: together apart?

    Traditionally, (Belgian) people want their own house, their own garden, without needing to share or make contact with others. In city environments, we already accept that you have close neighbours. Still, the demand far exceeds the supply, meaning that we need to be looking for (drastic) changes in our way of living together apart. Ghent’s policy for the next years follows the ‘Space for Ghent’ (Dutch: ‘Ruimte voor Gent’) principle, where the ratio between housing, industry and parks, nature is fixed. The ‘Greennorm (Dutch;‘Groennorm’) also states that every Gentian should have a green zone within 400 m walking distance from their home.

  • North-sea port: port of Europe

    The port of Ghent merged in 2017 with the Zeeland Seaports to form ‘North-Sea port’. The port forms an important part of the city’s development and serves as a major job supplier. In order to cope with today’s challenges, the port needs to invest in sustainable solutions within the port (biomass, C0 and C02 usage,…), but also in provided adequate means of transportation (pipelines, road, rail, water)

  • Ghent: where culture meets technology

    As a major Belgian city, Ghent has a lot to offer regarding cultural and social activities. How will this evolve in a society where technology takes the front seat. How will, for example, the opera building of Ghent, the Vooruit and other cultural centers fit within the technology of the future?

  • Global warming: Ghent scorch city, will we melt?

    During heat waves, the sun also shines 18h a day so the heat never goes away. Last summer, a recording breaking 40 °C was recorded in Belgium. If people use airco to cool their houses, the problem gets even worse. (This summer was a problem in Paris, also Tokyo Olympic games, Qatar world cup will suffer from high temperature). Will we change buildings? Will we bring more ‘green’ to the city? What other things can help reduce these effects as global warming makes Ghent even hotter.