The chronicles of neo

Janina Gosseye*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter chronicles the pre-history of Neo, a 27-hectare urban development project in Brussels (Belgium), which is situated on the Heysel Plateau, in the northwest of the Brussels Capital Region, and scheduled for completion in 2023. Like many comparable contemporary urban development projects, Neo is driven by a public-private partnership. It is funded by Unibail-Rodamco, CFE, and Besix, as well as the City of Brussels and the Brussels Capital Region. Recent scholarship has qualified public-private partnerships as the “Trojan horse of neoliberal development,” arguing that once the process is in motion, the interests of communities are often overwhelmed by those of the most powerful member of the partnership: the private sector. Chronicling the pre-history of Neo, by narrating the development of earlier, comparable urban development projects, this chapter aims to do three things: first, to explore the ideological foundations of public-private partnerships; second, to untangle why the reputation of public-private partnerships has been tarnished; and finally, to put forward a speculative prognosis for the outcome of Neo.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Urban Condition
Subtitle of host publicationCriticism and Theory from Architecture and Urbanism
EditorsLeandro Medrano, Luiz Recaman, Tom Avermaete
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781000363739
ISBN (Print)9780367607593
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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