Vers les Pays Vert: The metamorphosis of Charleroi territory

Cecilia Furlan, Michael Stas, Benjamin Vanbrabant, Sven Mertens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

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The territory is the result of several and simultaneous process of transformations, that independently from intensity and quality leave behind some traces. An a posteriori observation of these remains as inert and latent spaces in the territory enables the comprehension of what resists to the flow of time, what adapts or opposes itself to it. Therefore, this paper is based on idea of study the transformation of the territory, by observing the present situation, in which past and future converge. Reading the metamorphosis of the Charleroi region, by starting from the observation of the signs left on the territory is not a linear process. In less than a century, indeed, Charleroi region has been strongly manipulated to host the mining, glass and steel industries. Only after the second world war the long decline of this territory begun. Several successive phases of transformation and the decline of the mining, glass and steel industries have radically changed Charleroi’s territory, leaving a legacy of different levels of abandoned spaces. However, sixty years of abandonment slowly and silently changed these spaces, allowing the infiltration of ruderal vegetation, new form of appropriation and consequently supposing the beginning of a new life cycle for the region. In order to address this issue, the paper is divided in two main parts. In the first part the article briefly reconstructs the transformations of the industrial productions of Charleroi starting from the traces left on the territory. Finally, the second part aims to observe these traces from an ecological perspective, highlighting a different value.
Original languageMultiple languages
Pages (from-to)40-49
Issue number21 (Natura)
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • wasteland
  • third landscape
  • post industrial territory
  • Charleroi

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