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Living lab description

In the Bruges CRFS Lab, Our Primary focus revolves around a singular challenge: 'How can we ensure that the older population in Bruges receives wholsome meals, by co-ctreating a better meal service system?'

Within this particular challenge, we can identify various sub-challenges aligned with the general strategies outlindes in the policy plan of Bruges.



Main challenge Subchallenge#1 Subchallenge#2 Subchallenge#3
Co-Create a better meal service for vulnerable elderly (65+) people living at home in the Bruges region Bruges is a city region where all inhabitants & residents are welcome and approached in an open and inclusive way.

Bruges is a city region where it is healthy to work and live.

So healthy food is accessible and promoted in order to support personal health & lifestyle while contributing to the preserva-
tion of the environment.

Bruges is a city region where people do business with low impact on the environment.
So the food supply is local and circularly organised. The process and the distribution is based on preserving the natural
resources by using renewable energy


Obstacles and vulnerabilities

Within the scope of these challenges, consideration is given to diverse obstacles and vulnerabilities that coud influence the attainment of the challenges. These may be classified across multiple dimensions, including political, economic, cultural, societal, technological, legal framework, environmental and overaching values and norms.


Dimensions Vulnerabilities Countermeasures Obstacles Countermeasures
Politics                          A lack of Food Education policies The  City of Bruges and the Bruges Food Lab are both conducting awareness campaigns to encourage people to choose more for local, plant-based, seasonal,
organic and fair products.
To find the right paths to reach the targetgroups

You can find their promotions at:
or on Facebook: Bruggenaarmorgen and klimaat, milieu en dierenwelzijn

What are we doing?

  • Education on sustainable food.
  • Promote vegetarian food to civil society organizationsand city services

Market power of the whole sale and retail sector (hyper markets) has a negative impact of prices both for local producers and consumers. 

There is a lack of urban agriculture

Adapting urban agriculture to the demand of the city of Bruges
and the surrounding area.
Making urban agriculture more sustainable.
Entrepreneurs seem to find it hard to see spatial options and sometimes  need an extra push to realize the potential

Entrepreneurs who want to start an innovative commercial agricultural project (CSA, aquaponics,
roof farming…) or looking for
farmland? Then be sure to contact departement  klimaat at the City of Bruges

What are we doing?

  • Adapt urban agriculture to the demand of the city of Bruges and the surrounding area.
  • Making urban agriculture more sustainable.
Cultural  There was little of no urban farming going on in the city of Bruges What are we doing?
  • Set up sample projects on urban gardening.
  • Stimulate urban gardening among a wide audience.
People are hesitant to start urban gardening and need examples in order to reach a cultural tipping point where it becomes “coo;” rather than “weird” or “cheap”

Information campaign and citizens that see room for it in their  own neighborhood
starting a vegetable garden with the
neighbors can contact the city of Bruges and they look together into what the are possibilities!

Those who like to garden, but don't have a garden themselves
can rent an allotment garden. The allotments in the vicinity of Bruges are becoming
managed by different agencies
(www.brugge.be/volkstuintje-huren). or https://bruggesmaakt.brugge.be/ga-aan-de-slag-in-je-tuin-2
At the allotment gardens on St.-Pieters there is
there is also education about composting,
ecological vegetable gardening, good
choose and care for your plants,
food loss…
Those responsible are
recyclers, volunteers
trained by Vlaco and supervised by
the environment service. This is how the
Circular  idea works.


Local production is generally lower than the demand for various food groups, sometimes (Fruit & Milk products) substantially

The City of Bruges and Mintus are too focused on their job and sometimes forget about the SDG’s

Making short-chain products more visible in catering and retail outlets.


City of Bruges organized an awareness campaign and treated the Mintus staff to a live radio broadcast with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the leading role

Higher price

People dont know where to buy local products

Such theoretic sessions are way too boring, even for radio, and the team cant be bothered

Increase direct sales of local products.

Do you want to know where you can farm locally?
Find regional products?

The 'short chain'
map North-West Flanders' helps you on
This map provides a handy overview of:

  • Farms with home sales
  • Restaurants with local products
  • Collection points from 'neighbours' 
  • Citizens who buy directly from farmers
  • Food teams
  • Markets
  • Beekeepers,
  • Agricultural holdings according to the CSA
  • (Community Supported Agriculture)-principle or with self-picking,
  • Farm picnics,
  • Food cooperatives from the region

North-West Flanders.
Surf to:

  • The Short Chain Map:www.korteketenkaart.be
  • 100% West Flemish: www.100procentwest-vlaams.be

The Mintus staff was put into action and  together with some higher up bosses from the City of Bruges took on challenges on LIVE radio!
 fishing waste
cooking with food scraps
building beehives,
juice stairs building an accessible service out of Lego 

Video here: 

Technology little   technological support to promote fair trade fair trade Bruges became a 'Fair Trade Municipality' (actually 'city') since 2008. The city started to use fair trade products and encourages others to go for fair trade (companies, schools, catering establishments, shops, etc.). There was little transparency for the citizens to copy the behavior of their city

A Fair Trade City Map was made with Fair
Trade Promotions on www.brugge.be/fairtrade

There are more than 27,000 Fair Trade products! From food and drink to flowers, clothing, cosmetics and jewellery.
You can recognize them by these labels or quality marks.
The Oxfam logo also guarantees fair trade.

What are we doing?

  • Increasing the visibility of fair trade in the hospitality industry and local sales outlets.
  • Increase the number of fair trade points of sale.
Legal Bruges as a touristy city is facing the same kind of souvenir shops taking over the main streets. In recent years, a number of challenges have arisen specifically in the city center of Bruges. These challenges and trends pose a threat to the pursuit of a good balance in the inner city between its residential function and the various functions of the center (economy, services, tourism, ...) and the Unesco World Heritage context. Today there are various evolutions and tendencies, such as a monoculture of catering and tourist businesses, which do not fit in with the desired evolution of the core shopping area The City of Bruges wants to stimulate a diverse range of shops and restaurants and to provide space for innovative retail concepts. A policy vision for the core shopping area was drawn up for this purpose.Legislation was passed to limit the amount of these shops that kill neighborhoods. The city council has already made a lot of efforts to provide a policy response to the spatial challenges of retail and catering in the city center. With this policy vision and work plan, the board wishes to put a stop to these undesirable functions and matters. A trend/trend that is clearly noticeable today is that tourist shops are starting to take over the offer. The displacement by tourist retail trade such as take away, mono-supply of product ranges such as chocolate, soaps, souvenirs of other types of retail trade in a number of zones (e.g. Katelijnestraat, Wollestraat and Mariastraat), against the background of an expected growth in tourism in the future, poses a problem. This trend is also beginning to manifest itself in Steenstraat and Geldmuntstraat

A new  'core trade policy vision' provides the framework for substantiating the spatial choices that will be made in a regulation. That is why this policy vision is based on a thorough analysis of concrete figures about the existing retail trade in the city center, the evolution of the retail supply, the branching of this supply, the decline in this supply and the City's investments to strengthen the core shopping area. The regulation contains a clear delineation  of the various zones where certain functions/sectors are or are not desired.

In essence, the regulation aims for a mix of functions in the core area. To this end, the city center was divided into five zones with a different desired profile.


Bruges is geographically close to the sea and this has an impact on the touristy character of the city
The law of April 1, 2016 amending the law of November 10, 2006 on opening hours in trade, craft and services with regard to the limitation of opening hours in seaside resorts and tourist centers, offers the possibility to determine closing times via municipal regulations.

Citizens are not aware of whata re seasonal vegetables durable?

The City of Bruges determines closing times on the basis of this law in order to avoid undesirable side effects of the recognition as a tourist center / seaside resort. The legal recognition as a tourist center/seaside resort is positive for the Bruges retail trade, because it exempts them from the
legally required rest day and closing hours (Articles 6 and 8 of the law of 10 November 2006).

EarthDay Camapign 
Challenge citizens and raise awareness on the impact does your super tasty poke bowl have on the environment?

A side effect, however, is that night shops that do not bear the permanent mention 'night shop', and therefore no longer fall under the definition of night shop, can also open their branch 24 hours a day.

Interaction with citizens and city council is hard to coordinate and the city has no time to look at what each citizen eats

Extra regulations again provide for closing hours for retail on the territory of Bruges so that night noise for citizens can be reduced

Citizens  can participate alone or in teams:
put together a recipe
take some good picture(s)
upload everything to a special Food Wave website

A special jury was appointed to reward the best sustainable poke bowl with a great prize. 

Visit the website for more info: https://www.foodwave.eu/opportunities/poke-challenge/
#CatchTheWave #foodwave #foodwavebrugge

Values Throwing food away is not aligned with local values but intransparancy in the food production process seems always to exist to a certain degree

Infomation campaign: Prevent food loss from 6000 garbage trucks!
In Flanders, approximately 2 million tons of food loss and by-products are generated every year.

Just the food thrown away is a worrying amount. The average Fleming throws 18 to 26 kg of food in the garbage every year (mainly bread, fruit
and vegetables). For all Flemish families
together that's 6000 well-filled garbage trucks or a 42 km traffic jam!

Where is food wasted?
From farmer to consumer: food loss and secondary flows occur throughout the chain. This waste does the
food production increases and is bad for the environment.

To malign realities with local values, production process seems to need an extra hand (like a push from the government)

Various organizations in the Bruges Food Lab work with food surpluses: Soepcafé Brugge, Kopjezwam, social
grocer de KABa, Oranje, Peter Clerckx ...

What are we doing?

  • Redistribute large food surpluses, for example from the fish market and auction, of schools, industrial kitchens and events.
  • Limit food surpluses at public organisations.


  • Create New...