Meet our Members !

February 2024.

Peter Lacoere:

This month we were very happy to catch up with Dr. Peter Lacoere who was one of our hosts in PLPR 2022 a couple of years ago. SO…

meet Peter Lacoere, Lecturer and researcher at HOGENT University of Applied Science and Arts (research center DRUM) and Guest Professor at KULeuven, Departement of Architecture, Belgium


Peter Lacoere, Lecturer and researcher at HOGENT University of Applied Science and Arts (research center DRUM) and Guest Professor at KULeuven, Departement of Architecture, Belgium

General Background:

Dr. Lacoere teaches bachelor students of real estate and geo surveying at HOGENT and master students of planning at KULeuven. Peter’s expertise and research focuses on ‘no net land take’ policies (NNLT) and instruments of land policy and project development. Recently, he obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Architecture at KULeuven University. His book on the topic has been published in 2023 (Limits to land take/ Van groei naar grens, in Dutch). Peter has several academic publications on land use planning, oversupply, downzoning and financial compensation. At HOGENT, he coordinates a research group of data and GIS analysts that explores the research domain of land use and land conflicts. Prior to that, Dr. Lacoere served as head of the project development department of Ghent, which promoted projects of urban renewal at different scales.   

What are you passionate about?

After a career in which I specialized in developing projects for a city and its residents, I started focusing on the ‘mirror image’; non-development, protection of land and conflicts that come along as a consequence. I am especially passionate about research on environmental goals challenging the planning domain. To this end, I work closely with a research group at HOGENT that has expertise in GIS analysis, GIS modelling, metadata analysis and property valuation. In this way, we simulate and model different planning options for the spatial future of the Flemish region. Furthermore, I enjoy collaborating with colleagues in other countries on these topics and working with them on comparative research. This has already led to international collaborations and research on no net land take,  compensation and public value capture (COST project PUVACA).

What are you working on these days?

I am currently working on several studies. First, I am expanding partnerships on NNLT in Europe, through contacts and research on policy directions and implementation methods. In a few weeks I will launch a web viewer in which data on land take and soil sealing and their mitigation at local level can be accessed. Hopefully, this webviewer will give local governments a better understanding of their land take and soil sealing and help them to take action to reduce it. I am also expanding  our NNLT quantitative research by looking qualitatively on the impact of land take for climate, soil and nature policy.

What brings you to PLPR?

The approach taken by PLPR, the intersection of planning and property law, is an unexplored domain in my country. However, Belgium’s poor spatial condition cannot be understood without understanding property law and how it dominates the collective project of planning. I have been able to fill that gap by learning more about the work of quite a few PLPR members and in particular its founding members and its current (2023) president Thomas Hartmann. It was Thomas who, in his enthusiastic way, encouraged me to join PLPR and present my work at conferences. The PLPR network has opened to me a broad network of colleagues conducting research on similar topics. I always look forward to the PLPR conferences and its informal meetings with colleagues.

Anecdote: things we don’t know about you? I had the pleasure and honor of co-organizing the PLPR conference in Ghent with Prof Hans Leinfelder and welcoming PLPR members to my city in 2022. For the PLPR’s social event, I asked my institution’s beer department to brew a special beer for the occasion (yes, we have a brewing department at HOGENT). This  beer was consumed with great enthusiasm, although for certain PLPR members, perhaps I should have explained previously that this was a top-fermented beer, like we Belgians are used to