A web-based GIS database to map abandoned buildings
Underused buildings | Mapping Decision-making
Source: City of Brussels
Source: City of Brussels
Keywords: Abandoned Spaces | Culture and Heritage | City Planning | Housing


The city of Brussels has developed three main activities to find out abandoned and unoccupied buildings for a systematic inventory of vacant buildings. The database assembles relevant information about these buildings and provides a geographic overview to support the city administration to define a territorial approach.



The city of Brussels does following activities to find out and map abandoned and unoccupied buildings:

  1. Field survey, estimating vacancy through a visual assessment from the public space;
  2. Asking water & electricity companies which buildings have a low consumption of water and electricity;
  3. A check of the population register by the demographic department to know if there is a domiciliation in the building.



Having identified abandoned and unoccupied buildings and sites, they are centralised and mapped in a web-based GIS database. In this database all available information within the public administrations about these buildings and sites are collected, supporting to take decision how to handle the building (i.e. potential building permits or applications-applied taxes-measures of security or prohibition of occupation-legal actions and affectations). The web database is accessible for all users who work on unoccupied buildings issues.



This database allows a comprehensive overview of abandoned and unoccupied buildings as well as to assemble all relevant information about these buildings in one “place” and make this information available to all city's administrations.


City information

Population size: Above 1 m
Population development dynamics within the city administrative limits (at the time of the project): Growing
Population development dynamics of the functional urban area (at the time of the project): Growing
Website of the city: https://www.brussels.be/

Project information

Project territorial scale: Municipality (city/town/suburb)
Project geographical area: No data/not applicable
Project/building proportions: No data/not applicable; Project Area: No data/not applicable
Project main actors: City Government; 0; 0
Project dominant property ownership: Mixed
Project development stage (at the time of description): No data/not applicable
Project duration: No data/not applicable
Project starting date: No data/not applicable

Project references (web pages, social media or press publications)


Contact Person

City of Brussels, Strategies of Development Unit; Milena Vleminckx, Milena.Vleminckx@brucity.be