Urban projects by AG Vespa
Antwerp’s 2006 strategic spatial structure plan (s-RSA) “Antwerpen Ontwerpen, by Italian-based Studio Secchi-Viganò, is based on the concept of renovatio urbis or the gradual transformation of a city. Constantly new inhabitants and activities transform a city. Attention to the right social mix, enough open space, greenery and high-quality housing is needed to lead these changes in the right direction. As an independent municipal company for real estate and urban projects in Antwerp, AG VESPA vouches for a certain quality of life in a pleasant city. Under its housing program, AG VESPA replaces derelict buildings with affordable and high-quality homes and commercial buildings to give a boost to disadvantaged neighbourhoods. AG VESPA (re)builds public facilities and maintains and restores the city’s patrimony. Over the last 10 years, AG VESPA realised 229 projects with another 118 under construction, predominantly in the 19th-century city districts. The programme acts as a form of acupuncture. Although only an individual plot or building is tackled, the intervention usually has a positive impact on the whole street or neighbourhood.
The plots are often unattractive for private investors: small, narrow or on a corner. The designs by mostly young and emerging architects are often surprisingly creative.