Bart Tritsmans


Bart Tritsmans

Historian Bart Tritsmans worked in the period 2009-2014 on a PhD Layerd Landscapes. Urban green spaces between policy and perception, Antwerp 1859-1973 under the supervision of Hilde Greefs (UAntwerpen) and Inge Bertels (VUB). This Joint PhD is the result of a close collaboration between the Centre of Urban History – Department of History of Antwerp University and the department of Architectural Engineering of Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

PhD research

Layerd Landscapes. Urban green spaces between policy and perception, Antwerp 1859-1973

Date2009 - 2014
SupervisorsInge Bertels and Hilde Greefs

In the PhD the evolution of urban green space in Antwerp is studied in the period 1859-1973. The twenty-first century is marked by an increased interest toward urban green space. Although it comes across as a recent preoccupation, the attention for urban green space originated in the second half of the nineteenth century. European societies were marked by industrialisation, urban growth and the densification of the urban environment, revealing the value of urban green space. As many different (f)actors e.g. local politicians, action groups, environmentalists, investors, architects and town-planners influenced the history of urban green space, the research consist of a three-dimensional study. First, it presents an analysis of the changing meanings and perception of urban green space from the perspective of local politicians; second, it reveals the frictions between the authorities and the users; and third, it nuances the prevailing focus on both official sources and official green spaces by emphasizing the importance of the alternative perception and use of urban green spaces.