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Doctoral Seminars on Sustainability Research in the Built Environment

25 & 26 May 2023, Brussels

DS²BE 2023 was hosted by VUB and ULB on 25 and 26 May, in Brussel at, situated at the back of the Royal Palace between the central station and the Matonge neighbourhood.


Urban engaged research to the rescue!?

In our rapidly changing world, science provides perspective and guidance. The rigorous process of truth-seeking and refutation offers the best answer toward reliable insights and responsible choices.

Yet as researchers and human beings, we do not stay unmoved by today's social and ecological issues. Ideally, we would like to make a positive contribution with our research. But can and should we?

In this edition of DS²BE, we explore the role of "urban engaged research" through your own work. Keynotes testify about their interpretation of that role, we make a site visit around action research, and organise a workshop to define your own role.


Doctoral seminars

Following the review by the engaged scientific committee, PhD researchers have updated their paper or poster. The final versions have been uploaded together with all details to assemble the book of abstracts.

According to DS²BE’s mission, contributions during the seminar must tackle sustainability issues in the built environment. They can range from the scale level of a building product to that of a city or whole region. Theoretical and methodological developments, as well as empirical findings of technical and social nature, are welcome. 

For DS²BE 2023 the scientific and organizing committees invite contributions differentiated along the stage of the PhD research:

        PhD researchers at an advanced stage (from year 3) are invited to present substantial research results, e.g. a case study, draft article, or thesis chapter. After an abstract (300 words, English) they also submit a full paper (4000 words, English).

To prepare their paper, researchers must use this paper template. In this template, some more detailed guidance is provided. Note that during the seminar, the paper will be presented using a slide deck.

        PhD researchers at an early stage (years 1 and 2) of their research are invited to pitch key hypotheses, methods, and preliminary findings. They only submit an abstract (300 words, English) and a supporting poster.

To prepare their poster, researchers must use this poster template. In this template, some more detailed guidance is provided. Note that during the seminar, the poster will be used to present your work (no slide deck).

The scientific committee of senior researchers will review all abstracts and papers, and written feedback will be given. Only abstracts will be published. This allows further development of the manuscript into a journal paper for example.


The added value of submitting an abstract or full paper is the constructive feedback provided by peers in a written format, and the interactive feedback following each presentation.

Certificates of Participation will be issued to participants, which might be used to gain credits from their doctoral schools.

By the 20th of January, 69 persons preregistered for DS²BE 2023. Have a look at this interactive graph to find out who they are.





Fr. 20/01/2023 - Preregistration for paper presentations or poster pitches

Fr. 03/03/2023 - Submission of full papers or abstracts & posters

Fr. 31/03/2023 - Notification of peer review feedback

Fr. 28/04/2023 - Registration and submission of revised papers or abstracts & posters


Th. 25/05/2023 - DS2BE day ONE

Fr. 26/05/2023 - DS2BE day TWO



Scientific committee

Prof. Ahmed Z. Khan (ULB),

Prof. Luisa Moretto (ULB),

Prof. Geoffrey Grulois (ULB),

​Prof. Bernard Deprez (ULB),

Prof. Niels De Temmerman (VUB),

Prof. Waldo Galle (VUB),

Prof. Stephanie Van de Voorde (VUB),

Prof. Lars De Laet (VUB),

Prof. Karen Allacker (KUL),

Prof. Frank De Troyer (KUL),

Prof. Hilde Breesch (KUL),

Dr. Damien Trigaux (KUL),

​Prof. Nathan Van Den Bossche (UG),

Prof. Lionel Devlieger (UG),

Prof. Jelle Laverge (UG),

Prof. Arnold Janssens (UG),

Prof. Marijke Steeman (UG),

Prof. Griet Verbeeck (UH),

Prof. Elke Knapen (UH),

Prof. Rafael Novais Passarelli (UH)

Prof. Shady Attia (ULg),

Prof. Philippe André (ULg),

Prof. Sigrid Reiter (ULg),

​Prof. Jacques Teller (ULg),

Prof. Jean-Marie Halleux (ULg),

Prof. Geoffrey van Moeseke (UCLouvain),

Prof. Bernard Declève (UCLouvain),

Prof. Andre Stephan (UCLouvain),

Prof. Maider Llaguno (UCLouvain),

Prof. Tim De Kock (UA)​,

Dr. Matti Buyle (UA),

Prof. Bob Geldermans (UA).


Organising committee

Prof. Ahmed Z. Khan (ULB),

Prof. Niels De Temmerman (VUB),

Prof. Karen Allacker (KUL),

Prof. Marijke Steeman (UG),

Prof. Griet Verbeeck (UH),

Prof. Shady Attia (ULg),

Prof. Geoffrey van Moeseke (UCLouvain),

Prof. Tim De Kock (UA)​.

Hosting committee DS²BE 2023

Prof. Waldo Galle (VUB),

Prof. Ahmed Z. Khan (ULB),

Prof. Niels De Temmerman (VUB).

Giulia Verga (ULB),

Jeroen Poppe (VUB),

Esther Geboes (VUB),

Gabrielle Kawa (VUB),
Margaux Lespagnard (VUB),

Paulien Beeckman (VUB),

Ruben Van Vooren (VUB),

Victor Ooghe (VUB-ULB),

Nathalie Verbrugghe (ULB).

Venue is the public interest body and multidisciplinary centre of expertise for territorial development that provides the Brussels Region with the means to understand itself better in order to prepare its future.

Under the WeKonekt program, VUB and ULB collaborate with public an private actors like to open up our campuses and engage researchers and students for metropolitan challenges in and around Brussels.

The venue is located at Rue de Namur - Naamsestraat 59, 1000 Brussels.

For inquiries, contact

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