The Urban Metabolism of Forest Trees (fully booked)

Crossed perspectives between Claire Billen (ULB), who will speak about the relationship between the city and the forest over time, Frederik Vaes (BE) who will discuss the management and the current metabolism of the Sonian Forest, Stephan Kampelmann (Sonian Wood Cooperative), who will explain the potential for local use of wood, and Thierry Decuypere (V+ architectes) who will present the potential of beech wood in contemporary architecture.

Together with Serge Kempeneers, they will examine the challenges of wood usage in the Sonian Forest, particularly from the climate change point of view, and will discuss the replacement of old beech trees and the sales of a local resource on the international market.

Thursday, October 22, 2020
19:30 - 22:00
CIVA, Rue de l'Ermitage 55, 1050 Brussels

Event fully booked - To join the conference via Zoom, fill the form below

The Sonian Forest has always been a precious resource: firewood, timber, hunting. In addition to being a prestigious hunting property, there were times when the Sonian Forest generated ¼ of the income of our sovereigns through the sale of wood. Today our cathedral beech forest is a source of leisure and the green lung of Brussels. Couldn't the carbon stock that this wood represents last through local furniture and architecture? This is what is at stake in the Sonian Wood Cooperative, led by Stephan Kampelmann. The forest industry, having maintained a century-old practice of auctioning wood, thousands of m³ of wood are transported annually to the port of Antwerp then transported to Asia, part of which will return to Europe, sawn or in the form of furniture. How to successfully use this healthy, sustainable and noble material locally rather than exporting it?


-      Claire Billen (Université Libre de Bruxelles) :  relations between the city and the forest through time

-      Frederik Vaes (Bruxelles Environnement) : management and current metabolism of the Sonian Forest

-      Stephan Kampelmann (Sonian Wood Cooperative) : local valorization of wood from the  Sonian Forest

-      Thierry Decuypere (V+ architectes) : local wood in contemporary architecture

-      Serge Kempeneers (CIVA - president of the scientific committee of the Garden, Landscape and Ecosystems department) : moderator


EXPO (22.10.20 - 13.11.20)

As part of the talk The Urban Metabolism of Forest Trees, a small exhibition will be presented in the foyer (-1). This exhibition is part of the Sonian Wood Coop's efforts to maintain the wood of the Sonian Forest in the local Brussels economy. Currently, tons of wood are sent each year to Asia, depriving Brussels of a precious resource and increasing its carbon footprint considerably. Sonian Wood Coop wants to change that through a project that encourages sustainable and local production with this quality wood. The portraits presented in the exhibition represent the many diverse players who want to help set up this market. They range from forest rangers to loggers, timber merchants to sawyers, artisans to architects and end consumers. 

This exhibition is the result of the collaboration between the cooperative and Ahu Yigit, an urban photographer based in Brussels.