Belgium is a small country, but its planning traditions are rooted in a heritage which has been greatly enriched by its central location in the West European community of nations. Medieval, Renaissance and industrial age planning and urban design gave Belgium many examples of architectural masterpieces especially in the city centers. During the post World War II period, Belgian planners and politicians legislated national planning laws that divided the country into 48 planning regions (also called sub-regions and sectors) and empowered the municipalities (communes) with potent legal instruments to direct land development in accordance with their plans. Preparation, amendment and execution of these plans in a democratic society with a strong laissezJaire tradition have been painstaking, but nonetheÂ less, significant tangible results have been achieved. The purpose of this book is to explore and assess the successes and failure of Belgian planning and make this record available in English so that they may remain facets of Belgian planning. The general socio-economic and historical background is provided with a view to understanding the theoretical, legal, physical and selected topical aspects of Belgian planning. In doing so a multi-disciplinary approach has been taken and the authors have been selected from a variety of disciplines. Professor Louis Albrechts of the University of Leuven is a planning theorist. Ms. Brigitte Beernaert and Mr. Karel Vroom are practicing planners. Beernaert is also a planning historian. Legal and administrative backgrounds are represented by the planning experts, Dr.