In Memoriam – Prof. Dr. Jef. Van den Broeck (1940-2019)

Jef at the 51st Congress in Rotterdam (2015)

“On 27 November, the International Society of City and Regional Planners lost one of its most respected long-standing active members. Jef Van den Broeck was an Honorary Professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium, and honorary lecturer at Artesis University College in Antwerp, Belgium. He is the former CEO of the ‘Studiegroep Omgeving’ in Antwerp (1973–1998). He has taught Strategic Spatial Planning, which is also his research and professional field. He was chairman of the Antwerp City Commission for Spatial Planning (GECORO) between 2006 and 2014, and was a consultant to the Antwerp City Planning Organisation and various other cities and regions between 2001 and 2009. He authored and co-authored multiple books and publications, including ‘Urban Trialogues’ on Localising Agenda 21 (UN-Habitat, 2004). Jef had a very warm heart for our Society and played an active role at many conferences, including the 2003 conference in Cairo. In Belgium and the Benelux, he was a monument as a professor and spatial planner, because of his knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm. For years he was chairman of the Belgian National Delegation of ISOCARP.

In 2007 Jef was one of the leading forces in the Local Organizing Committee of the ISOCARP Congress that took place in his city Antwerp. In 2017 he received the ISOCARP Gerd Albers Award for Best Article. Together with ISOCARP member Bernd Schöll (ETA Zürich), he authored the book “Planning Matters”, a title that perfectly reflects Jef’s vision on spatial planning. The sad news that Jef did not survive a short-lived illness reached us very suddenly and totally unexpectedly. In mid-September 2019, he unrolled with the Belgian National Delegation and ISOCARP’s Secretary-General Frank D’hondt many plans for future ISOCARP activities. Unfortunately, we will not do this together, but in memory of Jef. Thank you for everything Jef. We miss you already.”

Guy Vloebergh
Spatial Planner/ Omgeving cvba / former ISOCARP Board member

“With Jef I lost a friend and colleague, who inspired me deeply to engage spatial problems with great complexity. To handle it, he motived us to explore the methodical roots of our profession and that we are working for the people. Several times he contributed with his great background and knowledge and with great success to advisory groups in Switzerland. At least I had the honor to collaborate with him in our book about “Spatial Planning Matters! Inspiring Stories and Fundamental Topics”. We will keep it as his legacy. I will never forget Jef.”

Prof. em. Dr. Bernd Scholl
Professor Emeritus for Spatial Development, ETH Zürich

“I consider Jef as my planning father. A father while studying planning theories. A father that became a professional partner to put theories into practice, from Benelux Union to the United Nations. A father that became a coach in engaging in Belgian, European and worldwide planning platforms and associations, including ISOCARP. A coach that became a friend for life. That life has now been taken away but the friendship and the shared passion for planning that maters will remain and stand out.”

Frank D’hondt
Secretary-General ISOCARP

Do you hold special memories of Jef? Please share your condolence message with the ISOCARP community on the Member’s area  (members-only).

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