The image of capital cities as cultural nodes of larger regions are meant to represent the complexity of ideals and idealisms behind the politics and common identity of the inhabitants. Brussels, in its quest to build a capital image, became a laboratory of urban iconography. The result is an intriguing composition, presenting the tension between icons and urban tissues.

In the turbulence of politics, ideals are constantly in flux and so is the influence of the city on people’s everyday habits. The city as a living organism has the ability to respond spontaneously to changes in paradigms, not under the imposition of static symbols and monumental plans, but through local contributions of active citizens persistently constructing the social stage in which they live. It is within the fine network of streets, common spaces and residual urban spaces where the daily human interaction is displayed.

In Brussels, identity is hardly homogeneous. Today what best defines Brussels as capital are the multiple languages spoken on its streets, the diverse gastronomy, its cultural and ethnical diversity. Thus, to become a common reference for different cultures and territories the efforts should first recognise and appreciate essential elements of its collective landscapes.


The Brussels Newsroom

If we consider that identity is the unconscious link that binds the relation between citizens and their territory, then identity becomes a fundamental element to support social interaction, local culture and civic everyday dynamics. In consequence, the elements that define the identity should be detected, captured, revealed, recognized and discussed.

The Brussels Newsroom is therefore a research-oriented initiative that seeks to identify, document and disseminate those fundamental elements that shape Brussels’ identity, but not only… We strongly believe that Brussels deserve to be looked closely, it’s cultural richness, political complexity and unique urban processes position it as an important reference for the global urban context we live in.



Diego Luna Quintanilla

Sedaile Mejias Serrano


Contributions by

Pieter Dumoulin, Donatas Baltrusaitis, Jean-Luc Feixa, Léopold Lambert, Hakan Simsek, Traumnovelle, Laurens Van der Cruyssen, Lieven De Cauter, Thomas Willemse, Adrian Hill, Dani Oshi, Elise Candry, Rossella Locatelli, Jonathan Robert Maj, Michiel Van der Loos


Thanks to

Cakri, Shht, the magazine of untold architecture, Lillo Mendola, Flaviano D’Erasmo, Franck Vander Eeckt, O Canto, Paul Steinbrück, Collective Disaster, Stadsbiografie, Laura Vescina, Stéphane Damsin, Gerben Van den Abbeele, Stijn Beeckman



Mail: bruxelles[a]shht.eu

Twitter: @ShhtGoesLocal


The contributors to the Brussels Newsroom retain all their rights on their own work. The content of these publications does not necessarily represent the views an opinions of all the contributors mentioned above. The content of the Brussels Newsroom can be shared under the condition that appropriate credit is given to the authors and to the Brussels Newsroom. The content of this website should not be used for commercial purposes without the official authorization of the authors.