Youth work – empowering the changemakers of tomorrow

Super Youth Worker
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Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie

Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie

Emile Jacqmainlaan 135, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

  • Outdoor activities

A practice of processes and methods

The Flemish Community Commission (VGC) wants to create more opportunities for free and unaccompanied play and exercise in the Brussels Capital Region, particularly in poorer and more densely populated neighbourhoods. For many Brussels children, free play is not an option. Not every family has a house with a garden or the possibility of taking a faraway summer trip. The public space is the backyard of these children, but it does not allow free play. That is why we provide an additional and local offer during the summer months.

The VGC developed a new policy on free and unaccompanied play in the neighbourhood: Playcation. Playcation is a call for projects that connects Brussels municipalities, experts and local youth or cultural actors. The poorest and most densely populated neighbourhoods with a high concentration of children and young people have the highest priority.

Free play means that the child decides for him/herself what (s)he does and to which (s)he responds. The projects change the space or the floor plan, or add materials, shapes or activities to an existing space. The project is to encourage the child’s own initiative and imagination. This allows the child to gain more creative, social, sensory or motor experiences.


We organized Playcation for the first time in 2022, as an experiment of 10 projects. In 2023 we organised the first open call with a budget of about 250.000 euro. This resulted in 21 projects, half of which will remain in (semi-)public space. This field visit gives you the key factors for succes and lessons learned. We visit one of the permanent results: the Dapperenstraat in Koekelberg: how to transform a boring piece of asphalt road in an exciting play environment.

Youth work policy