Scouting exercise

hello dears,
i made an excel table. this could be a very simple and basic tool we can start using to map the options we have

hi everyone! I quickly wanted to check in with @leonard , @MariaClaudia and @MariaAM to see how the scouting exercise is going. Is there any help you’d need from me? @Lee has also asked if any more help is needed with this task, so feel free to pull her in to this too :slight_smile:

Hello everyone,
As mentioned during the last Team Building, I am quite busy preparing a series of exams that will take place during the whole month of March. I am therefore not having much time for the Reef lately. Maria Claudia (who I believe is busy with the same thing :tired_face:) and I haven’t touched based with the scouting exercise for a while now. I’m not sure we will have much to present by the end of March, I hope I’ll be more relieved (and released) from duties in a few days and maybe we can discuss it and let you know exactly where we are.


As I said during our last meeting, I’ll be happy to have a go at the map(s) with photoshop or similar, but I don’t think it makes sense for me to search for maps if others already have them. So, as agreed during our meeting, I’ll wait for input from the others and then put that together as soon as possible.

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Hello @MariaAM and @MariaClaudia,

I really sympathise with the fact that you need time to prepare for the exams. It’s clear that this take precedence. I’ll cross my fingers for you!

At the same time this task is so important that I would like to be able to be 100% sure that we can discuss the proposal at the plenary meeting of 23/03. Would it please be possible to let us know whether this will be possible, or else whether we need to call in help from other people?

Taking one step back (@reef-building) I am feeling a little worried about whether the purpose of this task is fully clear, so I am going to take the liberty of listing a couple of things that I think we need in the proposal:

  • A technical fiche: we have a copy from another group, that just needs translations and a couple of minor changes.

  • Experience: it would be great if a couple of people could do a pilot on a certain area, so that they can write up a couple of things they learned. This way we’ll learn how much time it takes to scout a certain area. And equally important: this way other Reeflings can scout the area that they’ll be attributed with all the knowledge that they need to do the job.

  • Priority areas: Because we probably won’t be able to scout all of Brussels at the same time, it’s probably a good idea to identify a couple of areas that are the most likely to include a suitable site. This could be done by overlapping some maps, but you could also keep it very simple and start off with a couple of areas going from Forest up to Laken.

  • Technical organisation: I’m less clear on this aspect, but what I imagine is that the people who will coordinate this exercise will have an overview of who is scouting which areas, and possibly also ask people to report back on a regular basis, so that we know which areas have been scouted, and what were the findings.

The most time-intensive sub-tasks are probably the first two ones. If you would need help with those, can you please reach out so that we can find people who can take care of it? Other than that I would think that the entire proposal should fit on less than two pages, so hopefully this shouldn’t take too much time.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need further help!


You can check that, using our handy collection of isochrone maps:

would be nice to come up with an existing methodology for this.

a group of people walk the city in search of spaces that share some attributes (looks empty, this size,e tc.)

how might we use a tool or process that allows them to encode their findings easily, on the go… … even having fun while they do it. some kind of city explorers,

thinking out loud

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Hello @Lee , Hi all

Thanks a lot for your message and for the proposals.

As you said, we are probably complicating things more than necessary, and at the same time, we are all new to this type of exercise. Of course, we will improve and assess this in terms of cost benefits.

Background activities:

  • I created a map with the area in Brussels you can reach within 30 min walking using specific APIs from the three main train stations (see below, high resolution image will be stored in nextCloud): We already discussed that this is not aligned with the project requirements (30 min with public transport), but at least it is a valid starting point for testing the scouting exercise. I assessed other potential tools and APIs to improve the map using multi-mode transportation, but it is not straightforward.
  • @MariaAM Invested time in checking different maps related to pollution, green areas and other requirements and intersecting them: it turned out that Anderlecht seems to be an excellent area to start with the exercise.

This is the current state of the art, and we propose the following:

  • We look at the fiche you mentioned and review it (thanks if you can share the link)
  • We draft a basic template and basic checklist, based on the fiche and new inputs, that can be used for the scouting exercise.
  • At the plenary, we will recap the info above and propose how to perform the scouting exercise in two areas: the Anderlecht area from Maria and the Forest area from the map I proposed (btw they are connected)
  • We ask for volunteers and plan the two scouting pilots.
  • We collect and evaluate the feedback and assess how we can improve and if the exercise meets our goals.

Please let us know if you think this can be enough to start and aligned with your expectations.

Many thanks

Maria and Maria Claudia


Hi @MariaClaudia,

Thanks a lot for the detailed plan on the way forward.

Two little points:

  • The “technical fiche” that I referred to I believe has the same function as the “basic template and basic checklist” that you refer to, so hopefully that should reduce the work that has to be done a bit. This is the internal link to the technical fiche that we received from the coach (it’s in the Team Building folder):

  • Would it be possible to give me an indication of what you can do by when? E.g. will you be able to present something at the plenary of 23/03? And if yes, would this be based on what you learned from the pilot, or will this come later on?
    As a background, this is what I think the group’s needs are:

    • At the plenary of 23/03 the group needs to get an idea of which areas are the most likely to contain a site that meets our criteria (important for expectation management)

    • My hope is that at the plenary of 17/04 we will be fully ready to move forward, so by then the entire system should ideally be operational (“technical organisation” in my post above)

Thanks a lot in advance and good luck with the exams!

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Hi @Lee
thanks for your reply.
I need to sync with @MariaAM but as I was writing in the previous message,
I think the following can be presented to plenary:

  • A small recap on the what has been done till now
  • The fiche reviewed
  • A proposal for the pilot scouting exercise in these two areas:
    the Anderlecht area from Maria the Forest area from the map I proposed (btw they are connected)
  • Call to action for volunteers
  • Planning of the two pilot scouting exercise.

But again, I will confirmed after sync with @MariaAM.


Maria Claudia

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great! i am going to see Vincent from the squat movement next monday at 16. he might have a concrete scouting methodology (lie’s Technical Organisation point). you are welcome to join, (in french)

Dear all,
Very quick post because it’s late :wink:
I just tried to put together some maps to get an idea of which areas to exclude (based on the criteria in the blueprint). I only took the maps that I could easily find, and I didn’t care about resolution. I’m sure a better job could be done with time, but I actually think that it is not necessary to get a good idea of where not to look :wink:
In photoshop, I can obviously overlay individual maps as needed, but for a quick idea I’m just going to share a pdf with you where each page is one of the maps:
(The bookmarks tell you what page shows what.)
Let me know what you think, and please share any other interesting maps with me that you might have.
Good night!


Hi @manuelpueyo , thanks.
I’ve reviewed the fiche mentioned by @Lee and it is very basic and it is not clear how and if they/we are able to gather the necessary info during the scouting exercise. I created a new folder and there you can find the original fiche and a new template I tried to adapt. You can find some comments at the end. Unfortunately tomorrow at that time I will be working. If you have time, thanks if you can share them with Vincent. Thanks, MC

Hello, I have created a folder inside your folder called tools_guides_squat . the most important thing is the excel table and the email with instructions in french

the excel table

this is a database that is filled by different people and students. they are scouting the city in search of empty houses to squat
this is not the original source. it is a download from the original source. which is hosted in Zohodocs and I have the access. if we want to collaborate with them they are open to receive our contributions to the original table.
or we can just use our own table and use theirs as inspiration.

the email with instructions

this is just a basic email with instructions on how to fill the table. it’s to keep entries as harmonious as possible

other tools vincent mentioned


you can use this to know the surface of a parcel for example
bru gis

open permit


Uf waw! That’s a wealth of information @manuelpueyo! Thanks a lot!

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Hi all,

I’m very late, sorry.
@Lee, I prepared a small draft here, if you think it makes sense I can present it tomorrow, If not no problems.
Btw related to the membership process, tomorrow I would like to openly discuss with you about my time availability and decide how to proceed.
Hope today went well, see you tomorrow.


Maria Claudia


Thank you ! i see a big problem on the template. it’s better to insert the data in a format that is exportable by computers. this way you may want to use that data to visualize all options in a map or other data analysis and manipulation tools . i have added some templates examples above,

thank you Maria claudia, i dont know who is the owner of the drafts, but I would like to add some comments and it does not seem i have permissions

Hello everybody (specifically people who volunteered for this exercise @alberto @Dave_behave @ugne @VickyVanEyck @RichardB and for info: @MariaClaudia ),
For the scouting exercise on Sunday, I propose the following area:
map anderlecht
This area is in metro line 1/5 and has some open spaces that I have measured with google satellite (while I have 0 Photoshop skills, I have very advanced Paint skills :upside_down_face:). I think it is an interesting area not only because it is connected to a main metro line, but also has supermarkets around and the canal is a friendly-cycling area. Other assets: green spaces nearby and the swimming pool of Ceria.
This is the map of floods, the area is quite safe:
map innondation
This is the map of buildings (just relevant to see empty spaces, but there might be abandoned spaces that are not reflected on this map):
map batiments

I am not sure if we can cover all of it in aprox 3 hours? of scouting, but we can see how far we can go. I know many people volunteer, but I don’t think we need to be many for a first pilot (2/3 people + me). However, everybody is welcome :slightly_smiling_face: I suggest we meet on Sunday at 11.00 at the metro stop of Bizet and start from there.

Just a kind warning: I might be disconnected from Edgeryders until Saturday evening. If there is anything urgent, please contact me via Signal.


Im very interested in starting this part of the project.

I think that this area is a very good candidate.