The Flemish Diamond (in "Dutch: Vlaamse Ruit) is the "Flemish reference to a network of four "metropolitan areas in "Belgium, three of which are in the central provinces of "Flanders, together with the "Brussels Capital Region. It consists of four agglomerations which form the four corners of a diamond shape: "Brussels, "Ghent, "Antwerp and "Leuven. Over five million people live in this area, with a population density of more than 800 per square kilometre.
There is no national or federal concept or recognition of a poly-centric conurbation in Belgium that consists of Brussels and any of the other major Belgian metropolitan areas that are relatively proximate to the national capital (lie within a radius of approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) around Brussels). The matter is the exclusive competence of the regional authorities, and as such, the autonomous Flemish government developed the geographic and socio-economic concept of Vlaamse Ruit or "Flemish Diamond" in the 1990s. The Francophone counterpart is the Triangle Wallon ("Walloon Triangle"), consisting of Brussels and three Walloon metropolitan areas, namely "Mons, "Charleroi, and "Namur.
The distance from Antwerp to Brussels is approximately 51 km (32 mi). The city of "Mechelen is in the middle, and towards Brussels the industrial area of "Vilvoorde. With the "Port of Antwerp stretching to the north, this has long been recognized as a major north-south urban and industrial axis. The western triangular area of the larger cities of Antwerp-Brussels-Ghent comprises the cities of "Lokeren located west of "Sint-Niklaas, "Dendermonde north of "Aalst as well as the industrial area "Boom – "Willebroek, and is generally slightly less urbanized. Such may also be true for the smaller eastern Antwerp – Brussels – Leuven triangle, comprising the city of "Lier.
The name refers to the geometrical shape of a "diamond, corresponding to the location of the four cities and surrounding metro areas, which are among the most urbanized and industrialized — and prosperous — in Belgium. It has strong economical ties with the metropolitan regions of the "Randstad in the Netherlands, and "Rhine-Ruhr in Germany. It also links its peripheral area for more than a hundred kilometers, exceeding Flanders, to the international and global economy.
The economical activities in the relatively larger metropolitan areas are distinct, with an emphasis on industry in Antwerp, mainly because of its major port, versus on administration for Brussels, as Belgian capital and its function for the "European Community. Though the centrally located city in both the Diamond and its major north-south industrial axis has two industrial zones within the municipal boundaries, Mechelen is also seen as a 'sleeping city' for its many commuters to those metropolises.
Apart from "Hasselt University in "Limburg, all the Flemish universities are located at the provincial or national capitals at each corner of the Diamond, while Mechelen plays an important role because of its other types of higher education. Though "a distant affiliate of the "Catholic university of Leuven offers the first few years of some bachelors in "Kortrijk, for higher degrees the "University of Ghent is the nearest for the province of "West Flanders, as it lies outside the Flemish Diamond.
|publisher=("help) (Dissertation, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam)
Association of a fraction of the Walloon Region with the Brussels metropolitan area, by some sources, was contested by others. See e.g.:
De Vlaamse ruit wordt in dit bericht gedefinieerd vanuit een economisch-geografische realiteit. De Vlaamse ruit wordt gevormd door het gebied tussen de steden Brussel, Antwerpen, Gent en Leuven en hun forensen. Waals Brabant hoort zo grotendeels bij de Vlaamse ruit. ('The Flemish Diamond is in this message defined from an economical-geographical reality. The Flemish Diamond is formed by the area between the cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven and their commuter suburbs. As such, Walloon Brabant for a large part belongs to the Flemish Diamond.')External link in
the economic and scientific core of Flanders: ‘Vlaamse Ruit’ (Gent, Antwerpen, Brussel, Leuven)
Een inwoner van het Vlaams Gewest verdient met een gemiddeld inkomen [...](een welvaartsindex van 106) beduidend meer dan een inwoner van het Waals Gewest ([...] 93,45) of het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest ([...] 85,53). [...] Voor de steden Gent, Antwerpen, Brussel en Leuven strekt dit hoger gemiddeld inkomen van de randgemeentes zich uit over heel de Vlaamse ruit. ('An inhabitant of the Flemish Region earns with an average income [...] (a prosperity index of 106) significantly more than an inhabitant of the Walloon Region ([...] 93,45) or the Brussels Capital Region ([...] 85,53). [...] For the cities of Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels and Leuven this higher average income of the suburbs spreads over the entire Flemish Diamond.') [Base: Belgium is 100]External link in
Empirical evidence shows that the economic relations of the Diamond with its immediate environment (100–150 km) are very important for the latter and that the Diamond plays the role of a gateway to the European and global economy for regions in the immediate environment. Finally, there is strong empirical evidence that there exist intensive economic transactions between the Flemish Diamond, the Randstad and the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region that go way beyond their share in the GDP.
[V]anaf [...] academiejaar (2011–2012) kan je voor bepaalde studierichtingen een jaar langer studeren in Kortrijk en er ook het bachelordiploma behalen. ('From academical year 2011–2012, for particular disciplines you can study a year longer at Kortrijk, and also obtain a bachelors degree there.')