In this paper we will comment on the first results of a research program emphasizing the integration of qualitative-substantive aspects (significations, values and mental images) of the.iiving environment into an action-oriented process of physical planning. Through the mixed-setting approach we strive for differentiated habitat constructs on different planning levels. This method reacts against zoning that has been developed into a rigid instrument of allocation on land uses. In order to make this method operational we are in a process of using it to draw up a structure plan for a very problematic region between Antwerp and Brussels : the Rupel region.