green space

Will this be the future of Brussels? by Kwinten Lambrecht

Cars take up space, a lot of space. Very slowly cities are starting to understand that providing public space for human beings to live in will actually increase life quality and air quality. It will make you want to engage in conversations, it will make kids play with each other without constraints. Public space should be given back to the public. 

In Brussels, we are far from an ideal situation. But we're hopeful; Google Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Utrecht 20 years ago and you'll see the difference. Dutch cities teach us that a shift in public space will shift behaviour.

Let's look ahead at Brussels. Imagine the Chaussée de Charleroi or Waterloo or practically any 'Boulevard' in Brussels. 

Brussels today.

Brussels today.

Okay, there it is!

Now... Close your eyes and dream of what your city could look like. What should it consist of? Ready? Now open your eyes and scroll down.

Brussels tomorrow?

Brussels tomorrow?

A big thanks to Johanna Medvey for her illustrations of the beautiful houses and to Dami De Jonge for showing us what the future could look like.

What if a dump became a park? by Kwinten Lambrecht

I took these pictures in only 10 minutes time.

Schermafbeelding 2015-12-26 om 16.51.01.png

Between two 'urban highways', where speeding cars galore, Porte de Hal and Porte de Ninove are connected through a long concrete strip full of parked cars and loads of garbage. It's called no man's land. Things are slightly changing since the Brussels' Government decided to build a park on the dump of Porte de Ninove in two years from now. But for many Bruxellois, it does not end there because no man's land remains untouched. The park 'stops' at the beginning of the urban dump.

It would be an ambitious but necessary statement to transform this piece of rubbish into a park too. Because the population deserves it. This long strip is a border between Brussels and Anderlecht, a real frontier between the poor and the poorer. A place where nothing is beautiful, where no dreams exist.

In this area only 60% of the population has access to a nearby park or green zone, the average in the entire Brussels-Region is more than 80%. Additionally, the average size of a house is *only* 60 square meters, while the average is 74. Also, the net income per inhabitant in this area is extremely low: 8.500 EUR, the average is almost double. The area is poor, and nothing makes people want to love it. The streets are filled with speeding cars, there are no nice shops, the streets are filled with rubbish and no entertainment opportunities exist. It's a dump of garbage, of aspirations, of new beginnings and endings.

Which courageous politicians don't fear the 'public opinion' of 100, maximum 200, parked cars? Who is willing to stand up and give people what they deserve when they exit their tiny apartments? This is the boulevard of shame, but it can be transformed. 

All we need is courage.

Credit: Dami De Jonge

Credit: Dami De Jonge