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Brussels looks underground for new public spaces
The Brussels region wants to create an inventory of all of its underground spaces, which could potentially be used to respond to population growth and urban densification.
Brussels MP Gaëtan Van Goidsenhoven raised the subject after reviewing examples from abroad in which underground spaces are developed for use by the public.
"Creating underground, public spaces would enable us to respond to demographic growth," said Van Goidsenhoven in La Capitale. "With an overall plan for the possible use of the subsurface, we avoid not only urban sprawl, but also the pitfall of poorly managed vertical growth."
He added: "Paris already made several calls in 2017 for innovative urban projects to develop underground spaces. About 30 sites were involved, ranging from former metro stations, disused tunnels or a former water reservoir."
In response, Brussels state secretary for urbanism, Pascal Smet, said: "At the moment we don't have an inventory of the underground spaces yet, but it is a project.
"The prime minister and I intend to create an inventory of potentially usable underground spaces in collaboration with perspective.brussels. When I was in Paris, I had the opportunity to meet the officials responsible for the underground projects. We are now going to investigate to what extent we can start similar projects in Brussels."