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Call for proposals to uncover part of Senne river in Brussels

09:07 26/09/2019

The Brussels Capital-Region is about to publish a call for proposals for an urban renewal project that will see a part of the Senne river that has been hidden for more than 100 years brought above ground. While the 103-kilometre Senne is visible on the edges of Brussels and in the other two regions, it was covered by roadways and other infrastructure in central Brussels during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Over the next few days, the region will launch an international competition to uncover 700 metres of the Senne between the inner ring road and the Armateurs bridge at Tour & Taxis. The newly visible piece of the river will run parallel with the Brussels canal, separated by green space.

Proposals will include the uncovering of the river, green space and the renewal of parts of Parc Maximilien, according to climate minister Alain Maron, who is handling a project started 14 years ago by minister Pascal Smet. “A city without water is a city without a soul,” said Smet, when he launched a study into the possibility of uncovering the Senne in 2005.

The project requires the park’s famous children’s farm to be relocated into the area now known as a campground for transmigrants. The lion’s share of the €21 million investment is being made by the region, with Brussels-City also contributing. Both own parts of the property in the renewal zone.

A decision will be made on the winning development proposal by next spring, and works should start in 2023.

Photo: The Brussels canal in Anderlecht
©Eric Lalmand/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw